Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Childhood Memory # 1 - The safe way to ride a horse.

When I was a child my safety was important to me. I went to great lengths to not get hurt. Looking back now, I wonder what exactly the thought process was behind some of my actions. This is the story of one of those times.
Now, I haven’t seen one in a long time, but I’m sure you all remember the mechanical horses that used to be in Wal-Mart. Maybe your Wal-Mart still has the horse. Either way, you know the one I’m talking about. Front legs stretched out in front and back legs stretched out in back. It had a saddle on its back and a crazed look in its eye. Yeah, that’s the one. In my store the horse was on the inside of the store along the wall across from the check-outs. You couldn’t help but pass it on your way to the doors. Like every other kid I would stop and ask for a quarter and if mom wouldn’t fork it over, then grandma usually would. Now, most kids would probably just hop right on, put their feet in the stirrups, throw the quarter in, and ride, but not me. I took a more cautious approach. First, when I sat on the horse I didn’t sit with one leg on either side like you were supposed to. What if something happened? What if the horse went crazy and I needed to jump off? I can’t jump if my feet are all tangled in the stirrups can I? Nope. I had to sit on it sideways. One hand on the reins and one hand on the back of the saddle. It was safer that way. That wasn‘t the only precaution I took. Remember when you would put your money in and the horse would come to life with a quick jolt before getting into a nice rhythm? Well, I didn’t like that jolt. I could just imagine me losing my grip and falling backwards of the horse. (Because of the way I was sitting.) So what I would do is I would put the money into the machine, wait for the horse to start, and then once it was moving I would climb onto, sitting sideways the way I described above.
Of course, now I realize that my way of riding the horse was much more dangerous than the normal way. What I want know is what my mother was doing while I was wrestling with the horse. I plan on asking her the next time I see her.
Well, that’s all I have for today. I hope you found it a little more interesting than my other posts. See ya tomorrow.

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