Saturday, March 28, 2009

"High School Rodeo: The Musical"

Act I
Scene: Saturday morning. Riding arena at Cornerstone Equestrian Center. Cindy is giving a lesson on the longe line to Marcie, a nervous adult rider. As Cindy coaxes the trusty lesson horse, Ringo, into a jog, Marcie begins to fret.

Marcie: "I'm so afraid of falling off!"
Cindy: "Marcie, you're fine. Just relax your knee and step down into your heels. And think of sitting in the saddle rather than on the saddle."
Marcie (again): "But what if I fall off?"
Cindy: "Fall off of Ringo? That's not going to happen. Well, not unless you suffer a seizure. Then you might fall off. Slowly."

Song: Put a Pillow Between Me and the Ground

Act II
Scene: Saturday afternoon. Parking lot of Cornerstone Equestrian Center. Cindy and Sue are discussing tomorrow's jumping clinic. Three of Cindy's students and one of Sue's are riding in the clinic.

Sue: "I think they'll all be fine."
Cindy: "But they're so hung up on being perfect. I keep trying to explain to them that a clinic is an opportunity to learn something new."
Sue: "Yeah, look at the clinics you and I have ridden in."
Cindy: "Yeah. George Morris, Anne Kursinski, Kathy Kusner, Greg Best. We've been humiliated by them all. Why should our students miss out on the experience?"

Song: Sometimes Being Bad is a Good Thing

Scene: Two hours later. The riding arena at El Ranchito, home of Cindy's parents. Cindy has Wally tacked up and is about to longe him. Jill, Cindy's sister, is sitting aboard her horse, Topper.

Jill: "How long are you going to longe him?"
Cindy: "Oh, only for a few minutes. But you might want to ride over there (gestures) and stand in the corner. I'm warning you: Wally always bucks like a bronc when he's longed with the saddle on. He was like that when I bought him, and I can't break him of the habit."
Jill (discreetly riding out of Wally's striking range): "Well, I wouldn't blame him this time. He's been layed up a long time. How long has it been since he's had a saddle on?"
Cindy: "It's been three weeks to be exact. But he's sound now, and the vet said I could ride him in the soft footing."
(Cindy begins to longe Wally. The horse breaks into a bucking, kicking, tail flipping frenzy. With each buck he emits an odd high-pitched sound that's half scream/half grunt)
Jill: "Oh my God! He's bucking like a high school rodeo horse!"
Cindy (laughing): "Isn't he just the silliest thing?"
Jill: "Well, besides looking like a big red elephant trying to buck, he sounds like the neighbor's burro."

Song: Wally's Lament

Act IV
Scene: Saturday evening. Cindy's neighborhood. She's riding down the trail on Joey, her new three-year-old Paint gelding. They approach a house that's for sale, complete with a bunch of Open House signs.

Cindy (to Joey): "You're such a good boy. You walked right past the real estate signs and all the little red flags. You're a very brave little man."

Song: Joey Put on his Big Boy Pants
Chorus joins in on refrain. Cast takes stage; bow; curtain

The End

Hope you enjoyed a fanciful recounting of my day. Please feel free to leave your thoughts (or critiques) by clicking on "comments" below.
On March 31 my blog will be moving to the homepage of Horse Channel ( and you can access it there!


Anonymous said...

What an entertaining blog, Cindy. I loved the format! It was such a nice way to start my day. I can definitely relate to some of the stories you told, especially about the nervous rider. (Though I was a kid at the time.) It really helps to have a kind, patient instructor to help you through it.

Finally, Wally is completely sound!! He sounds like such a clown on the lunge line. And sounds like Joey is going to be a wonderful horse for you. :)

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