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I’m back in the saddle again

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – “Thanks for the great ride Jake,” I said to the paint gelding as I patted his neck and climbed out of the saddle.

I signed up for riding lessons recently and Jake’s been my tutor – so to speak. He’s a terrific horse when it comes to green horns, or for those like me who haven’t straddled a horse for over 40 years.

My instructor, Amy Arnette of Courses4Horses, has been putting Jake and I through the paces. Well, actually Jake knows the paces. It’s me Amy’s contending with. We’ve learned how to trot, cantor, lunge, change leads, and post together. It’s been great fun, but a lot to learn.

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My galloping fear

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – Fear whispered in my ear. “If she gallops, you’re going to fall off.”

For months after I first crawled on top of Mary’s broad, white back, the ground seemed miles away. A long way for a little boy to fall. So whenever Mary grabbed the bridle bit between her clinched jaws and shook her head up and down, telling me, “let’s run,” I pulled back on the reins.

Afraid I would go tumbling off if I let her gallop. Trotting was fine. That I could handle.

I was about nine or 10 at the time, and we lived on the Marshall Ronnigen farm near Zumbrota in the mid 1950s where my dad worked as a hired hand. For me it was if I had floated blissfully into horse heaven.

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