Saddle Up. July 3.

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.

Published by Carol Clupny, author Ultreia Books

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, will be published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage.

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