Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The place where FarmWife took me to die

This is an article about the place where FarmWife took me to die . . . and where I didn't die, after all, but only nearly did. FarmWife says it's an article about how she defused a difficult situation and turned it into a calming lesson, but I say 'pphhhhlllbbtttt!' to that sort of psychobabble.

FarmWife took me for a ride yesterday—our first ride in ten days—and I was all edgy vigilance from the get go. I was certain something was going to kill me from the moment we started off, and I was hyper-attuned to my surroundings for the entire ride. Jittery. Not just "fixating on my own shadow" jittery, which I often am, but "clattering around like a hyperactive clog dancer" jittery, which I rarely am. I am too lazy, usually. I was so jittery that I nearly exploded from terror a couple of times—when I saw a leaf fall from a tree, and when there was suddenly a boulder where I didn't remember there having been a boulder, and when the grass touched my knee while I walked.

I was sure the road was going to kill me, and then we got to the corner where I saw a motorcycle (I was sure it would kill me) and some gravel (I was sure it would kill me) and a gate (I was sure it would kill me, or if not then at least maim me and leave me bleeding in the lane). We got to the pipeline trail, which is usually one of my favorite places, and I was so jittery that my nervous energy—enough to power New York City for a day and a half—was travelling through FarmWife's seat into her spine and up into her jaw which was clenched tightly enough to give her the beginnings of a headache. Realizing, in a moment of self-awareness, that her own tension was escalating, she dismounted. She untied my mecate and made it into a lungeline of sorts, and she grabbed a supple limb off a nearby tree. She lunged me right there in the waving fronds of grass at trailside for a full eon, I think. (I lose track of time when I'm exercising—she says ten minutes, maybe fifteen.) She lunged me, and had me walk and trot and whoa and reverse and walk and whoa and reverse and she KEPT MAKING ME WORK EVEN WHEN THERE WAS A TERRIBLE TERRIBLE DEER ON THE KNOLL!! I saw it while I was working and I nearly died of it right there but FarmWife said, "don't freak out, just trot!" and so I trotted and survived, but barely. We did that until I was out of breath and slightly less worried about my surroundings, and then she remounted and rode home. Our nerves were not so jangly on the downhill journey.

I will forever remember that place as the place of being lunged until I was out of breath, but FarmWife says that's better than remembering it as the place where I killed both my rider and myself. FarmWife is glad that I got some exercise, and that I now know that being an idiot means fifteen minutes of trotting in circles, and that she wasn't thrown from the saddle and broken. I, for one, am glad we didn't die (though I do believe we nearly did).


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