This is a short story about a funny, profound (or profoundly funny) statement.
Spoiler alert: There’s a recipe at the bottom for a seriously delicious carrot cake.
A couple of years ago I was out at the barn riding my horse, Joe. He’s a sweet and personable horse and usually pretty low key. I had been lungeing and riding him in the indoor arena and afterwards decided to ride him around the property. I had a bareback pad on him (essentially just a padded piece of fabric, with no stirrups) and a bitless bridle that I was trying out.
We were outside the back end of the indoor arena. Inside, I could hear a couple of women chatting and riding their horses. Joe suddenly noticed the activity, decided it was a saber-toothed tiger or something worse, pivoted 180° on his left front leg and took us off at a full gallop. We covered about 500′ in less than a second (or so it seemed), just long enough for me to start looking for a soft place to fall. In the meantime I pulled back on the reins and shouted “whoa Joe.” He stopped fairly quickly, bucked a little then settled down. I got him walking again and soon enough he acted like nothing had happened. I was amazed that I hadn’t fallen off. It all happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to squeak out some adrenalin (or pee for that matter). It was also nice to learn that bitless bridles do work! We walked around the property for another 10-15 minutes and then I decided it was time to call it a day. I took him back to the barn to untack and do the usual end-of-the-ride stuff — brushing, picking out his hooves, sharing treats (peppermints, horse cookies, carrots, apples or his favorite—my carrot cake).
Later as I was heading out, I ran into two friends chatting in the lounge area. One already knew about my speedy adventure with Joe and the other didn’t, so I shared my little story. One woman commented that she always gallops when bareback, which is very true. She and her friend have Arabian horses that they’ve owned for years and they ride like they were born in the saddle. With mere bareback pads, they gallop all over the place, up and down small ravines, over gullies, even ride their horses backwards—and never, ever fall off. I’ve NEVER ridden like that (sadly, I just realized right now, I probably never will).
When the one woman said she gallops bareback, the other looked at her incredulously and asked, “but do you gallop intentionally?” The other replied solemnly, yet very emphatically, “I always gallop intentionally.” I had to laugh at the exchange—from my position, it all looked and sounded so serious. I was also tickled by the expression, “gallop intentionally.” It just sounded so profound, like “live consciously,” but with more gusto. I told the girls that would be a great bumper sticker. So I went home and made one!
SO: If you want to remind others to live their lives intentionally and with passion, to gallop intentionally just as YOU do, you need one of these bumper stickers! They are 10″x3″, removable waterproof vinyl and professionally printed. Click here to buy one for the amazingly low price of only $3.99. Postage is included!
Ride like the wind, Bullseye!
Carrot Cake, Joe's Favorite!
- 2 c sugar
- 1/2 c oil (coconut oil is especially good)
- 4 eggs room temp (esp. if using coconut oil)
- 2 c flour (can use Einkorn)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 c carrots grated (medium)
- 1 c pecans chopped
- whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° (This recipe seems to work as is at this temperature, regardless of elevation.) Butter baking pan if needed.
- Mix together dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon) and set aside.
- Grate carrots and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the oil (mix with fork) into the sugar.
- Add four eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add pecans, mix.
- Add dry ingredients, a cup at a time, mixing well. Add grated carrots, mix until all ingredients are blended.
- Pour into baking pan, bake for 1 hour or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or cake springs back when pressed with a finger.
- Cool for about 15 minutes on a rack, then remove from baking pan.
- Slice and serve with your choice of a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream or cream cheese icing—or plain (my favorite).