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9/365 – Horses! Poverty! Fun!
© 2011 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. Wanna wrestle?  HORSE wrestle!

9/365 – Horses! Poverty! Fun!


I wouldn’t say I’m a horse person.  I rode them frequently when I was a kid.  I became somewhat cautious of them when my brother Chris came home screaming when one bit him in the neck.  Dated a “horse girl” in college who was way too hippy for me.  But, there’s something about riding a horse through rugged terrain that make s a man feel more manly.  Think about it.  Horses are thousands of pounds of pure muscle.  I’m not fucking around here.  Take a look at a horse – their like the leanest creatures, most muscular animal a human can get in close proximity with without loosing their head.  Think about it.  Controlling one – where it goes, how fast it goes, making it stop – that’s an awesome feeling of power.

Wanna wrestle? HORSE wrestle!

So, Megan and I decided it would be a great idea to ride horses up and down the mountains of the Dominican Republic.  And, it was decent idea – in theory.  But here’s the problem; if you’ve had knee surgery in the past few years, stay off the horse.  You see, Megan and I started this horseback journey through the rural areas of the DR in style.  Trotting along with our guides.  Getting background info on the small hamlets of locals who live off rain water and fruit/veggies grown out their door.

We learned that the school system consists of a day where the kids either attend from 9-noon or noon-3.  Chris (our American guide) explained that because of a teacher’s strike, there was no school in the DR for 3 months this past spring.  When the kids returned, they didn’t catch up. they just kept going, missing whatever they couldn’t get to that year.  I learned that college education in the RD i really not much different than elementary education. I learned that all villages  have these small store where family’s buy just enough food for the day.

I waved at school children on their way to class and old men passing the day away on their makeshift porches.

Notice how “I” learned all these things.  Yeah, while Chris and I were chatting away, Megan’s knees were buckling under the extreme stress of rising a horse UP and DOWN the mountain paths.  She was in so much pain who couldn’t talk.  And yet, she didn’t want to ruin the time there so she kept quiet.

Before the pain.

I knew she was in pain too.  It’s amazing how when you know and love someone for so long that sometimes you can read their body language better then you can read their words.  I was in the back with Chris while Megan rode up front and the tension in her shoulders said it all – that and how quiet she was.  It broke my heart.

Me. Stupid. Not knowing what to do.

I tried to convince her to get off the horse, but she just gave me a hand that said, “Timmy.  Not now.”  I asked Chris how much longer the ride was, hinting that the young lady up front isn’t always this quiet.  My body language read, “Dude, this has to end now!”

Megan hates me at this point.

Now here’s the amazing thing.  Megan’s horse kept stoping to eat.  As well, when we descended steep paths, it would zig zag down the hill as opposed to my horse who would just trot straight down.  Megan and I didn’t attach any importance to this phenomenon other than the horse was weird, lazy and annoying.  It wasn’t till we got back to the resort that we deduced that this amazing horse had some kind of sympathetic compassion towards Megan.  Think about it.  By zig zagging down the hills, the horse was maximizing the amount of time it was on level footing, essentially minimizing the stress put on Megan’s knee.

Yeah. You know. This thing. Do that. And then swing your partner do-si-do?

When you descend a hill on a horse, you grip the horse with your legs and press your feet into the stirrups for stability.  This causes extreme stress on the knees.  Megan’s horse, I believe, was trying to decrease this stress by zig zagging.  As well, eating always entailed a full stop, letting Megan relax her body as opposed to keeping it alert for steering purposes.

Maybe I’m pulling this out of my butt, but I thing Big Ears (that was the horse’s name) was aware of Megan’s pain and was trying to help as much as he could.  All the while her husband was engrossed in tales of Dominican poverty.  What?  I tried to help.  Honestly, my heart was breaking as I could physically see her pain increasing.  However, sometimes a woman just needs an animal, not a nerd.

Yeah, yeah. You're the horse and I'm the jack ass.

One Comment

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