There is no doubt in my mind that my spouse would do anything for me. After a day of looking through all our financial stuff and balancing 5 check books and paying the bills Charlie was brain dead. Neither of us were in mood to cook so we went out. I found some grilled veggies for me and sweet and sour chicken dinner special for him. As we were driving home he said “is there anything else you need done tonight cuz I just want to go to sleep”.”Yes, there is one more thing tonight. I want to saddle up one of horses and get on.”
We pulled into the driveway as the beautiful sunset colors were escaping from the sky. He caught up the horses, brushed them and checked their hooves. I wanted to try a saddle I purchased about five years ago and never put on a horse. I didn’t remember the cinch was missing and the stirrup length was messed up and heck didn’t even know it did not fit my horse at all. Once I saw that and looked at Charlie’s exhausted face I pleaded “I really want to get on tonight”. By that time the colors had completely faded from the horizon and the big light on the back of the shop came on to illuminate the scene. “Ok, let’s do this thing” he said. I took the cinch off the saddle and placed it back on the saddle I had taken it from, an intact saddle that I had used on this horse for years. Positioning the mounting block perfectly and with Charlie tightly holding the reins, I put my foot in the stirrup, grabbed a hunk of mane and sprung up swinging my bad right leg over the cantle and down where it automatically found the stirrup and slipped in. Muscle memory! I had made this same maneuver thousands of times over my years riding.
I rode around our little dry lot for maybe 10 minutes max. I was so excited to be on the back of this mare I purchased 19 years ago as a weanling. She responded to my leg pressures to move forward, turn and back. She remembered these cues. It’s been several years since she’s been ridden. It felt good, natural, like I belonged on the back of this shiney mare.
Charlie helped me get off. It was easier than I expected and he made sure I didn’t get hung up where I dismounted. We worked together to get the saddle put away. As he locked up the shop I headed for the house, Thinking…tonight of all nights, I had a whim to get on a horse. And this tired guy made it happen.