Tango is Rick's horse, but now she's kind of my horse. Why? Because I said so. After having no choice but to ride Tango this last year, we've been through many adventures, and have formed a lovely friendship. It's not nearly as dear as my connection to Scamper, but after all of the crazy things Tango has done to me (yes, I take it personally), I've come to love her.
Tango has a few odd habits when we ride her. Sometimes she'll make a grunting noise while she walks. Our neighbor said she does it because she is a diva. The other thing that Tango does is really strange. Tango lets her tongue hang out.
You have to see it to believe it. Several of the photos I've taken of Rick riding Tango have her tongue flapping in the wind. She does it no matter who rides her.
This is an important fact to remember when I'm riding her, because when Tango does it to me, if I didn't know better, I'd think she was tired and down-trodden. Fortunately, I don't take it personally because she has done it to all of us.
One day when Rick and I were riding, I was on Tango. She was doing the grunting noise. We were riding on a trail that goes between two rows of homes. I really enjoy it because the gardens are beautiful. Often Rick and I will say hello to kids and adults while they are out in their back yards.
There is a very small incline on the trail, and on this particular day, right next to the incline, the back yard was full of people enjoying a barbecue. Suddenly Tango caught their attention. They could hear the grunts, and gave me an intense look. The parents whispered together. I looked down at Tango, and that darn horse's tongue was wagging. I realized why they were staring.
Being a woman of "girth", I always ask our vet if the horses are strong enough to carry me. I drive him crazy because I ask him so often. I could tell that when the family having the barbecue looked at Tango (grunting and tongue dragging), they had come to the conclusion that poor Tango was being used and abused.
I was so embarrassed and started to giggle. I hollered for Rick to look at his crazy horse. (Tango is his horse when she does crazy stuff like this.) He looked back and laughed out loud. And it was as if Tango knew what those people were saying, because she really made a show of it. Perhaps my neighbor is right, Tango IS a diva.
I tried to get Rick to trade me horses, but he said it would be too much trouble. I pointed out that we were now in familiar territory, and that I would be mortified if my friends and neighbors looked out to see Tango wagging her tongue. They'd all think the same thing ... that a big woman was making her helpless little horse suffer.
There was nothing I could do. I laughed all the way home. I couldn't stop and explain to every person we saw, "She does this with everyone who rides her. It's not just me!"
I kept leaning over to see if Tango's tongue was still out, and sure enough, the whole way home, Tango wagged her tongue.
You have to admit it, you'd be embarrassed if you were my size, too.
Now every time we ride past that home where the family gawked at me, my cheeks redden just a little bit, and I say, "See,Tango, this is the house that thinks your tortured!" Then I giggle.