Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bareback riding

 I rode this beauty bareback, felt the wind in my hair as we galloped across the pasture. Okay, that was all in my mind. But I did find an apple with a few bites out of it near the kiddie playground. I tossed it to this horse which was grazing in the grass. It was thrilled beyond belief. After eating the apple, it galloped up to the fence to see if I had more, and I was able to pet its nose.
When I was a preschooler my parents would take me to ride the shetland ponies on hot summer evenings. The poor horses walked in a circle around a track at the traveling kiddie carnival. Not my idea of horseback riding, but it was better than the mechanical bucking bronco that cost a nickel, or the slow poke merry-go-round ponies. I was often unlucky. I got stuck with the stationary horse that did not glide up and down the brass pole.

At 21, I rode a horse in Alaska...bareback...for real. We were visiting homesteaders. Their youngest boy asked if I wanted to ride his horse. Sure. I mounted that big dude and asked the little dude how to make it stop. He said, "Nudge him with your heels." That horse shot out through the woods, and when I saw the tree branch at eye level, I got tossed off and landed in a pile of cow manure. My pale pink turtle neck and my pride were never the same.
These ducks were a sight to behold. The one in back had a soft downy tuft on top of its head. Click on the picture to enlarge the photo. That curly tail makes me thing it's a female. No self-respecting male would wear such a hair do.
Suson County Park is free and open to the public. There are several stocked fishing lakes, a playground, a barnyard of horses, cows and other animals, and there is a playground. Picinic areas galore, too. The perfect place to spend a  weekend with family or friends. St. Louis has so many free attractions and beautiful parks.



Donna Volkenannt said...

I remember riding those Shetland ponies when I was a kid. Waiting in line for my turn was exciting, even the smell didn't bother me, but I did feel sorry for the poor pony.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

The few times I've ridden a horse I've loved every second of it. I never questioned why people who work with horses love what they do. Horses are intuitive creatures, powerful and intelligent.

Those ducks are so cute. I bring bread up to the lake when we go boating so I can feed the ducks that show up when we anchor somewhere. There were a lot of babies in the early summer -- so cute!

Joanne Noragon said...

I can see the horse at the fence, hopeful.

Debra Mayhew said...

I've always wanted to do more horseback riding - just like my secret dream is to live by the ocean and be a lighthouse keeper. I doubt either of those things will happen, but maybe I can add it to my bucket list and do it someday!I bet it was lovely to see that beautiful animal up close!

Bookie said...

It seems you are out enjoying the wonderful autumn air. Good for you!
I am still "enjoying" the fishing trip. :)

Val said...

I rode my cousin's pony bareback when I was a kid, and slipped over his rump when he trotted up a little hill in my grandma's yard.

I did not get right back on.

Chicken said...

Oh no, poor you. Did the branch hook you around the neck, or did you jump off before it caught you? You reminded me of a story from way back about my brother riding a run away horse and getting hooked by a tree branch. It was one of those moments when you almost laugh because it looks like a three stooges scene, before you catch yourself and remember that IN REAL LIFE it probably doesn't feel very nice to catch a tree branch by the neck.

River said...

I got tossed off a horse once, I climbed on, she took off before I was settled and I sort of fell/got tossed when she tried to leap over the fence, then swerved away from it at the last minute. Years later, my kids were lined up for turns on the shetland pony circle, but the youngest was too small and not allowed on, so when we got home the girls put their roller skates on the legs of the old sawhorse and pulled him around the yard on that.
The pony in the picture looks a little round in the belly, was she expecting a foal?

Susan Sundwall said...

I would never (again) get on the back of an animal with teeth the size of piano keys. Like you, Linda, I might do it in my mind, but even there I'm a big chicken. Oh, and I had a "duck do" like that once. Wasn't pretty. Have a great day!

Sioux said...

I've ridden many horses in my younger days, but the most fun I had on a four-legged creature was when I played donkey basketball as part of a school fundraiser. You rode on donkeys in a high school gym and yes, you tried to shoot basket while the donkeys raced around. (They stood completely still until their handler walked up and used his "switch," and then they took off like a rocket...from 0 to 40 in 1.3 seconds...)

Daisy said...

That apple treat probably made that horse's day!

As for your ride when you were younger--ouch! That would have probably kept me away from horses the rest of my days if it had happened to me.

Susan said...

Beautiful photos today, Linda. I enjoyed the post, too.

My own experience with horsebackriding makes me chuckle. I was living in Ohio at the time and single.

Took lessons from a woman who was in love with all horses. She was great and, thankfully, patient. While I loved riding, I could never achieve the art of mounting the horse.

The instructor finally gave up and gave me a cement step stool! Ha!

I can sure identify with the low hanging tree branch. I got whomped a couple times. ha hahahhaha

Thanks for the memories. Susan p.s. Haven't been on a horse since, except for the merry-go-round variety and they are enough for me. ha haahhahaha