Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When The Saddle Is Loose

Back around 1982ish, I had this really cute boyfriend who lived just below town on the Ohio River.  He was short like me, but since he was a guy, his lack of height had more impact on his ego.  As a result, he was a risk taker, even maybe a daredevil.  If there was some kind of extreme sport, he was going to try it.

He pushed me out of my comfort zone, introducing me to all kinds of things I would have never attempted without someone making me.

When we weren't breaking every Catholic rule in the backseat of his fabulous Chevelle, we were riding horses or water skiing or snow skiing or crashed out watching Friday Night Videos.  This was the guy who encouraged me to jump off the bridge from 33 feet up.  He was also the one with whom I got two vehicles stuck in the mud because we were horny teenage idiots.

Thank goodness we came from a place where friends with 4 wheel drive trucks were common.

But this post isn't about wild, teenage sex.  It's not even about clumsy teenage sex.  Not really.

One afternoon we were riding horses up the hill behind his house.  Who knows what kind of stupid thing I was doing at the time - checking my lip gloss or making sure I was sucking in my tummy, but in a flash, I was in the gravel and watching the back end of my horse trot away.

"Are you okay?"  Cute boyfriend climbed off his horse and extended a hand to help me up.

"Yes, just my pride is hurt."  I tried to play it off while I rubbed my sore left butt cheek that took the brunt of the fall.

"Well, this is your chance to show what you're made of.  You getting back on the horse or not?"  He wasn't impatient.  It was a simple statement of fact, a practical matter.  Were we going on with our ride or walking back to the barn?

I looked at my horse. He'd stopped and looked back at us over his flank. "Let's go.  I want to see that meadow."

The meadow was just as he'd described it. It was a flat on top of the ridge, ringed by maples and oaks.  Wildflowers waved among the tall grasses.  We tied the horses to a tree and  Cute Boyfriend spread out a blanket he'd brought along.

Getting back on the horse was its own reward. I'm not afraid.  I can do this.  I won't be beaten so easily. Reaching the meadow was a different kind of sweet.  I liked to see this more sensitive side to Cute Boyfriend.  He'd found a thing of beauty and he wanted to share it with me.   Later, as I looked over his shoulder at the blue sky with high, wispy clouds and twined my fingers into his honey brown hair, I took a mental snapshot.

That night, I wrote something uncharacteristically wise and thoughtful in my journal.  "Remember this day.  Remember the lesson of this day.  Get back on the horse." 

Do you detect a theme here?  Are you good at getting back on the metaphorical horse?  Who took my funny and replaced it with this cliche? 


  1. I thought this post would be way more sexual than it was, based on the title.

  2. Lesson learned and savored. Now I'm thinking about cute boyfriends of yesteryear and the many lessons learned. Thxx xo

  3. Nice lesson. I can almost feel the breeze in the meadow.

  4. Or, you know, "Walking to the meadow will get you there, too."


  5. Your post reminds me that "Get back on the horse" isn't just "keep trucking." You mention that this bf pushed you try new things (ahem) and I think it is interesting that you end by pushing yourself to try new things. :)

  6. I too had a cute, short boyfriend...a photographer who introduced me to so much beauty. But he was far too Catholic to lay out a blanket in a field so I could eventually look over his shoulder at the sky. My lesson learned there was never date a guy whose aunt is a nun and whose uncle is a priest!

    That being said, people step in our paths who are there simply to rattle our cage, turn us upside down, or pull up our roots. Our job is to allow ourselves to be shaken out of our comfy spot...and you did.

  7. Okay, that post was awesome. I needed to hear a reminder to "Get Back on The Horse" today. So, thank you for that.

  8. Am I good at getting back on the horse? Yeah, actually I am. I do whine and snivel quite a bit first, but eventually I'll always get up and try again, especially if there's a meadow to visit and a cute guy leading me on.

  9. When I was six I got thrown from a horse I was riding on. I got back on it. He threw me again. We did this about ten times before I decided he was bigger than me so he was the boss!

    The next time I got on a horse I was about 14 and I was a little apprehensive but I managed to ride the horse without being thrown.

    Was there a lesson here? Oh, sure, but I'm a bad student. :)

  10. Ive climbed back up on that horse so many times, I think it throws me just to see if I'll do it.

    I hope you are, too, Lisa.

    I love stories from real life that also have a real point to them. You are so awesome.

  11. I get the impression you are just horsing around here....

  12. it always starts with a cute guy.

    i can always get back on the horse (or the cute guy) without a second thought. i've done it so often anymore it feels unnatural to get it right the first time.

  13. Oh, this was great! I little chuckle, a little wisdom. Have you ever suspected you might be a Tart? Because I think you probably are. (and you know I mean that in a good way)

  14. I remember a meadow and a horse but it was just the two of us. Then the horse got bored of waiting around and I walked home.


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