An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Moab 2010

Jon and I left Friday afternoon for a three-day break from everything. From children, pets, broken boilers, squirrels with good aim, and even the Internet. Well, I stayed off the Internet, and Jon did the best he could. Meaning just enough that I didn’t have to nag, twist his nipple, or tell him to please put down his phone and look around:

We’d both been through Arches National Park before, so we decided to try some other activities: first, four-wheeling up Cane Creek Canyon to Hurrah Pass. And it was fun, yes, at least for the first couple of hours. And then the jiggling of my organs rearranged everything so that my bladder was sitting at the bottom of my throat. And at that point Jon was rocking out, swinging his fist around his head and screaming HOW AWESOME WAS THAT TURN THAT THREW YOUR BLADDER INTO YOUR THROAT? HOW AWESOME?!

This went on for another four hours.

I suggested that while I enjoyed sharing this experience with him that maybe next time he should call up one of his brahs.

I got him back the following morning, however, when we fulfilled a longtime dream of mine: horseback riding through Moab. I’ve only ever been horseback riding once, and that was, what, sixteen years ago? And it was midnight horseback riding with my college roommates where the ranch people didn’t even give us instructions, and all of us just wandered aimlessly in the dark wherever the horses wanted to go. And that included through trees so thick that one of us hit a branch and flipped into a ditch.

We were too busy laughing to sue.

That’s the thing I remember most about that night, the uncontrollable giggling. I couldn’t stop. Every time my horse would start to gain speed I would start laughing so hard that I couldn’t sit up straight, so I had to lie forward and hug his neck so I wouldn’t fall off. And I’m sure he loved that, some wiry-haired, bony-butted loon clinging for dear life to his neck, giggling like a drunk hyena into his ear. Except I was drunk on life! And the prospect of obeying the commandments so perfectly that when I died I’d get my own planet! Mormon tangent!

Hie to Kolob!

So Sunday morning I warned our private tour guide, Brandon, that I was a giggler. That there was a good possibility I’d laugh the entire way. Also, Jon hadn’t ever been on a horse. Ever. Not a single time in the whole forty-five years of his life. ALSO! And this was the most important part: neither of us has a functioning filter. So he should not be worried that we’re on the verge of divorce no matter how much yelling occurs between giggles and having to pick that forty-five-year-old man off the ground to put him back on the horse.

My horse’s name was Cisco. Jon’s was C.D. We never learned if they were boys or girls or one of each, so there was a lot of GOOD GIRL! and GOOD BOY! and IT WON’T GO ANYWHERE! going on. And I was able to contain my giggling, at least until the guide was confident enough that we could handle a gentle trot. Because that’s when Jon, whose horse insisted on remaining at least twenty paces behind us, would start going OUCH OUCH BALLS BALLS BALLS.

I really want to put on a leotard and tap dance to that song: Ouch! Ouch! BALLS BALLS BALLS! Except the shoes would be outfitted so that the tapping sounded like a galloping horse.

Turns out it can hurt to ride a horse if you have a penis! THE LEARNING!

Brandon showed Jon a few ways to decrease the impact on his parcels, and things got better for Jon from there. But not before my horse stopped and took a shit at least four times. He or she or it would just suddenly stop, no warning, and next thing you know dude is groaning, and seriously. More learning: horses groan just like humans when going number two.

And then it stopped and peed another three times. It was totally ridiculous. And I was like, the only thing left for Cisco to do is have a baby out here on this trail, and believe me, if it starts hinting that the contractions are getting closer I am hopping of this thing and running for cover. I’m an animal lover and all for nature and whatnot, but I get queasy when Jon calls me into the bathroom to show me the huge wad of brown snot he just blew into the sink. I don’t think I could handle a horse placenta.

So: another check on the life list! I rode a horse in the desert! Is that too boring for a life list? Should it have been “performed handstand on a horse while it galloped at full speed in the desert”? Still not good enough? How about “performed handstand on a horse while it galloped at full speed in the desert and then delivered its baby”? FINE. I’LL TRY HARDER.

  • SarahCC90

    Maybe if it was a one armed handstand……

  • Camels and Chocolate

    You look like a regular Crocodile Dundee!

    I used to work in Moab; there are few places more beautiful than that part of the US.

  • nrward82

    Did you get to drive the 4-wheeler at all?! COME ON!!!

  • DarStar

    I really shouldn’t have read this post while eating my lunch. But anyway….

  • sarahfromthenorth

    so .. how are the muscles feeling?

  • Anu

    Holy freaking cow!!! I am laughing so hard…and now everyone is staring at me

  • ChickWhitt

    The automatic car wash gets me every time. No idea what it is, but as soon as it starts, the giggles start. Same with my sister. My parents used to take us there for entertainment.

    And wow. Those pictures are just wow. I live in Illinois where there are fields and no mountains. So just wow.

  • playrawkstar

    this totally just reaffirmed one of the many reasons we’re moving out to utah – riding horses in moab so i can watch my mans balls get squished and laugh my ass off in the process.

  • The Prima Momma

    Was there seriously no complaining the next day? No soreness? I. Am. Impressed!

    Beautiful pictures – and the picture you took for Henry was breath-taking, and tear inducing. That was a beautiful sentiment.

  • tallnoe

    Those pictures are stunning. Thank you. I’ve driven through Moab, and stopped at Arches. But that’s all like from the car. Not even doing anything fun, like off roading or horseback riding.
    So, the view is different!
    And I’m wondering about soreness too – nothing?

    Thank you for the beautiful pics!

  • Brookelyn Bridge

    sometimes, when horses fart, it sounds like a door slamming

  • mellystx

    Love the pics. This is an area I want to visit one day, but I don’t know if I can get my husband back on a horse. We did a trail ride for my son’s birthday last year and my horse bit my husband’s horse on the ass and it was rodeo city. He didn’t stay on for six seconds…

  • lifewithwendy

    I think it is so frieken funny that you spend all this money on vacation and the thing you remember is riding the horse…We took a vacation with our 4 kids and my mom to Arizona to a resort and the thing we remembered is my mom’s horse taking off through the dessert and her almost shitting her pants!

  • glancour

    Heather, I’m slightly disappointed that you included your horse’s name in this post. You could’ve said you’d been through the desert on a horse with no name. Glad you got to check it off your list though. Cheers.

  • Oakley

    If the horse peed out from under its tail, it was a girlie. If it kind of went spread eagle and peed between its legs while you got pitched forward, it was a dude. Glad you had a good time. I am also a giggler, except I have been riding for ten years, so you would think I would be over that by now…

  • Truthful Mommy

    It looks beautiful. I think it would be fabulous to just be unplugged with my husband for an entire weekend. It could be trouble, if we ever put down our Iphones, Ipads, laptops, etc..we’d possibly have 3 children instead of the 2 we already have!LOL
    Poor Jon and his smashed package! I guess after the horseback riding there was no intimate time.LOL
    Glad you guys had a little mini break and got to check something off your bucket list.Happy WEdnesday!

  • ErikaMSN

    Yes, but have you been through the desert on a horse with no name?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)

  • ErikaMSN

    Oh, damn, Glancour beat me & I didn’t notice.

  • Jessica Eiden Smedley


  • albinokittycat

    Gorgeous Photos.

  • TexasKatie

    Snot. That part just made me want to vomit.

  • Mo

    …in the desert…you can remember your name, and there aint no one for to give you no pain…LA LAAAA LA, LA LA LA LA LA, LA LA LAAAA LA-LA!

  • ATXGirl

    My horse’s name was Stuck. Guess how THAT ride went… ugh.. Not so sure I’ll get on another horse after that…. LOL

  • Daisy-girl

    Now I’ve got that song about the horse with no name stuck in my head!

  • TxSuzyQ

    The problem is those baggy nerd pants Jon wears. Put him in a good fitting pair of wranglers next time and his nuts will be so firmly packed in his pants that they won’t budge! Nor will they get squished to the point of having to scream like a wuss.

  • the adams family

    I laughed so hard at OUCH OUCH BALLS BALLS BALLS.

  • BillyZoom

    You went to Jordan? Cool! But seriously, did the guy who sold you the douchebag tourist hats snicker as you left?

  • jlola

    I’m from Texas, yeehaw, and I’ve seen a longhorn give birth to a calf. The placenta sounds like a cannonball jump into a swimming pool, yo. Then she eats it. Life altering grossness.

  • trickygringo

    Just sold my Jeep. A Jeep in which I logged hundreds of miles in Moab. Makes me a sad panda.

  • taff

    hilarious heather.
    although i think the whole getting close to nature thing is over-rated. i’ve always said that my combined interest in flora and fauna only goes as far as thai beef salad.

    glad to see you survived.

    and glad to see you eschewed the daggy* riding helmet. but feel your hat choice was somewhat sartorially challenged.

    enjoy your five minutes of calm before life hits you between the eyes again.

    just taff


  • jearbear

    right after reading this about the pooping horse and laughing my butt off, I read another webpage:
    about how much horses poop and how awful they are.
    It is hilarious!

  • BostonNic

    I’ve been wanting to head to this part of the country for years. Your pictures are stunning!! And um, you think men are the only ones who can get injured riding horses? You should’ve seen what I ended up with after doing the mule ride down and up the Grand Canyon. Woo boy! Back to the photos – they’re incredible! Glad you got a nice weekend away from everything.

  • imaynotremember

    I love Moab. Great photos of the canyon lands, so purty.

  • Jennie86

    I’ll be the party pooper. Helmets. Helmets, helmets, helmets. You can’t take back head injuries.

    In other news, tell Jon to wear briefs next time. It helps keep the boys lifted so they don’t get….. squished. I’m glad you both had a nice time. You deserve it.

  • Consuelo1

    Oh man, glad I was home by myself when I read this. I don’t think I could have explained to my coworkers ONE. MORE. TIME. why I was laughing hard enough to bring tears.

  • Becky Cochrane

    Great photos, great story. Hope Jon’s recovered.

  • delic8guineas

    Wow, the blue sky and red rock really set off the whiteness of your limbs! 😉

  • CindysClipboard

    Riding a horse is quite an accomplishment. The photos are beautiful. Your narrative is funny, as always. Glad you guys had a good time.

  • Laura Jones

    I enjoyed reading your post. Trivia: if you’re pregnant don’t ride a horse and run the risk of miscarriage. Queen Isabella (Christopher Columbus sponsor)lost 5 babies because she refused to stay home while hubby fought the war.

  • rowdydog

    Poor Jon. I hope “the boys” are doing ok.

    I grew up on a farm, so maybe it’s too obvious to me, but how do you not know if your horse is male or female! You can tell that Chuck is a boy right? Same thing with a horse!!! And it’s usually not small!

    Love the new house, BTW…

  • AttyGirlTex

    I don’t know why, but it tickles me pink that you and Jon are dressed like TWINKIES! Y’all are cute. What a fun trip. I love little short 3-day trips where you get to do something new, even though it might not be an expedition to Europe or a Safari in Africa. Just something to do together that you haven’t done before.

  • Cooky

    We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country.

    Thanks for the post. So glad you had a fabulous time.

  • jamieinaz

    Your photos are lovely! I’m wondering if you and Jon planned to be matchy-matchy?

  • ModernMamaz

    Perhaps this is why cowboys wear such tight pants. They keep their balls in place.


    Looks a LOT better than the trip I took to the area some years back where I went to a local diner, decided there was nothing edible on the menu so I just ordered toast, you know, to be safe.

    It came, with a large toenail clipping on it!

    Would you like some toe jam on your toast, miss?

    That tiny piece o’ toenail really distracted me from the majesty all around me. Bummer.

  • AshesVonDust

    Was the guide as cute from the front as he was from the back? Wait, it doesn’t matter, as long as he wears the hat and jeans.


  • Manisha

    Hey! We go to Moab to escape the Minnesota winters for a few days. I think we did that exact same horseback adventure and I swear that was the same view of the Colorado from where we stayed. I am so freakin jealous that you were there, without children. Just had my first child in February (without the drugs!) and I am just itchin to get away to Moab! Did I already mention I am jealous?!?!?!? I wanna go. Now.

  • motheroad

    NO WAY! In the cult I was raised in, we were also promised our own planets.

  • Brea

    I think it’s awesome that you and Jon make adult-only outings frequently. It’s something my husband I should do more.

    We went to a ranch to go trail riding at several different stables, and mostly the larger ranches keep geldings (neutered boy horses), because the mares are notorious for fighting.

    Hope that helps your horse sex dilemma. Whoo – taken out of context, that’s sounds kinky…

  • hsully25

    Your description of riding the horses made me laugh so hard I cried!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more