She lifted a foot into the stirrup and adjusted her body to spring up. She jumped and landed lightly in the saddle, shifting her weight.
The horse, irritated to feel this sudden burden, arched his back and bucked.
The rider clasped her legs around his sides, holding close to his writhing, jumping body. The horse bucked and bucked until his rider couldn’t take a moment more. She let go of the horse, and then splattered against the side of the arena wall, her body spraying blood in every direction. The horse proceeded to buck on her gory remains, at one point reaching down and ripping her body to shreds as if he were a lion–and she, a wildebeest.
I imagined Cappy’s first ride each time I played with him. I hoped for calm, collected intelligence from this delightful horse. Unfortunately, no matter how well I prepare, that’s not always what I receive when I train a horse to be ridden. Instead, though I hoped and prayed for a cool, calm, collected horse, I planned for an insane crazy horse.
Some horses, no matter how much you prepare them, will not get past the idea that sitting on them is a bad idea. They want you on the ground.
Cappy and I played from the ground constantly. I drove him. I leaned on his back. I jumped next to him on the pedestal.
Today, I rode him for the first time.
Trudie, a very trusted Minion, held him for me while I repetedly mounted and dismounted. I petted him and called him a good boy. He thrived on the attention.
Then, one time after I mounted, I told Trudie to walk forward.
That’s when fireworks should have started.
But not for Cappy. He walked around like he owned the place. Trudie stopped to praise him, and he wanted to keep walking.
No bucks. No crow hopping. Not a blink of an eye, a shiver, or a wince.
I rode Cappy for the first time today.