The girls gasped last week when the stable helper said, "I think we'll put you on Braveheart." The brunette twin started talking to her sister in a low, animated voice. I put on a brave face and hoisted myself on the horse.
Within seconds Braveheart tried to buck me off his back. I steeled myself and smiled at the girls, who were asking me if I was okay. They were talking in the fast, high-pitched voice little girls get when they scared.
I looked at the stable helper holding Braveheart and said, "You need to stay very close to me and make sure I don't end up on the ground. Both of our daughters love to ride. If I end up on the ground they will not come back. I will blame you all for ruining their love of horses." The teen stayed close to make sure Braveheart didn't toss me to the ground. I survived, actually had fun and made plans to return.
Today we took my second lesson. The girls are close to double-digits in lessons so they are feeling pretty comfortable now. I am still not comfortable, but I realize that one lesson isn't going to make me a cowboy. I'm willing to put in the time until I feel comfortable. We all had good, mellow horses who are good for beginners.
About 15 minutes into the lesson, Braveheart tossed the young woman on his back to the ground. He then started running around the horse ring scaring the other horses. He ran directly towards the blond twin's horse. She started crying and shrieked. You could see the terror in her eyes. It took about ten more minutes before the stable helpers got Braveheart under control. During that time we all stood near the ring walls. I kept talking to the blond twin. She kept crying.
The woman who was thrown got right back on Braveheart. I don't think she really wanted to, but the class leaders kept saying, "It's ok. If you ride you'll eventually fall. You're getting back on Braveheart, right?"
After class the blond twin just broke down. She made it through the class, but she didn't look happy. She cried a lot on the way home and for a while after we arrived home. She wants to go back, but only because I promised that none of us will ever ride Braveheart again. I mean we'll come back to another class if Braveheart is the only horse available.
I don't need to see him throw anyone else to know that I don't want out girls on Braveheart. It's not even something we'll discuss. The blond twin made me pinky swear. And you know you never break a pinky swear.