It's a good thing I read over my wife's blog. She often leaves out the more interesting (and sometimes scary / funny) moments we have. So after the kids were done riding, Carol asked me if Jen and I wanted to ride. I immediately say "yes" and Jen nervously says "ok". I was then asked if I know how to ride because "Smash" is somewhat sensitive (This should have been a red flag!). Brave man answers "YES" without hesitation. I have actually ridden horses plenty of times and feel very comfortable around them. The one piece of info I left out was that it has been a good 12 years since this "cowboy" has saddled up!
I grabbed the reigns, secure my left foot and hop up. The horse jerks a bit, slightly turns it's head to the side to get a look at me and I am sure, thinking about it now, he was sizing me up. I look over and Jen is up so off we go. I am in front of Jen and not ten seconds into the ride I realize my horse (SMASH) is jerking a bit left and right, popping its head up and jumping from a walk to a nervous trot! (This was red flag #2). I pull the reigns back on him and softly say "whoa boy, whoa". Off in the distance I hear Jen trying to control laughing, you know, the kind of laughing you know you shouldn't do but the more you think about not doing it the more it seems to get out of control. The horse again jerks but this time pops from a walk to a quick run so again I pull back on the reigns and say "WHOA BOY". Off in the distance again I hear Jen laughing but through the laughter I hear her say something like "I am glad I am riding Biscuit and not SMASH!" Implying that my horse gained the nickname through some horrible incident with a previous rider. As this thought is firing through my head the horse jerks again but this time his head dips and I feel the wind whipping past my face. We are heading towards two trees that are about eight feet apart and for a second I think "SMASH" is going to educate me on how he gained this little name. Now I'm pulling back on the reigns, screaming "WHOA WHOA WHOA" squeezing the horse with my legs and preparing for impact when the headline runs through my head "RUNAWAY HORSE INJURES MAN". THANK GOD the horse responds to my plea for mercy and as we stop, off in the distance is Jen laughing so hard she is crying. I look down at the horse and say "Lets start over, I just want to WALK around for a while and then I'm off buddy".
The rest of the ride was easy, somewhat pleasant. We walked around for a while then fed the horses. I couldn't stop thinking about how quickly I jumped in without considering the many warning signs I was given. The most obvious (and funny) was the horses name. I mean what idiot would mount on an animal named after breaking things into small pieces?