Coming back to work with inciDENTAL horseplay

It’s a great feeling to hop aboard a favorite horse, particularly after a multi-month lay-up. This time, the lay-up was for me, as I recovered from a (non-horse-related) trail run injury. (Here's that story.) But we’re coming back. Today, I enjoyed my second ride, which was nice. 

But there was one little snag.

It’s been a little nippy outside lately, but today was a lovely and unseasonably warm day for February in the Upper Midwest. It was the perfect day for a jaunt in the outdoor arena. (We actually had a very brief ride, as the mare and I both need some midwinter conditioning. But we did OK, while we were at it.)

The mare is a delight. She is sweet and generally gentle (OK, lazy). She’ll give some get-up-and-go, but I usually have to ask for it. (OK, I have to ASK for it.) She puts up with grooming and clipping. She stands for the vet and farrier like a pro. And she takes worming paste like a champ.

But she hates the girth. Cinching up (even gently and gradually) brings out the beast in her.

Can you find it?
We got through all that today without mishap. We strolled out of the barn, down the lane, and into the outdoor arena. I led her in-hand for a quiet lap around the fence line before approaching the mounting block.

Then it happened.

I looped the reins over her head and tugged a little on the saddle to check it before climbing aboard.

Snap. And ouch.

Now I have a rather sore temporary tattoo, shaped like an equine dental impression, in one arm.

The Bible talks about the “wounds of a friend.”  I’m pretty sure that’s not what that means.

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6, NLT)

I should have known better, even with this trusted (and usually trustworthy) horsey friend. And I’m still going back tomorrow for more. It's a fair bet the mare will have horse kisses, rather than bites, next time. Especially if I give her a carrot to chew on, instead of me.

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