Riding a horse to view the Jamaican countryside seemed like a brilliant idea. We love exploring countries by bicycle; why would this be any different? The equine adventure would give us an opportunity to see the true Jamaica, through the jungle, past old sugar cane factories and end with a horse swim in the ocean. Sounds fabulous don’t you think?
Now I am no horse rider. Having grown up on a farm one might assume such skill would come on the resume. No it was cows and pigs for this rural girl. The horses I did ride were those of friends and truth be told I usually landed in the dirt off some unhappy pony. Well that was a long time ago and surely I would be more skilled now.
Hubby rode horses at kids camp. If you get the badge it’s good for life right? At no time in our married life have we saddled up. Perhaps that has been part of our success. Well we are in Jamaica celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary so let’s leave no stone unturned. Saint Dave grimaced at my suggestion of this adventure and squeaked out, “Sure we can do that.” Hubby does not like the reference to being angelic but truly the man goes along with a lot of my zany ideas.
Perhaps at this point I should add that his hip flexibility resembles that of an oak tree. The man can run like a gazelle however bends as well as a broomstick.
Much to my relief the horses were in good health and were part of a polo club. First red flag. Polo…oh is that the game where the horses have to run fast and make quick turns? Yes I think that is it.
Carl was the name of my beautiful glistening horse. Carl is a girl. Second red flag. Any female horse called Carl must have an attitude. Correct guess. Carl loved to play polo and had little interest in the boring walking done while gazing about at sugar plantations.
Hubby was perched upon Secret. Carl and Secret were not fond of seeing each other. This of course decreases the romantic notion of it all for Hubby and I.
Carl had a particularly competitive streak. Should Secret think about leading the happy troupe, Carl would jolt forward and a squeal would leap out of my mouth. The guide said my screaming was only going to make the horse go faster. Excellent. Thank you for that Mr Guide.
Behind me I could hear Mr Guide bellowing at Hubby “Squeeze with your legs, squeeze with your legs! Yah mon SQUEEZE!” This was followed by Hubby’s gritted teeth response, ” I AM SQUEEZING!” Secret was intent on losing Hubby and racing with Carl. I would have turned around to see how bad things were but I was busy holding on for dear life and squeezing like a madwoman.
The plot thickens in that Carl had been recently retired from the polo field, her flowing mane a tell tale sign of her being put out to pasture. As she jerked and tossed her head I hung on to the reins until my biceps burned. Carl intended to show Secret, with her cropped mane ready for game play, that there were still polo matches to be played. That I happened to be on her back was of little deterrent to her.
So the morning see sawed between Mr Guide rushing forward on horseback to grab my horse Carl who had decided to make a break for it with me in tow desperately squealing.
Then just as Hubby was about to fall off his mount Mr Guide would retreat and resume hollering at him, “Squeeze with your legs, squeeze with your legs! Yah mon SQUEEZE!” This was followed by Hubby’s increasingly irritated response, ” I AM SQUEEZING!”
The worst points were when Carl would break free just enough to get Secret in chase up to a trot. Hubby behind me would mutter ” I @&?$!$& HATE trotting!” With everything I had I would pull back on Carl’s reins to slow up the show so my broomstick butt husband might survive, not to mention speak to me following the torture, I mean excursion.
So what happened you might ask? We did make it off those steeds. Hubby could barely walk for a day or two. I bought a Red Stripe beer for him immediately as a token of my gratitude. Then we do what we do best thirty years in….we laughed and laughed. Hubby said ” Well that’s great blog material.”