“Whoa Traveler! Slow down!” I pushed my feet hard into the stirrups to brace myself and encourage him to stop. He ignored me for a few more strides before coming to a screeching halt.
I hollered, “Can you please quit watching John Wayne westerns the night before our trail ride? The only things you want to do the next day are jump fences, gallop way too fast, and rear up like you’re the Lone Ranger’s horse.”
“I can’t help it Hay-Woman. I get so excited and imagine it’s me in one of those westerns—in the shootout, catching the bad guys, saving the day, the star of the show.”
“Well, I’m taking that TV I put up in your stall out when we get back.” My threatening tone was clear. This had happened on our last three rides and I’d had enough. I thought back to early in my horsemanship career. A mentor of mine had said, “If your horse is having too much fun, you usually aren’t.”
Between hard breaths, Traveler gushed, “I wish I had been a stunt horse.”
“Oh really?” I tried to hide the sarcasm in my voice. “You know Traveler, those stunt horses did not have an easy life back then. They worked long hours. They weren’t treated very well and were injured regularly from all the stunts they were forced to perform. It wasn’t at all the glamorous life you see in the movies. That’s the edited version.”
He pawed the ground sheepishly. “Wow, I didn’t know.”
“Let compromise.” I dismounted, walked around to his sweaty head and foamy chest, and looked him in the eye. “Next time you want to pretend you are in a western movie, tell me first. We can plan to do a little western movie stuff, but safely. You can be happy, and I can be prepared. You forget you are a 1200-lb animal sometimes.”
“Yeah, and you weigh …”
I cleared my throat loudly to interrupt his comment. “Well, my weight doesn’t matter,”
Traveler nickered softly, then said, “I like this compromising stuff.”
Nodding my head in agreement, I replied, “Just remember Traveler, compromising with others is the right thing to do in your day-to-day life, but never, ever compromise your faith and love in God.”
I walked back to his side, checked the cinch on my saddle to make sure it was snug, and climbed back on. I squeezed his sides hard with my legs and yelled, “Hi ho Silver, away!” Surprised by this unexpected command, Traveler hesitated … but only for a second.
“Okay Hay-Woman, here we goooo!”
Now it was my turn to have some fun!