For me, being on a horse is a massive feat. Before Adam and I decided to take a ranch job in Nicaragua, I had only been on a horse about five times in my life, with tears flowing during two. So when we took the ranch job, we went to visit Adam’s family in Nebraska where I could learn a bit more about riding horses before heading down to the job. From my brief training, I learned that it is very important to show the horse that you, the rider, are in control. The horse is not the boss. Well, one of the best experiences Adam and I had while working on the ranch in Nicaragua was leading the guests out on these gorgeous three-hour rides through the jungle to a wide-open, sandy beach during low tide where the horses could run up and down a couple of times near the ocean.
The horses were very used to having riders with a variety of skill levels, and took care to be fairly appropriate. However, as a new rider, I think I experienced something a little more exhilarating than Adam—incorporating the sunsets and the waves, sprays of salt water and TOTAL FEAR really made for more of an adventure than I had expected on when we took this job.
Adam, having been given his first horse at birth on departure from the Nebraska hospital, saw the rides as relaxing and nice. I, on the opposite side of the tension spectrum, felt overwhelmed with emotions.
My main target was survival and each and every time the horse slowed down after the run, I felt like I had earned a gold medal of some sort. I like to believe the horses thought I was funny, and they would switch from first gear to fifth, then back to first and go nowhere in between, just to give themselves a horsey chuckle…Let me tell you, without a doubt, no matter who I was riding, the horse was completely in control, not me.
Every guest we led out to the beach was overwhelmed with beauty of the flat sand beach, especially at sunset.
Absolutely amazing experience. I loved riding through the waves and I remember my face hurting from smiling so whole-heartedly. But…my stomach jumps in my throat thinking about doing it ever again. Gulp.