I’d been wanting to take a horseback tour of Gettysburg for well over a year, and yesterday Jamie and I decided to do it. So we booked time at Artillery Ridge in Gettysburg and headed up to the historic battlefield.
I admit I was a little nervous about getting on the horse because I hadn’t been on one since the trip Ken, Josh, Jeanine, and I took to Virginia back in 2000. But it was something I really wanted to do, so I pushed the nervousness away. Everyone who had just come back from their one hour tour seemed happy and commented that it was fun and well worth it.
My horse’s name was Misty. Misty – lilting, flowing, graceful – my images of what a horse named Misty should be.
We were given a full set if instructions – how to mount, how to dismount, how to hold the reigns, keep 3 to 4 feet between your horse and the horse in front of you, and don’t let your horse eat grass.
Okay. We’re ready to hit the trail.
Shortly into the ride, Misty decided she wasn’t going to let me take any more pictures. It seemed that each time I reached for my camera, she would jerk her head down, making it impossible for me to not hold onto the reigns with both hands. Then, the little bugger decided she was going to go off the path and eat the grass regardless of me pulling left on the reign as I was instructed to do.
This went on for the entire hour. She went off the path three separate times to eat and then had such a problem with a fly on her belly that the guide had us stop so he could dismount and spray something all over Misty to get the flies to stay away. Misty was not living up to what I had expected.
Of course, Jamie’s horse, Chip was the model horse – calm, obeying, nice and easy.
The other couple on the tour talked and talked and talked and had a great time, both of them experienced riders.
When we got back to the stable I mentioned that Misty had been a little feisty. The woman said that sometimes horses test the riders, and man, did I get tested. What was supposed to be a fun time was more work than what I had planned. I felt I was constantly fighting with Misty to keep her on the trail and away from the grass. I couldn’t take any pictures from the trail. And my shoulders were aching from the constant jerking of her head pulling on the reigns.
Maybe another time, another horse … who knows …
See you around, Misty.