Christmas was lovely. And wonderful. And full of happy. And lovingness. And food. And food. There was food. And food.
I’m fairly sure I’ll be sharing my family’s Christmas munchies with you over the next few days, but seeing as I just finished eating rather a lot of leftovers (my wheat-free vegan chestnut stuffing was even better cold than warm) and my tummy feels like galumph, I thought I’d start the Christmas posts with a story about the present I gave my brother.
I gave him a Trail Ride.
When my brother, E.TeacherLord, and I were driving to Barwon Heads for our SeaChange lunch a few weeks ago, I discovered that he had never before ridden a horse. I did a semester of riding when I was 12 years old, and I’ve harboured a secret desire to be a Horse Person ever since.
(But I promise you, I was thinking only of my brother when I booked a trail ride for us at a local riding school in Canberra.
Cross my heart.)
I think the above photo captured the precise moment when my brother started to wish he was a Horse Person too.
Actually, maybe he just wants to be a cowboy. With a lasso, a saloon to go to afterwards, and a wench to bring him a flagon of ale. (Do cowboys drink flagons of ale? Do flagons of ale exist? Signed, the girl who drinks mineral water.)
I, on the other hand, was simply blurrily excited about getting back on a horsie for the first time in over ten years.
My horse was called Pokey. He was a real gentleman, and I completely understood his need to grab at food whenever the opportunity presented itself. If I were a horse, I’d rather stop and eat grass than carry me around too.
As you can see, I got on my horse with grace and style. Just so you know, that girl was only helping me up because she wanted to learn my magic horse-riding tricks, not because she had to tell me what to do with my legs. Yep.
However, someone probably should have told my brother what to do with his legs. You see, after I and two other people had got on our steeds, it was my brother’s turn to mount.
Stories differ, but all I know is this: I and the other two people got on our horses smoothly and with a minimum of fuss, but my brother? When he got on his horse, he managed to give the creature a swift and hearty kick to the flanks which led the horse to do some sort of crazy-big all-four-legs-in-the-air-at-once forward-jump-almost-buck. The two young girls leading our trail ride yelped, Evan yelped, the horse skittered, and I laughed.
Oh, how I laughed.
My brother, bless his handsome face, has always been a bit of an attention seeker.
(I think it’s the American in him. Swish! I jest, Americans. You know I love you.)
The trail ride was an hour of wonderment, and I hope I’m not speaking out of turn when I say that E.TeacherLord and I both enjoyed ourselves muchly. We did differ when it came to trotting, though, as I ecstatically cried “yes!” every time we were asked if we wanted to trot, and my brother was conspicuously silent on the matter.
For me, those brief moments when our horses sped up, when my decade-old lessons came back to me and I was able to be in sync with my horse’s movements, when the air swept past my face and my horse didn’t stop to snatch at the leaves of trees, were utterly wonderful. Embarrassingly enough, I wouldn’t be lying if I said that I beamed and even laughed aloud during these moments, but even that was nothing to the yayness of knowing my brother was enjoying the horse-riding experience too.
After all, he was on a horse.
Merry Christmas, E. Next time, we gallop like the wind.