The Worry of a Horseback Wedding
It was the perfect plan! My Uncle owned a guide territory, it was set in the mountains with spectacular views, it had a nice level spot at the edge of the lawn in front of the cabins perfect for a ceremony platform / dance floor, we had friends who volunteered to transport the guests via horse and wagon from the parking area up to where the ceremony would be so we set the date for the August long weekend, it’s always nice on the August long weekend, right?
There was no question in my mind that Duke, my beloved four-legged partner at that time, whom I had shared more than 10 wonderful years with, would be my ride. Well…………. next to no question in my mind. I loved Duke to death but he was a thoroughbred quarter horse who, when the wind blew just right, could be scared by his own shadow! For weeks prior to the wedding we pretended with a sheet until I felt confident (well fairly confident) that he would do alright.
Two weeks prior we gathered the bride’s maids and groom’s men, hauled the horse up to camp and did a practice run. It went off without a hitch. The weather was perfect, the horses, most of them belonging to the guide territory, all acted like they’d done it a hundred times and everyone seemed comfortable with the plan.
Then came the day of the wedding! Who knew that the August long weekend could be so cold! On the day of the wedding the weather turned chilly, it was windy, and the threat of rain lingered in the forecast. It was devastating to say the least. All we could do now was try and mitigate the damage so that morning we madly put up some tarps over the dinner table area hoping to provide some safe haven for our guests should the worst happen. It wasn’t perfect but at least it would provide some reprieve if needed.
The guests soon arrived and the ceremonies vows went off without rain and without a hitch. What happened next though was completely unexpected! We headed to the horse and Duke was acting a bit flighty so my dad held him while I got myself mounted side saddle. I guess the focus was on Duke and I when it should have been on my Maid of Honor! Turned out Duke was fine but the horse my Bride’s Maid was riding bucked just as she mounted! I have to say it was miraculous though, she landed on her feet, picked up the reins and started leading her horse down the trail. If you didn’t know better, you would have thought it was part of the plan LOL.
It did rain later on but not too heavy and not for very long and the rest of the evening was tons of fun, with laughter and dancing till the wee hours of the morning. The next day my new husband and I with 3 horses headed off into the mountains for a week of camping in the back country. It was fantastic but that’s another story for a later day.