Friday, March 19, 2010
When I was four years old I was at a carnival, and one of the attractions was a carousel with real horses. They were tied to a large metal wheel that allowed them to walk in a circle with a radius of about 20 feet. Somehow, my horse discovered that he was not tied tightly enough to the device, and he broke free. A few years later, I was on a vacation with my parents, and we went for a horseback ride with a long line of horses. My parents were nervous about me, and decided to take multiple precautions for my safety. Instead of a horse, I rode a mule. Furthermore, my mule was tied to the leader’s horse. My parents believed that a mule would be much more surefooted than a horse, and that nothing could go wrong if I were tied to the leader. As it turned out, the mule was just as surefooted as they had thought, but the leader’s horse got spooked by something, and started running around uncontrollably, and my mule had no choice but to follow.
Ultimately, the only unifying theme in all of my horseback riding experiences is that I have never fallen off a horse, or gotten injured while riding one. Horses and ice seem to have opposite effects on me. I wonder what would happen if I rode a horse on ice. Perhaps it would be like tying butter-side-up toast to the top of a cat: The bread always falls butter-side-down, but the cat always lands on its feet. Maybe the universe would implode.