After only a few lessons I began trail riding and exercising other people’s horses. One Christmas, mum had wrapped up a saddle, bridle and brush set. I was so excited and hoped to find a horse in the garage…but there was no horse. Mum decided that I needed my own stuff as I had been exercising a lady's horse and mum had to drive me to pick up the gear every day. So, I had my own gear, was riding other people's horses, and having a great time. The horses I rode were the craziest of crazy. Bolters, rearers, buckers, you name it. But I kept riding. Actually, now I think of it I didn't really fall off. The only time I fell off was one horse who was terrified of the bush. As soon as you got near the bush he would dump you and run off.
So, when I was a teenager, mum met a man who had horses and she decided to let me have a horse too. We had a Standardbred given to us through the rehoming program. Rambo is what I called him. A 15.2 chestnut gelding. That horse was the best horse I ever had. I could ride him anywhere and he wasn't afraid. His only downfall was you couldn't catch the bugger. I rode that horse all over the place. Through McDonalds drive through, down the main roads of town etc and through all the neighbourhoods. Then I discovered boys. I lost interest in Rambo and my folks sold him to a man and with the money I bought my very first car. I heard Rambo went crazy on the man. As a young girl, I didn't really have any concern about what happened to the horse. As an adult, I now think back and wish I kept Rambo.
As I have grown older, I have become more and more conscious of falling off and getting hurt and not bouncing back like we used to. Being old means you have responsibilities. Mortgages, personal loans, kids, partners, all relying on you to have an income and without an income, what happens then? It’s always in the back of my mind that if I fall off and hurt myself enough to become incapacitated, what then? Am I the only one that makes every excuse under the sun to not ride? It’s too hot. It’s too cold. I have to go and do ‘this’ as it’s more important.
I know this is how most of us feel as adults. But I always kept riding Nav. I bought a few horses over the years to try and find another Nav but no horse ever was up to his standards. I call myself the lazy rider because I have this horse in the paddock that I ride once every now and then and feel safe doing that. I am the lazy rider because I see the leaves blowing a bit and think 'ahh it's too windy it might spook the horse and I might fall off'. Even though we know Nav won't spook. I am the lazy rider because I will make every excuse under the sun not to ride. This is my story, and I no doubt will have many stories of my misadventures to tell you in the future. I love riding, I love horses. But I am the lazy rider.
Navajo 'Nav' Atsili is a 14.3 appaloosa gelding. He was purchased from the sales at Camden six years ago and is one versatile little horse. He suffers from claustrophobia, impatience and stubbornness but his owner, editor The Lazy Rider, loves him to bits regardless.