Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gallop Intentionally!

This is a short story about a funny, profound (or profoundly funny) statement.

My Joe.
About two weekends ago I was out at the barn riding my horse, Joe. He's a sweet and personable horse and usually pretty low key. I was done with lungeing and riding in the arena and decided to ride him around the property. He had on a bareback pad (no stirrups) and bitless bridle.

We were around the back side of the indoor arena. Inside, a couple of women were riding their horses. Joe suddenly noticed the sounds of activity, decided it was a sabre toothed tiger or something, pivoted 180° on his left front leg and took us off at a full gallop. We covered about 30' in less than a second (or so it seemed), just long enough for me to start looking for a soft place to fall. In the meantime I pulled back on the reins and shouted "whoa Joe". He stopped fairly quickly, bucked a little then settled down. I got him walking again and he acted like nothing had happened. I was amazed that I hadn't fallen off and it all happened so fast that I didn't even have time to squeak out some adrenalin (or pee). It was also nice to learn that bitless bridles work. We walked around the property for another 5-10 minutes and I decided it was time to call it a day. I took him back to the barn to untack and do the usual end-of-the-ride stuff — brushing, picking out his hooves, sharing treats.

Trail riding in Elizabeth, Colorado
Later as I was heading out, I ran into Wendy and Laurie chit chatting in the lounge area. Wendy knew what Joe had done and Laurie didn't, so I told my little story. Laurie commented that she always gallops bareback, which is very true. She and her friend Ann have Arabian horses that they've owned for years and they ride like they were born to ride. With mere bareback pads, they gallop all over the place, run up and down small ravines, even ride their horses backwards and never lose their balance. I've NEVER ridden like that!

When Laurie said she gallops bareback, Wendy looked at her very intently and asked, "do you gallop intentionally?" Laurie replied quietly yet emphatically, "I always gallop intentionally." I had to laugh at the exchange—it all looked so serious. I was also tickled by the expression, "gallop intentionally". It just sounded so profound, like "live consciously," but with more gusto. I told the girls that would be a great bumper sticker. So I went home and made one!

If you too live your life intentionally and with passion, you need one of my bumper stickers as a reminder to "gallop intentionally". They are 10"x3", waterproof vinyl, professionally printed. Click here to buy one for the amazingly low price of only $3, and postage is included! Ride like the wind, Bullseye!

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