REAL TALK: Mexicana the Horse

I got thrown off a horse two days ago. And, no, I didn't just like "slip" off. I was launched.

What I thought would be a leisurely trail ride up to an extinct volcano quickly turned into Shit-AshLivin-Was-Not-Prepared-For. Given that the *entire* 6-mile trail up the mountain was covered in 1-2 feet of thick, juicy mud mixed with cow poop, Ashwin and I opted for taking horses rather than trudging through that [literal] shit on our own. But five minutes in we realized there would be nothing leisurely about it. The conditions were actually so bad that Ashwin had to put away his GO PRO (the Hulk of cameras) to focus.

We had a guide with us but my dope riding skillz must have fooled him because he didn't seem to care that Mexicana and I were leading the pack, which meant I had to keep shouting "Izquierda?! Derecha?!" back at him to figure out which way to go.

And just as my skillz were going from dope to baller I doubted myself and Mexicana and I found ourselves perched on a grassy berm teetering between two choices: a small but intimidating drop-off to the left or a *very* steep hill to the right. Mexicana gave me a few courteous seconds to make up my mind but I must have taken too long - she turned to the right.

One step off the berm and the momentum set her into a full-blown gallop down the hill. I pulled back on the reins but it was too late. She couldn't stop herself. I held on tight and leaned back as much as I could but at some point there was another drop-off in the hill and it was all over. My body flew forward. Her head whipped backward. My face smashed into the top of her spine right as my feet were catapulted straight out of the stirrups. I was airborne for a split second before I made a desperate attempt to break my fall by wrapping my arms around her neck. The momentum was too powerful, though, and I hit the ground and tumbled down the hill, trying to keep my hands in front of my face in case Mexicana was coming down behind me. (Thankfully, it seems she stopped dead in her tracks the moment she felt me take flight)

After a few somersaults (according to Ashwin), I landed sitting upright and totally confused. My face hurt but that was it. I turned around and saw Mexicana just standing there looking down at me. Neither of us wanted to say it but it was obvious we were both wishing I had chosen to hike instead.