Monday, October 27, 2008

Notes From a Natural Athlete

Funniest quotation of the day before:
“Riding a horse is easy.”
(Said by Eric, who doesn’t ride, and wasn’t going with us.)

When someone invites you to drive halfway to Yosemite to go play polo, the rule is that you have to say yes. More importantly, you also have to bring K-poo Weak Hands along. Does it matter that you haven’t been on a horse in almost 30 years? Or that you weren’t all that great a rider to begin with? Actually, yes, it does matter. But caution is for wusses (like all the people who didn’t go with us).

Failure #1: Google maps almost got us there. We knew we were within ½ mile of the place, but we couldn’t find the final turnoff (Lon Dale Road).
Failure #2: K-poo felt that we should have been able to find the stables just by looking for the large British flags that should have been flying in order to announce the presence of Princes William and Harry. However, it turns out they are riding dirt bikes in Africa, and were unable to attend.

We finally called Eric and he was able to tell us that on Yahoo maps, Lon Dale seemed to parallel Hwy 120. We turned down the road labeled “Frontage Road” and lo and behold, the mailboxes were labeled Lon Dale.

Prior to riding:
Me: “We’re going to die.”
K-poo: “We’re not going to die.”

Less than 15 minutes later K-poo was on the ground with a bruise forming on her tailbone and dirt embedded between her teeth, trying to decide if she could move her toes.

Technically she didn’t fall off, she just executed an emergency dismount at high speeds. I have to say, her form was excellent as her horse was running away with her the entire length of the arena. I lost sight of her when the two of them flew through the open gate, and thus I missed the photo opportunity of the year.

I’m still not sure how she managed to hit both sides of her body when she landed. Luckily, she was okay, and the only permanent damage was the top button of her jeans.

Rules of polo:
Okay, I actually don’t know any of the rules of polo, but apparently the main way to keep the ball away from your opponent is to use your horse to push his horse out of the way. I’m thinking alcohol must have been involved at some point. The only other rule I know is that they have to wear white pants, which is just stupid for a sport played on horseback in the dirt.

Helpful question of the day: “Would you like a sand wedge instead of the mallet?” I think Heeder was trying to be funny after I missed the ball and hit the dirt for the third time in a row. Oh yes, very funny. Ha ha.

Funniest quotation of the day: “You’re a natural athlete.” This from Mike, the owner of the horses, to me, of all people. I can honestly say that nobody has ever told me that in the last forty years. However, I suspect Mike says this to a number of people. He’s a nice guy, and he’s trying to get people interested in a dirty, expensive, dangerous sport – perhaps a little fudging of the facts is necessary.

Anyhow, we had a great time. Everyone was super nice (except for Spawn of Satan who ran away with K-poo), and I highly recommend that everyone go try this. Especially Eric.

Oh, and Eric, I know the perfect horse for you…


Karen said...

Where are the pics of the natural athlete?

Medical Update:
Three days later I can now walk normally and stand on one foot without tailbone pain. Putting on my underwear the past few days was difficult.
I never want to get old.

All in all, I did have a lot of fun.


P.S. I'm doing guitar finger strengthening exercises, so soon it might be KPSH!

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

Karen, way too much information...

The pics are all available on the picassa photo album, but I didn't have time to deal with it all last night. Maybe next post.

jeff said...

Say perhaps, you're tired of the fretboard and you're lounging w/ some sumptuous bacon, you can use this to help with the weak hand problem.

And remember kids, if we learned anything from the '90s: 'horses ≡ evil' (gotta love the congruence operator!)

Theresa, you're not a cougar until Thursday.

jeff said...

phrase of the day: fuite en avant

Apparently the canadians (and french, i suppose) would use that phrase for kpwh as she heads for the wall at break neck/fence post speed.

I don't really know what that means, something about nuclear power and/or prisoner dilemmas, or something.

(Insert tangential non-sequitur here) [BTW: for those that went to public schools because you were a 'over-achiever, really' or because they have a pool, the french and latin referenced here is just to attract the ivory-tower new-yorker reading plebes that think they're better than the rest of us...]

what was I sayin'?

Karen said...

From another blog, so must be true:

"A fuite en avant is something one does when one is in a losing situation, and one hopes to salvage it by doing more of the same or worse, thereby creating a situation in which one hopes people will feel they have to support you."

If someone buys a finger strengthener for me, I'll use it. I don't actually play the guitar, I just sit there trying to strengthen my fingers to a point where I can fully press down a string on the first fret. Its a good diversion from writing notes to myself in UNIX.

I think Theresa is officially a couger on Saturday, right? (Thursday is another sibling and a sibling-in-law's big day)

I just talked to someone for a possible job who stated that his company is run by "a culture of fear." hmmmm.... fuite en avant!

Eric said...

"Doesn't ride"? I have ridden before, I'll have you know.

Be careful of those finger machines. Isn't that how Schumann ruined his hand?