Saturday, September 22, 2007
As everyone knows, our dear Claremont Stables closed their doors in April (a week before my much anticipated birthday ride!) and Fay and I have been searching for a spot to ride near the city. We heard about Kensington Stables in Prospect Park and thought we would give it a whirl
We will not be back.
First off the trains took FOREVER today which caused us to run late. Then we couldn't find the stable to save our lives. Luckily some Chinese man showed us the route.
We arrived in shock and horror. The stables looked more like a converted parking garage. There were five random people lounging out front. One in particular was an obese lady in pink who squawked like a parrot. She was AWFUL! She was criticizing everything everyone did, bossing and directing and basically just yapping to hear her own voice.
Inside the roof was falling in, and disarray was the order of the day. The owner, Walker, describes his love of horses on his website as ‘stemming from his fascination of fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons’ (!) Need I say more?
Fortunately the one redeeming feature was a cute boy named Johnny who was our guide. He adores horses and is moving to North Carolina in January to take courses in Equine veterinary. Once we mounted our horses, Invisible, Katie and Phoenix and the Squawk Box of Brooklyn, Brunehilda, corrected every move I made before I could make it, we set off. Now the forecast had been sun all weekend but today was a bit grey. Surely it wouldn’t rain! As soon as the first hoof was in the park the clouds released their load and deluge! We got soaked. My reins were slipping though my gloves, my boots were seeping and the poor horse was over it.
No matter, we trudged along through the lush and very pretty park. Fay was naughty and bounded into a canter sending us all flying through the bridle paths, which is the ultimate way to get dry! Johnny scolded but secretly was having a blast and was glad we did it. No cantering is allowed on weekends due to so many people in the park. Needless to say the park wasn't bustling today.
After a while the rain stopped, we dried off and then it happened all over again. A wet ride. The first for me! Fay and Johnny said they love a wet, wild ride but we all agreed it is much more fun in a poncho. Near the end when we were all winding down my horse let out a huge groan, stopped and slowly started falling forward. I had no idea what was happening. Here is how it went down:
Cator: Whaaaa! What are you doing?!
Johnny: Make him stop! Make him stop!
Cator: Whaaaaa! How?
Johnny: Pull the reins tight and start kicking!
Cator: Whaaaaa! Giddy up!
With the strongest tug in my life the damn horse came back up on all fours and started walking towards the others. Invisible felt the gorgeous silky sand beneath his hooves and was rearing for a good roll in the dirt to relax and scratch an itch. Would be fine except I was on top and would have been rolled on. Not my idea of fun.
I was Tense Tina the rest of the ride.
We made it back all in one wet piece and dismounted (or peeled off).
Walker was getting the Shetland Ponies ready for pony rides in the park. Some bozo parents told him her kids still wanted to ride for their birthday even though it was pouring. I heard Brunehilda squawking in the back causing a stir and watched sweet Johnny running about getting the trailer ready to take the ponies to the park.
On this note we call Sharon and Francis and cancel our lovely lunch we had planned in the park since we were sopping, hired a car and headed back to Manhattan.
Once back to Fay's street we are about to enter her building and a homeless woman bounds off the bus. Her look is Grey Garden's daywear: Red argyles, black sandals, headscarf and piles of cardigans. As we are both admiring her color choices she drops her bags, drops her head to her knees, hikes up her skirt and drops her drawers and wees a fountain all over the sidewalk! We were speechless, terrified, gob smacked yet amazed she didn’t even trickle on her trash bag couture. She then hikes everything back up, picks up her bags and warbles off into the distance. I wonder what Brunehilda would of said about that one?