I just got back from another great trip from Arizona. My last trip there was in January when it was quite a bit colder. Even so, the quick horseback riding trip I took back then made all the shivering worthwhile. On this recent trip, my new friends Gary and Jennifer once again invited me over, this time for a much warmer horseback ride. My equine host was Buck, the same horse I rode last time. I feel like I’m getting to know him. We rode off into the sunset again, for a leisurely stroll around rural Maricopa, Arizona. It was a beautiful ride, with the sun setting over the mountains nearby. Gary and my stepson Chris, more skilled than I at riding, both piloted more spirited horses. Old Buck and I held back a little and enjoyed the view…and entertainment. Buck seems like a great horse but every once and a while trips or stumbles so I held the saddle horn with a ninja death grip.
I was having such a great time, a thought occurred to me. This would be a great place to call Mikki (she didn’t come with me on this trip), as part of my ongoing “call people from cool places” project. I’ve called from beside a track at a Nascar race, from an aircraft carrier and from the top of a few mountains, so why not while horseback riding into the warm desert sunset in Arizona? I whipped out my phone with one hand and opened the cover with my thumb. It would be so easy to drop the phone to it’s destruction from that height. I had to try a few times punching buttons. It’s a little bouncy up there. Finally I got the right number, pushed send and held the phone up to my ear. Since Buck neck reigns, it was difficult to do this because one hand held the steering wheel (the reigns) and the other hand didn’t want to let go of the ninja death grip it had on the saddle horn. My plan was simple. “Hi honey, calling you from on top of a horse. Gotta go, bye!” The phone rang and rang and rang…I try again. Same thing. I never did get through so I can’t prove I actually made the call but I swear I really did make a scary, dangerous cell phone call from atop a horse!
With more confidence, I’m sure I could have pulled it off more gracefully but making cell phone calls from horseback doesn’t seem like a great idea, at least for new riders. For me it was just a novelty but I wonder if experienced riders and real cowboys do it these days.