I've always had a complicated relationship with horses. I love them but that doesn't mean they necessarily liked me back. I think they can tell I don't really know what I'm doing. One time I was on a trail ride. Mom was paying for horseback riding lessons. We only went a few times, I can't remember why we stopped, but it was fun while it lasted. Anyway, we're riding nose to tail on a dry and dusty Orangevale trail when my saddle starts to tip sideways. I'm litterally clinging to the side of the horse trying not to fall off. The trainer said the horse blew up it's belly when the saddle was put on so when the air left its belly, the saddle no longer fit.
The second time was on a date. He asked if I liked horseback riding. Of course I do. I didn't, however, tell him I wasn't all that good at it. I thought we would be riding slow like every other time I'd been on a horse. Nope, he wanted to run the horses. There is nothing like the thrill of racing headlong down a hill with the knowledge that you aren't really in control of anything. My heart was pounding with fear and exhileration. I didn't count on my mount's playful streak, however. He saw a tree and ran uphill toward it. I couldn't get it to stop and I only barely managed to lay down backwards to keep from being knocked off his back by a low hanging branch. I dropped the reins in the process and my date had to chase us down and catch my runaway horse. We laughed all the way back to his house.
Then there was the time I decided to try and ride bareback, (I know, I never learn) and I stood on the fence rail while my friend held the reins to keep him steady. I swung my leg over and the horse immediately started bucking. My friend still had the reins and they shaved the mane off to get the winter tangles out. So I wrap my arms around the horse's neck, trying to stay on. The back feet kicked once, twice, and on the third time my legs couldn't hang on but my arms did. I swung around his neck like a hula hoop and landed ten feet in front of him, spraining my ankle.
So I will continue to love them and enjoy their beauty from afar.