Wednesday, October 26, 2016

giorni dispari

Ruby's recent posts have had me thinking a lot about my horseback riding days. Today, I found out that one of my favourite horses from my riding school--Queenie--has ridden on to the great pasture in the sky. She was quite old, 30-something, but the news still made me sad.

Queenie was an average-size horse, all chestnut brown. She was the most uncomfortable horse I have ever ridden, but she was also lovely as far as temperament. Most of the time, I felt like all I had to do was think about what I wanted her to do next and she did it perfectly.

I miss riding, but unfortunately it is an extremely expensive hobby. I started riding at age 2 with Anorexic Auntie, and started lessons at age 3. Once upon a time, I had wild aspirations of riding for Ireland in the Olympics (I really wanted the green riding jacket), but that died away as I headed into my teens and got bored of riding round in circles jumping over sticks. I really wanted to ride into battle, or failing that, learn how to joust.

Horses are the most likely reason for the vertigo, according to my old doctor. Riding that much for that many years, you lose count of how many times you fall off or get thrown off. I had one horse (ironically, named Mephistopheles) who threw me into a triple bar and then five minutes later hurled me off his back with such force that I was knocked out cold upon landing. This is the reason we make sure to wear the funny-looking helmets. This is also the reason Mumsy would not stay and watch my lessons.

By the end of high school I had given up lessons and instead rode for free, exercising the privately-owned horses whose owners didn't have time to ride every day. The retired racehorses were the best. They were completely mental and wouldn't listen to any commands at all, but boy could they move.

We used to have two retired racehorses at my late stepfather's farm. "Un-rideable," I was told. (Guess who frequently got in trouble for riding them?)

I have a soft spot for wild/insane horses. Perhaps because I understand their frustration.

Locked in a cage and left with a mind that remembers a time when they would have run free in open wilderness--a thing they never actually experienced and never will.

So here's to Queenie, who finally gets to run free.


  1. I have never been on a horse, but I admire anyone with the patience, bravery, and love to do it. I'm so sorry about Queenie!

  2. i wondered what happened to you! (not that only just about a few days ago that i've risen from the dead in the blogging world.) i was going to send you a message but i kept on forgetting about it (i know, it's sucky, isn't it?)

    i'm so sorry to hear about Queenie. it's nice to hear some memories from her, even if some tragic event spurred this on. i never quite knew that you were into riding.

    your lessons sounded legit. the most exciting thing that happened to me with Zumba was that a speaker nearly once fell on me and killed me.

    i didn't know you had so many memories related to riding school. it's quite refreshing to see this side of you, and like i said before, i'm sorry about Queenie. <3

    i hope you're alright. i love you and have been worrying about you recently.

    take care, my beauty. i still smile when i see THE BURROW. it really is a work of art. thank you so much.

    i'd reread this comment but i'm so tired but i really hope i didn't say anything offensive. <3

    -Sam Lupin

  3. I am terrified of horses. They are so unruly. You can never really trust something with teeth that size and hoofs. I have been on a horse twice in my life and both times they freaked out and went mental. My sister? She loves them and owns 3 of them. One is coming up to 30 years old and it is mean as hell. My sister is the only one that can go near it without it going beserk.

  4. Sorry to hear about Queenie, but I bet her time with people like you made it all worthwhile for her. Being able to silently bond with an animal like that is magical. I've only been horseback riding once, but it was unreal. They really do read you and pick up on your intentions.

    We both hope you're doing well, and do want to reiterate that if you need anyone to talk to/gripe at, we're here for you.

  5. yay anon comments are back on!

    HOLY SHIT THAT TRIPLE BAR THING IS INSANE!!! You jumped a horse over those? You're crazy, woman.

    Sorry about Queenie. Hope you're alright. I notice you deleted the last post...

  6. I've never rode a horse ever

  7. I LOVE horses!! I would love to ride again!

  8. (Bows head in respect for Queenie)

  9. As Dave Barry once said, "I don't trust any animal whose feet are made out of the same material as bowling balls."

    That said, I'm sorry about your Queenie. (Bowling ball feet or not.)

    1. Oh, Mich I love seeing you back and I love this entry!

      I won't go in to my whole history of horses, suffice to say it began with Shetland ponies, stubborn beasties that they are, at 7 years old, I guess parents think because they are little, they are good for kids....well, we kept them at a ranch we owned with friends only problem, we only got to go there in summer, a friend fed them hay in winter, (I still really question this practice), but then I got "Vandy" the horse love of my life, when I was 13, still at the ranch, a lovely little "wild thing", she loved to play at not being caught, but once caught, was adorable and probably my best memory (A pic of a horse looking so much like her on my FB), she was my best horse ever. In HS, I took hunt seat and jumping lessons,i loved it soooooo much, my frenimy had her own horse at the same stable, rode whenever she wanted, showed, got what I wanted, you get the pic..........later on in life, I actually got my own horse at a stable....poor boy, lasted 10 months, yes I had him vetted, actually he ended up with navicular disease and I had to basically give him luck with riding, which I love soooo much...maybe when I lose 30 lbs, I will look in to you! So happy to see you back! <3

    2. Bless Queenie and the Green Jacket didn't I see many of those at this year's Olympic's?

  10. Sad to hear about Queenie. I think there's a story there. One you should write.

  11. I'm sorry about Queenie. I imagine my old riding horse, Goldie, is also gone. I remember holding her back on the trail until everyone else had gotten way ahead and then I would get her to run...ah, bliss.

    To Queenie and Goldie, two very good horses we miss.

  12. Sorry to read about Queenie Mich
    That is sad indeed
    I'm also sorry that I haven't been around much
    Horsemanship is kicking my ass
    And I am barely getting through the day
    But I am here
    And I still have to send your card
    Keep well and try to stay sane

    Love x

  13. Here's to Queenie. I've always been interested in riding horses but never knew anywhere near me that offered lessons. I recently found a place but, like you said, it's expensive. I do love horses though. Much like yourself I'd rather be riding one into battle or jousting but what can you do? Just have to make the best of what you have.

    1. Mich......I am really worried about you. I hope you are okay and just taking a rest from everything////love you lots!

    2. i really miss you Mich and am very concerned. I hope you are okay and just "taking a break" but that thought is just for my own comfort. Love you so much !!!! xoxo

    3. I'm here. I just don't really have anything to say, so yeah I guess you could call it taking a break. :/


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.