Last weekend we went horseback riding at the Pine Mountain Lake Stables & Equestrian Center. Specifically, we went on a weekend guided trail ride that normally goes for 1.5 - 2.0 hours.
Now I hadn't been on a horse since the sixth grade. And while I barely remember that, I'm pretty sure that adventure didn't last more than maybe half an hour or so. And the weather probably sucked too, as it tended to when the sixth graders went to the Storer Camp up in Michigan.
We had a very experienced guide, nice horses, great weather, and a scenic ride along the 400 acres of riding and hiking trails. It was all quite pleasant except for one not so minor detail.
My. Sore. Ass.
I can appreciate the rustic nature of horseback riding: traveling on an animal through mostly unspoiled wilderness the same way that our forefathers did. It's a very romantic and low-tech sort of thing to do on a beautiful Sunday morning/afternoon (leaving out the moment when my cell phone rang, of course--that was kinda funny).
But what I cannot understand is why on earth the horse saddles are so damned hard!.
Take a cue from the auto industry. Add a bit of foam and fabric to the mix. You don't see Honda or Ford trying to sell cars with hard plastic seats, do you? The 30 year old seats in my little airplane are infinitely more comfortable than a horse saddle!
So after very careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that my body was not build for horseback riding--at least not three hours of it.
Thee hours? Oh, I guess I haven't mentioned the part of the ride (just before the two hour mark) where we ventured off into previously unexplored horse trails across the road. Again, the scenery was great, but I paid for it later. It took a while to find our way back out.
I thought the worst of it was the pain in my rear end, but when it came time to hop down off that horse and resume to walking, I was greeted by a previously unexperienced type of knee pain. It was slow going for a few minutes and then a gradual recovery.
Will I ever go horseback riding again? Probably. But I'll do it for less time and probably bring something to sit on.
Posted by jzawodn at October 09, 2007 07:59 AM