Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Horse and Surf
With summer's warm rays glistening on Australia's shore, Bob and I have found ourselves obligated to enjoy it. A few weekends ago we drove an hour north to our faithful campsite in Glenworth Valley. At the ranch, I had a horseback riding lesson from a well versed, sun-darkened Australian woman.
The unfortunate horse was called Ranger and as he trotted and cantered about the ring, my instructor yelled out a hundred different directions, "Mind your diagonals, push in with the leading rein, sit two beats, use your calves not your knees, watch the transition, don't bend your wrist when your doing a one-handed handstand at a gallop," etc. Instructions flew at such a torrent I was nearly swept away by her verbal cues.
As I bounced about the ring I couldn't help but wonder if she realized all I was trying to do was not fall off.
Bob watched my lesson with keen amusement, and, when I dismounted and led Ranger out of the ring he met me with a smirk, "Congratulations Allie, you just survived a lesson with the horse nazi." Indeed I had.
We camped in a nearby field where a loan wallaby coyly observed our making of a campfire. I'm sure his beady little eyes were trying to see how we made fire.
The next day we woke up to laughing kookaburras and a dew dappled tent. I walked to a nearby field and watched the ranch hands round up the horses from their night's grazing. No wimpy cowboys on ponys rounding up this lot. Oh no. In Australia, well, in an hour north of Sydney, real jackaroos round up horses on motorcycles.
After the round up Bob and I continued north and spent the day surfing along the sandy shores of Umina beach. Yes, December in Australia is to be much enjoyed.