Monday, July 9, 2012

Montaña Rusa

What were you guys doing 5 days ago?

I, myself, was riding on the back of a majestic steed on the slopes of the Arenal Volcano. I have little-to-no experience with horses, but my horse, Montaña, and I - we were seriously in tune. There we were, separate creatures, moving as one, riding up and down a series of rolling hills and valleys in a rhythm that nearly rocked me to sleep. There was a fairy-like mist encircling us as we peacefully trotted through the lush, green landscape. It was kind of magical.

Then my horse got electrocuted in the face.

We were on the trail, patiently waiting in line behind the other horses, right next to a thin, innocent-looking, wire fence. In this moment of stillness, I decided to take my helmet off to fix my hair. Not the best timing. While all the other horses were smart enough to keep their noses up the horse's butt in front of them, Montaña got curious, turned her damn head, and tried to reach her neck over the fence. The electric fence. All of a sudden my body felt like it was inside of a washing machine and off we went galloping and jumping and spinning into the field. Somehow, after a minute or so, I was able to grab the reigns and tell Montaña to stop. Although I inexplicably managed to stay on top of the wild beast, my face was slammed into the horn of the saddle, my helmet and glasses were thrown to the ground, and my hair looked less-than-fabulous.

From that moment on Montaña turned into Montaña Rusa. (Montaña means "mountain" and Montaña Rusa, while literally meaning "Russian mountain" also [don't ask me why] is the word for "roller coaster" in Spanish.)

She was more-than-a-bit perturbed. For the next several hours she went back and forth from walking... to running.... to stopping bucking and kicking her neighbors - all without warning. Her back legs would suddenly fly out towards whatever horse was near her (without any consideration for the poor, inexperienced gringa riding on top of her.). She kicked one of my students! We had to stop at one point so that the guide could bandage up her bloody shin. It was like I was in the damn rodeo. My thighs were clamped onto that horse's body like a snapping turtle's jaw. My hands were pulsing with soreness from holding on so tight. By the time I finally, FINALLY, got off that beast and was able to relax, my legs and arms felt like jelly. My butt felt like paté.

After the ride we discovered that our program had paid for three extra people and we were unable to get reimbursed. The guide suggested that three people ride a second time since it was already paid for. Ride AGAIN?!? Nope. Never. Someone will have to pay ME - and a significant sum of money at that - to EVER get on top of a horse again. EVER.


  1. OMG, dude. You're like the most amazing cowgirl. I'm lolling all over the ERC right now. It's embarrassing.

    1. Yes! That's the true sign of a good blogpost - making people laugh themselves into embarrassment in public places.