03 April 2011

First Sunday ...


Now that we've gotten past 'fools' day without incident or detriment to one another.... what else is happening? Here in my neck of the woods, it's Sunday, pretty obvious since I'm posting this on Sunday ... first Sunday of the month to be exact. What significance does the first Sunday of the month have?

Some years past, I was introduced to 'The first Sunday of the month ride'. A disorganized ride from a local watering hole .... just a group of people who got together to ride for hours or the day through South Mountain Park and surrounding areas, using the then local taverns as stopping points. "Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses..." Tobey Keith.

No matter what was happening in my world, I was there. I looked forward to those Sunday rides. My horse was ready, willing and well able to meet whatever challenges we faced. I looked forward to seeing people I hadn't seen in a while. I have fond memories. That was then, this is now.

It's a more organized ride, now, dubbed "The Silver Pony Ride" .... sponsored by The Silver Pony with a different coordinator each month (October thru May) with a reason or reasons to ask us to come out and spend money.... the pleasure of riding with friends on a Sunday morning has long been forgotten. The pleasure of seeing people you haven't seen a long time set aside for a cause or causes.

No, I'm not complaining, just stating fact. It's been a long time since I've saddled Traveler and headed to the ride. No, I don't mind digging into my hard earned stash to contribute to some worthwhile cause (toys for tots @ Christmas) or for someone who desperately needs a helping hand. There's always someone needier than I.

I do mind financing the bar (to bring people in during an otherwise slow time). The heavy handed organization, the canvassing with fliers all over the neighborhood and surrounding areas, the push to commit to be there ... to be a part of something that used to be fun, and what has become an event for mishaps, accidents and who knows what else when riders and horses get together in large groups.

I've a few excuses for not attending of late.... mainly cash flow to contribute or to spend on a beer or two along the way. Shoes on the horse to ride in the park on shaley rocky trails. The horse isn't ready? He's always ready! Traveler doesn't care if he's out of shape, he's ready! It's a simple matter ... I'm not ready! Not ready to fight his freshness. I don't want to get hurt either. Let's just say it's been more than two years since I left the property with Traveler for such a ride. Can you say barn sour?

In a couple of hours, I'll see all manner of riders, rigs, ectera passing by headed for the staging area. I envy them, yet I know my own limitations and reasons for not participating. This is likely the last ride of the season until October ... maybe I'll be ready then? Yep, I'm promising myself right now... I'll be ready then and so will Traveler.