Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I rode a horse

Its been three weeks now in Chicago and today were the most eventful few hours since I have been here. I met a girl in the apartment where I stay and we got talking and out of this conversation came out the fact that she owns a horse and that she goes horse-riding every weekend. I asked her if I could accompany her on one such weekend and we agreed on this weekend.

So here I was, got up this morning all charged up and called her and we decided that we would meet in the lobby. I was in the shower and she calls back telling me that she has been in an accident and that she would take a little longer to get there. In a while she called back and I walked upto her car and we drove up a long way to the stables where she keeps her horse. So there I was, helping her with the saddle and suddenly I am inside a stable for the first time in my life and the first thing that you notice is the smell. I have read so many books and novels which had references to the horsy smell but never really understood what they meant until today. We walked around and kept the stuff and suddenly she opens one of the barn doors and there steps out a huge horse. You know what they don't look as big in the movies as they are in reality . It also takes away the romanticism from a horse when you suddenly have this huge creature ambling towards you and bucking once in a while. She gave me some sweet horse feed and asked me to feed him inorder to take the first step towards riding it. I took the sweet feed and held it out and a huge wet tongue licked it all from my hand-my first reaction was ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww but eventually I got the hang of it and Bandit(that was the horse's name) had a good snack.

Step 2 was to get on top on the horse which I did with an ease which belied my underlying anxiety. The last I rode a horse in my life was about 11 years back and with a professional trainer. Here I was sitting on top of this huge animal and would very soon be expected to take charge of him. We took the trail behind the stables and decided that I would ride and she would walk alongside(I know it was not very chivalrous but then what the hell!!) So she walked and the horse walked and I continued sitting on it. It was a beautiful setting with snow all around, bare trees waiting for better times and a light drizzle soaking us. Then we decided it was time for a trot and so there I was bumping up and down as the horse trotted. God my butt seemed to be undergoing an experience like never before. The biggest issue while riding was how much pressure to put on the reins and how much to loosen it and that was where I met my nemesis.

Pretty soon I was making him trot and stop at will and was quite happy with my achievement. Then on our way back, we reached a nice long stretch where Bandit normaly likes to run and we decided that I would try another trot. So I set off with Bandit and till halfway it was a perfect trot and suddenly he broke off into a canter(trust me its much faster) As I tried to stop him towards the end of the stretch, I realised that my hands were frozen because of the cold and I was not gripping the reins properly. He reached the end and turned right and started bucking. It was an instant of sheer terror in which I thought, of all the places I don't want to die in a foreign land. Could not help but think that as I was trying desperately to cling onto him. Suddenly he bucked and I found my feet out of the stirrups and flying through the air and hit the ground hard on my back and the horse walked away.

I lay there for a while a little dazed with what had happened and then got up to check if I had broken something. After ensuring that all was well, I got up and Darrina rushed up to me to see if I was ok. I told her I was. In the end we decided that I will ride the horse again. Horses are funny animals. They are very headstrong and love to test a new rider to see how much he can take and how far can he be pushed. That is also a reason why one should never let a horse walk away after he has thrown you off because he will always remember that he can get away with behaving this way. So I rode him again and this time I made him walk back perfectly without any issues inspite of his attempts at breaking free. I put him back in his stable and fed him the sweetfeed and there was no animosity between us. It was like he had tested me and I fought back after going down and we both respected each other for it. As the godfather said- 'Its just business,nothing personal'.


Blogger Mobina said...

Hey saraansh....Nice post....
How are you doing??? Hope u really havent broken any bones... :)

How is Chicago treating you....freezing ur ass off eh???
Everyone's home but you arent....we are all missing you back here...

4:08 AM  
Anonymous S.L.Aishwariya Laxmi said...

I saw your comment on Manoj's studentconcepts site and decided to check out your site. The post on the horse was really well-written. Have you read 'The Horse Whisperer' by Nicholas Evans?

Think you might like that....:)

6:05 PM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

Its been sooooooooooooo long and yup I know I miss you guys too but a man's got to do what a man's got to do(ok! ok! stop rolling your eyes now)

Thanks Aishwarya I haven't read the book but is'nt this the one on which a movie was made with Robert Redford coz I have seen the movie.

On a different note, I will own a horse one day.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Shailaja Babu said...

Hey saraansh..
Lots happening here.. Bum.. so how is life... Sounds pretty exciting..Thought id enjoy HOrse-Rides,but now i guess ill stay far way from that option...

8:17 PM  
Anonymous jimmy said...

hmmm... sounds like a porn movie segment... what you actually upto saraansh

8:04 AM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

If it really was a porn movie segment, why would I get all metaphoric and write about it...but you know what now that I think about it and try and reconstruct the events if it really was a porn segment...hahahaha!!good fun but then it would not reflect very well on me. You should know- after your famous snowfall incident :-)

12:54 PM  
Anonymous S.L.Aishwariya Laxmi said...

Hi Saraansh,
Yea...A movie was made out of it...starring Robert Redford...but I haven't watched it.Just read the book a really long time ago. Did you like the movie? It might have been a bit slow...

7:34 PM  
Blogger RamantheB said...

nice, And make sure you focus all your attention on the horse and not the person who led u there.

saaransh where do u live exactly ? whats the place called ?

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

saansh! Nice one. Reminds me of the time i rode a horse called "joker" in New Zealand. It was a group day out on horses. Every horse followed the group leader except mine...mine would be day dreaming or walking away to some pasture for its meal. It was hilarious. This happened the whole day.
But nothing beats an elephant ride!! Ever tried it? ....and hey..we have a corporate pyton hysssteria show tmrw! Wish us luck!!
Manoj (StudentConcepts)

2:30 AM  
Blogger Kanishkaa said...

You didnt rub the horse on the wrong side did you?

4:38 AM  
Blogger Saraansh said...

The movie was allright and yup a little slow...nothing extraordinary.

You know me...I give my full attention to whatever I think deserves it. On another note, I am staying at Presidential Towers in downtown Chicago

I heard about the corporate python...Pavi told me good luck and do well. I might go horse riding again in January if that woman complies to take me again- I don't see why she won't :-)

8:49 AM  

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