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The Theba Thing: Horseback Riding | Community Spirit

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The Theba Thing: Horseback Riding
The Theba Thing: Horseback Riding

The Theba Thing: Stepping out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and trying the things that have been on my mind and heart.

My dad had a horse when he was younger and shared sweet stories of their relationship, so I always wonder what it would be like to learn how to ride, because I have such an appreciation for those magnificent creatures.

One Sunday, I was out riding bicycles at Two Rivers Trail with my mom and we saw a beautiful sight coming towards us - a line of horses with riders.  Later, I noticed they were taking a lunch break and so I pedaled up to them, knowing here’s my chance to start the ball rolling on something that was on my mind.

I visited with a gentleman named Mike Woolley, whom I've affectionately named Cowboy Mike, and a woman named Tina Taylor.  They happily welcomed my city girl questions and inquiries and then invited me sit up on one of the horses.  I swallowed hard, because the horse was big and seemed to have a watchful eye on me.  Plus, I was apprehensive because I had no idea how on earth I was going to get my clumsy self up there. Tina volunteered to help me by shoving me graciously up on the saddle with her hand and shoulder under my buttocks. Unfortunately, in mid-flight I got a bad cramp in my booty, which was quite embarrassing. Finally, I was committed to that experience, but knew I needed to take additional steps.

Tina Taylor, who is the president of the Arkansas Trail Riders Association, invited me to their upcoming Banquet in Sherwood.  I was grateful for the invitation and excited to attend. 

It was such a pleasure to hang out with this group of horse loving people.  They’re organized, purposeful and thoughtful - discussing ways to improve trails around Arkansas, and committed to community service projects, such as Arkansas Horse Tales For Literacy.  During the meeting, they had fun swapping goods to raise money, gave out awards to riders and horses for miles ridden, and then, there was lunch and what a spread we had. 

I'm proud to say, I became a member of ATRA, but my day was not yet over.  Cowboy Mike invited me to his ranch for a riding lesson.  His goal was for me to feel safe and have fun and I surely did.  Though it was a chilly day, I learned how to distribute my weight while riding, how to control the reins and, of course, the all important lesson - if something spooks the horse do not drop the reins and start screaming.  I needed to hear that, because that is exactly how I usually respond to unexpected situations. 

I'm proud I stepped out of my comfort zone, and it's just the beginning, because there's more riding to be done before I feel confident I've challenged myself fully with this experience. 

So, I now have new friends and can add horseback riding to "The Theba Thing."  What's your "Thing"? Share it with me at tlolley@kthv.gannett.com

Helpful links:

ATRA http://arkansastrailridersassoc.com/

ATRA Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arkansas-Trail-Riders-Association/151676008180604

Useful links  http://arkansastrailridersassoc.com/usefullinks.html

Arkansas Horse Tales Literacy Porject -https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arkansas-Horse-Tales-Literacy-Project/157269130988351



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