I did it. I rode a horsie for the first time and lived to tell the tale! That's me over there with my riding companion, Santano. Born and bred in Italy. A real Italian Stallion. Take that, Rocky! As you know, I went out to my friend, Kristin's, horsie farm for the weekend for a home made Hungarian dinner and my first pony ride! She and her mama raise horses and teach lessons. Thus, my first ride and lesson.
Kristin herself gave me the lesson. First up. Helmet. Sure it's a bike helmet. And how can that save me from certain death? "Here lies Jimmy Aquino. He always wore a helmet. Except down there. That's why he died of Syphilis." Uh...not sure what that meant. Back to the horse ride. I use a whee step ladder to get up on Santano. "Where's the saddle?", I ask. "You're going bareback. There's a small blanket, if that makes you feel better.", Kristin replies.
Wow. She's a harsh teacher! I was afraid she was gonna beat me with the riding crop. As you can see, I was pretty scared. More of her, than of Santano bucking me. Santano was a gentle horse. He could sense if I was uncomfortable and would stop. Needless to say, he stopped a lot. Hey! I wasn't that uncomfortable! Kristin led us around and taught me how to use the reins and my legs. Pull to stop. Squeeze a bit to make him go faster. AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! PULL REINS! Phew. That was a close one. After a couple of turns, Kristin let me steer him and control him myself. I got him to go faster, slow down, stop, turn and trot a bit to my command!
Finally! I was master of the horse. A true cowboy! Inspired by one of the greatest movies ever, Young Guns, I donned my kerchief, let my hair down and took Santano off for some bank robbing, raping and pillaging!
Suddenly, I realized that Santano was over 20 years old and couldn't run very far. And he realized I was barely controlling him and wasn't in the mood to succumb to my evil ways. My days as a bad ass desperado lasted all of 45 seconds. Sighing heavily, I dismounted Santano. Dreams crushed. I promised him that I'd sneak him out at night and we would run off together to a life on the range. Maybe live on a mountain. We could make a movie about it. Bareback Mountain. Okay, not all that original, but it seemed to make him smile. Either that or he just had a good poop.