Bareback Riding

Above image copyright to Free Horse Graphics http://www.cartoonclipartworld.com

We’d been back in town for a couple of years when Ben asked if I’d like to spend the weekend at his place. I’d known Ben but a short while, but had noted he had a very cute sister. Even before I’d had time to think about it I blurted out a quick “yes!”

Ben dropped by our house after school on Friday afternoon to check and see I’d worked things out with my parents, and to assure them it was OK with his. All having been cleared I strapped my clothes onto the bicycle carrier for the weekend and we were off on the 8 kilometre (5 miles) ride to Ben’s home.

Our destination was located just out of town on Chatsworth Road, and their home nestled on a hill overlooking farmland. This was prime dairy country. It was good to be back on a farm again. I remembered many pleasant hours trekking over our own properties checking out wildlife and pausing to feast on the bounties of fruit trees in season. It seemed like a distant memory even though only two years had passed since we’d lived on our rural properties. I was on a nostalgia trip. This was going to be a great weekend!

Ben’s sister came bounding out to meet him as we noisily approached on the gravel path way to their front door and my early-teen heart went into overdrive. She gave me a shy courteous nod of the head as we parked our bicycles in the shed and picked up our backpacks to take inside.

Ben’s parents were noted for their hospitality and I was soon invited into the kitchen to sample Ben’s Mom’s famous cookies freshly prepared for the weekend. I was effusive in my praise and noted the approving nod from cute sister as I acknowledged all the good things around me. I liked the house, Ben’s Mom was the best cook ever, and I liked farms. Ben’s Mom eyed me with curiosity as I held forth, and noted my frequent glances in the direction of her daughter. She turned toward the cooking range with a knowing smile.

I became aware that Ben had also noted my interest in impressing Sis. At first he looked surprised, and then troubled. He’d not known me for long and began to do a more careful assessment of my character and intentions. To get me out of the house for further investigations he asked if I had any interest in horse riding. Horse riding! Pleasant memories flooded into consciousness of my excursions on the back of Flicker (see one of my early blogs) and I eagerly accepted.

“Can I go riding too Mom?” Sis looked positively radiant as she thought of a race around the property on her favourite steed.

Ben frowned. “I think you should be helping Mom prepare for the weekend,” he said sharply.

Mom suppressed a giggle. “It’s OK Ben, I’m all finished here and I know you’ll take good care of your sister, won’t you?”

Ben led the way to the barn looking cross, and then a great light dawned on him. “We only have two saddles Sis, so you won’t be able to come this time.”

Now was my chance to make that lasting impression on Sis. “It’s OK Ben I won’t need a saddle.”

Ben eyed me doubtfully. “Are you sure?”

Now at this point I want to make it clear I’d ridden horses bareback, as we called riding without a saddle, quite frequently on our properties, but that was of course two years previous.

Ben fitted saddles for he and Sis on two horses and selected a short fat horse for me to ride.

For those of you who’ve not spent a lifetime on the back of a horse it would be helpful to know unless you’ve spent your life on a horse legs don’t have the appropriate bow to lock them into place while riding bareback. My old friend Flicker was a lean and mean horse and my young legs had been quite able to clamp on Flicker sufficiently to survive a gallop. But this was a rather plump horse so my legs protruded outward and refused to encircle the horse’s girth.

Another thing to keep in mind is riding a horse bareback requires a good deal of strong padding in the nether regions. Mine had become weakened by two years of sedentary town living.

I’m sure all this entered Ben’s mind as he took off at a rapid clip with Sis in hot pursuit. What could I do? The one I was so desperate to impress was right there as a witness and the horror about to unfold would have to be endured.

So with superhuman effort I worked my heel around that plump horse to give it a nudge on the starter button and we were off in hot pursuit of the two ahead.

To this day I have no idea how I stayed on that horse, but was aware of a rhythmic jarring, and a hammering of the padding on my nether regions as we galloped around the property.

To his credit I have to say Ben looked sympathetic when we eventually found our way back to the barn at supper time, but Sis could barely be revived from her almost hysterical laughter as I slipped painfully off my plump steed.

Sitting down to supper was a painful ordeal and it was a relief to be eventually released to the bedroom for merciful rest. The next two days were painful reminders of my bareback ride, and Sis compounded my misery by asking frequently if I’d like to go horse riding again. This was always accompanied by dancing eyes and a giggle.

My humiliation complete I headed back home Sunday evening after being waved off by the family and making sure I made infrequent connections with the bicycle seat. While we remained friends until the family moved to another city Ben never invited me to his home again, and I no longer dreamed of Sis.

“© Copyright Ian Grice 2012, all rights reserved”

6 Comments Add yours

  1. lostupabove says:

    Boys, oh boy!

    Like

    1. Fairly easy to see through us isn’t it? lol.

      Like

  2. Clement says:

    Never really tried riding a horse bareback and don’t think I would. This story reminds me of one of my seniors in school wayback who taught me how to approach a girl. I memorised all the senior asked me to say and upon meeting the girl I smiled and just blurted out all I have memorised and the girl who apparentely was not following what was been said replied ‘come again’ and I couldn’t remember a word of what I had so loboriously memorised!

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    1. Now that would really have been a problem Clement. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Like

  3. Yes he did…very effectively! LOL

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  4. Eric Alagan says:

    Yup, we always do what mother says…and Ben did what his mother said > took care of Sis. 🙂

    Like

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