Sunday, August 29, 2010

Your Best Foot Forward

While Aaron and I were biking today, I was pondering my next blog post, mostly to try and ignore the searing pain in my hip flexor.  I realized that I spend a lot of time mercilessly poking fun at my significant other.  Since it's considered bad taste to make fun of one's toddler, I believe it's time to point out a moment of brilliance of my own, lest you all believe that I'm a merciless witch, only spelled with a, "b."

I would imagine that being extremely gifted in sports would, at minimum, require the ability to tell one's left from one's right, which is a skill that my identical twin and I were murky at best from an early age.  One day, when we were probably around ten years old, our dad had graciously rounded up our cantankerous pinto named Dice.  Jen and I were initially thrilled to have a new horse.  We knew he was a paint, but not that he wasn't a she.  All of my visions of cute baby pintos lolloping through the tall grass were dashed when my dad informed me that Dice didn't have the right equipment.

We soon found out that Dice wasn't exactly the most agreeable pony.  We also found, given the right motivation, that I could outrun Jenny.  On the days we had to work cows, I would race to the barn and grab the other equally cantankerous, but infinitely more lazy, Appaloosa.  Namus may have been cranky, but he was disinclined to buck, as that would have required effort.  Consequently, Jenny ate a lot more turf than I did.

So, there we were, getting mounted up right outside the barn, which was across from our Grandma Peter's house.  We had only saddled Dice, so we were going to take turns riding.  I thought I was rather generous to let her ride first, and I also, very kindly, held the reins for her while she got on.

As she lifted her left foot to stick it in the stirrup, I rolled my eyes and said, "Jen, that's the wrong foot," summoning every ounce of know-it-all that I had in my body.

She, very wisely, said, "No, it's not," though her foot had paused in the air, and uncertainty began to cloud her face.

Ha!  I finally knew something she didn't!  "You use your other foot."

Slowly, she put her foot down, and with a great deal of trepidation, placed her right foot in the stirrup, and swung herself into the saddle.  The only problem:  she landed backwards.  Her head was facing Dice's butt.  In my defense, I had honestly thought I was saving her from the very thing that had just happened. 

To this day, I have no idea why I did what I did next.  I let go of the reins.  I'd like to think that I was reaching up kindly to help her down, but who knows what I was thinking.  Thankfully, Grandma had seen what had happened, and was able to watch in horror as Dice took off.  He didn't just mosey away, or break into a slow trot.  He ran as fast as stubby pinto legs would could go, and I swear they nearly blurred as the thundered, well, sort of thundered, away.

Jenny screamed and hung on for dear life as they whipped down the side of the barn toward the shop.  Feeling slightly guilty, I ran after them as fast as my sluggish legs would carry me.  I found them down by the gas tanks.  Dice, finally standing still, was munching happily on tall, ungrazed grass, though he was conspicuously riderless.

I had just found Jenny when Grandma rolled down in her Grand Marquis.  She yelled out the window, "However did she hold on?!" 

I said, "Pretty good."

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