When I was about two or three years old my father used to take me riding at a barn in Danbury, Conn. I don’t know what possessed him to do this — my father is NOT an equestrian by an stretch of the imagination. Maybe I begged. I’m sure that later he wished he had not started me off on my riding career.
It was a place that rented out horses by the hour. Horses decked out in old Western saddles and with no supervision.
I clearly remember the day that my horse decided to trot. To me, it must have been like a wild gallop as I had never gone faster than a walk. I have a vivid memory of slipping down the side of that horse inch by inch. I was holding on for dear life but with no avail. I remember the smoothness of the horse’s shoulder, how the reins bounced on his neck, the smell of horse as I slid down his side, and then landing in the grass. I wasn’t hurt and I don’t remember being scared; just surprised.
Thinking back, I’m surprised that ever wanted to get on a horse again.
I still drive by the place where that horse farm was located. Years ago the barn was pulled down and a church was built in its place. It’s a lot more manicured than when I rode their 48 years ago, but I always glance over at it when I drive by, remembering that moment. Somewhere I know my mother has a photo of me riding there. I’ll have to get her to send it to me so I can add it here.