November 2 2005, 6:46 PM
It's going to be a long five weeks. Last week, I broke my ankle. It's a dumb story but feel free to read it and weep. Or laugh. Actually, you'll probably laugh until you cry. I am on crutches for a few weeks and I'll have a walking cast for at least a couple more weeks after that. So last weekend, I did what any sane, totally practical woman on a freelance writer's budget should do. I bought a horse. Sound a bit like I've been dipping too deeply into the pain meds? No, I swear it really does make sense. And I have 5280 to thank for it. You see, I've been riding since I was a kid. But like many girls-in-love-with-horses, I hit my terrible teens and became enamored with things like boys and cars. Then it was college, then it was career. I've ridden here and there all along, exercising friends' horses, taking lessons, and doing whatever I can to stay at least a little involved. Then, last spring, I wrote a short piece for the magazine on EquiBalance in Boulder, a studio that specializes in Pilates exercises for equestrians. I watched the instructor, Julie Leiken, teach a few studio classes, and also watched her teach a few horseback riding classes with her EquiBalance students. That did it. I've been back in the saddle two or three times a week ever since. Naturally, after many months of riding school horses (and a borrowed Arabian mare that I can ride on my own in Boulder) I wanted my own. Both of the school horses I ride are fine -- in fact, they are great horses. But still. A gal wants to have her own damn pony after a while. And as luck would have it, I found the perfect horse. I wanted to be sure, so I looked around for two months, tried a half-dozen other possible mounts, and finally decided he was the horse for me. And then... I broke my ankle. Was I patient, and willing to wait it out, taking a chance on losing my "perfect" horse? Hell no. I am from the instant gratification, ADD generation. I can't ride him, but I am now the proud owner of a lovely gelding named Granite, who will remain boarded in Fort Collins at a nice little family-owned boarding stable until I am healed. I'll move him closer to Denver once I can actually start riding him. And until then, he's in the good care of a kind CSU student who will continue to ride him while I'm laid up. Let's just hope she doesn't get sidetracked by boys, cars, college, etc. before then. In the meantime, if there are any horsey folks out there with boarding stable recommendations, I'd love to hear from you.