Sunday, March 3, 2013

Young Edgar's Horseback Riding Adventures

     Edgar was reminded of his Junior High School Adventure after seeing photos of our granddaughter, astride a horse in Italy, during her exchange student adventure.
     He joined the horseback riding club in Wagner Junior High School, mainly because he liked the idea of jodphurs.  Mr. George Lieberman supervised and sponsored the club which met after classes.  The 7 or 8 adventurers arrived in Fairmount Park at the stables.  It must have been in 1940 or 1941.  
     Previous to this, Mr. Lieberman held a class, explaining the use of the different kinds of riding gear - stirrups, saddles, bits, etc.
     Edgar was helped onto an old horse by one of the stable hands and led into the corral.  No sooner had the stable hand let go, then, the horse turned around and trotted back into the stable.  (A pause here for a good chuckle is advised.)  Undaunted, Edgar tried again, this time, successfully.  He and his classmates sauntered around the perimeter of the corral with some minor setbacks.  For instance:  a classmate, Franklin Goren's saddle slipped and he wound up on the ground, with the saddle under the horse's belly.  He did not get hurt.  Malka Hofman's horse knew that he was in control, and not Malka, and decided to graze.  And somehow, this irritated another horse, who bit Malka's horse on the rump.  That caused Malka's horse to rear up.  Malka let go with a scream that they must have heard back at Wagner, but, again, no one got hurt.
     In spite of all these minor mishaps, Edgar and his classmates all learned, after a fashion, to control our old and docile animals.
     Then the big day came and Mr. Lieberman led us into the park for an uneventful walk.  And, as the saying goes, all's well that ends well. 
     Years later, Edgar, minus jodphers, and a friend went on a double date - horseback riding.  (This was many years before I met Edgar.)  The friend thought he was a big shot and could handle anything that came his way.  Bad idea.  His horse decided to graze, and the friend went flying over the horse's head and landed on the ground with a separated shoulder.  The dates were not impressed.  And that was Edgar's last ride on a live horse.
     Since then, in our 50 years of marriage, Edgar and I rode on a carousel horse in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

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