Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day to Relax

We are postponing our Thanksgiving Day until Saturday this year. Our daughter doesn't usually come home from college for Thanksgiving, but we decided to fly her in this year. However, she had to work Thanksgiving Day, and we have to pick her up from the airport on Friday, so we will be celebrating on Saturday.

In the meantime, my son celebrated Thanksgiving with his girlfriend's family. I am thankful that her family has been so kind to him. A lot of fathers of teenage girls tend to view the boyfriend as the enemy. However, I think they realize by now that my son has a good heart.

While our son was away, my husband and I went out to eat at a casino restaurant. A lot of families were there avoiding the chore of cooking and clean up. There were a few solo individuals treating themselves to a turkey dinner, still others chose to spend their Thanksgiving in the bar or gambling. When Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch visited earlier this month, she commented on all the neon lights of Nevada. I've lived here so long that I don't even see it anymore. I don't think I have ever even pulled the arm of a one-armed bandit. I remember I once pushed some buttons on a poker game embedded into a bar because the CEO of my company bought a round of beers and games and had each of us try our luck. Beyond that, I've never gambled while in Nevada. I actually gambled more when I lived in California and my father took me to the horse races.

Anyway, my husband and I were so stuffed from our restaurant meal that we had to leave a lot of good food behind on the table... stuff that wouldn't keep in a doggie bag.

I had tried to ride a horse earlier in the day, but my construction worker neighbor had dragged all of his power tools out onto his driveway and was making a racket. He doesn't even take a day off on holidays, apparently. However, once we returned home from the restaurant, my neighbors were gone... all of them. Everyone left for someplace else for their meal.

I was so happy to not have dozens of relatives of neighbors parking on my property that I saddled up Bombay, breaking my own rule of not riding on holidays since people break their habits on holidays and there are just too many surprises for horses. As soon as I tightened the cinch, someone in the neighborhood started up some kind of shooting competition. Guns were firing off every few seconds. I wondered if someone was trying to shoot their own turkey or something. Fortunately, the horses ignored the gunshots and I was still able to ride.

Bombay seemed a bit under the weather. He had a runny nose and teared up eyes, so I didn't push him too hard. When I mounted I had a realization that took me by surprise. I realized that sitting in a saddle on a horse's back now feels comfortable to me. I've never felt uncomfortable in the saddle, but riding a horse just has never felt natural to me. Now it feels natural. I feel the same on a horse's back as I do when I'm sitting in my recliner: Relaxed. That's quite an accomplishment. For so many years I was such a nervous wreck around horses. I loved them, but knew what kind of damage they could do in the blink of an eye. Now I just don't worry about that anymore. If something bad happens, then it happens. Until then, I'll enjoy my nice, relaxing rides... gunshots and all.


fernvalley01 said...

A happy day ! Ten feet tall and bullet proof! Glad you had a break, and great that you have found you stride and are feeling good on your horse!

Cheryl Ann said...

I hope I get to that point someday. My cousin tells me to ride like a cotton ball. I ride like a bowling ball...heavy, fearful, tense. I love reading your blog! It always gives me something to think about.

Mrs Mom said...


Ride on Cowgirl!

Train Wreck said...

I didn't realize you lived in Nevada? We used to live in Henderson! I loved it, coming from a one horse town it was just the ticket. As a matter of fact when we moved back here the one thing I couldn't get used too? Was the darkness here. It seemed so dark there is nothing like the lights of Las Vegas. Good for you on your break through. Horses are a comfort. Bad things will happen anywhere anytime.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I used to be relaxed in the saddle. Hope to achieve that again. Sounds like a nice day you had, and another one coming up this weekend. Maybe the neighbors will stay away all weekend.

Breathe said...

That is fantastic! I am looking forward to getting there again. I'm still too tense in the saddle...

Our last barn was near a shooting range and in about a month any new horse would settle in enough to ignore gunshots.

Hope Bombay's nose clears up.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh wow, NM, I'm so happy for you. To get to that point of being comfortable on a horse and having self confidance...that is just awesome! I hope I can reach that point, too. For now, I'm just working on rebuilding my self confidance on the ground around my horse. Slow, but making progress.

And just look at how far your horses have come, too. Last year, Bombay wouldn't have ignored those gunshots. He would have jumped or bolted and looked to the rest of his equine herd to provide safety. Now he trusts you to keep him safe and he can be confidant enough in that sense to keep you safe, too.

I'm glad you enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving with your hubby and didn't lose any money from the one-armed bandit, either. hehe!

Tell Colt, 'way to go!" from me. He really is turning into a super nice young man. You should be very proud.

I hope you have a wonderful family Thanksgiving when your daughter arrives back home, too. You are truly blessed, my friend.


KD said...

That's a great breakthrough!! YAY!