This weekend I am going on another adventure with my eldest daughter's Girl Scout troop. Last time I camped with them we went to the Outer Banks. The plan was to tour a famous lighthouse, and go horseback riding on the beach.
It was an adventure and I was looking forward to it with anticipation.
I was most excited about the horseback ride on the beach. The day of the ride was soon upon us and the stars seemed aligned for a wonderful trip. The weather was nothing short of perfection, and the scenery was breathtaking.
The ride began as wonderfully as I had imagined it would. When we finally made it through the dunes and onto the beach I caught my breath in awe of the pristine, untouched sand sparkling in the crisp sunlight.
I was literally having the time of my life. All I can say is I must have been a little giddy when the guides asked if we wanted to let the horses "loose," because I agreed enthusiastically. The guides explained that the horses were not trail horses, and would do as we asked. If we wanted to gallop? Just give them a kick. If we felt uncomfortable? We were welcome to continue at our current walk/trot pace.
The moment the horses were given their freedom everything went wrong. One of the girls in the rear of the group was riding a pony. I have no idea exactly what happened back there. What I do know is that her pony decided it was running the Kentucky Derby. That stupid pony blasted through the group of horses in front of him at full throttle. And immediately the mellow horses on the beach were transformed into a stampeding herd.
I held my own for about 20 seconds of this bedlam before I was yelling WHOA, and yanking back on the reins for all I was worth. The horse's eyes bulged a bit as a result of my yanking and screaming, but otherwise he was unfazed. If this was the Kentucky Derby? My horse was in it to win it.
At this point I was screaming bloody murder, flying along the beach at break neck speed, and gaining on the evil pony that started this whole mess. I was also pretty sure I was going to either fall off the horse, or get a black eye. Protective helmets are important but when riding uncontrollable horses on the beach, never underestimate the importance of a sturdy bra.
In a fit of desperation I dropped the reins, grabbed hold of the horse's mane, closed my eyes, and held on for dear life. One of the guides finally caught the demon-pony and wrestled it to submission. The demon-pony stopped, and miraculously, so did the rest of the horses. The balance of the ride, thankfully, was uneventful.
And so here I sit. One year later. On the cusp of another adventure. I'm definitely excited. It seems like it should be the trip of a lifetime. But there's a tiny part of me wondering what in the heckity-heck I've gotten myself into this time. You have to admit, stupidity happens an awful lot around here. It's more the rule than the exception.
Wanna know where I'm going? I'll fill you in on all the gory details...