The Five Minute Ride

Part of growing up, is realizing how immature you are something I realize is part of the reason why I’ve been worried and afraid. I’ve thrown virtual temper tantrums and I’m sure there are more ahead.

Writers tend to be in their heads a lot. Which means, we tend to be a bit more self centered than the general populous. I’ve been frustrated because I’m not where I want to be. I’m not competing nor riding regularly. I’ve been pitching fits and punishing myself because I haven’t gotten things done when I expected them to be done. Yes, if that statement doesn’t make sense, believe me it doesn’t make sense to me either.

When I was younger, my mom would say if you misbehave you can’t ride- I never misbehaved. Once, I grew older and she no longer held the reins to my decisions I still used the same punishment. You can’t ride or be around your horses if you don’t do x,y,z. I would often let myself down and therefore I punished myself by not riding. Can you see how self fulfilling that is? I got to the point where I pretty much told myself you can’t ride because you aren’t good enough.

I am a very good rider as well as a very good instructor. It’s hard to ignore those whispers though, and as I made more and more mistakes those lies grew louder and louder. Several times I told myself to give up and sell the horses. I almost did but every time I was about to write up their ads I stopped because someone would reach out and say- hold on a little longer.

I’ve owned Julie for almost seven years. She is more than a pet; she is a companion. She has seen me through multiple ups and downs. I love her to pieces and as I grow older I dream of having her in my backyard because I want her close to me. People tell me that I shouldn’t want horses in my backyard- that it is too much work but I disagree. Isn’t it easier to walk to a barn thirty feet away than to drive fifteen minutes one way? I’d love to be able to go out, feed my horses and go back to bed.

I digress, about two weeks ago I realized something. I was scrolling through photos of people riding their horses through snow or on the beach and I thought- I want that. I want that simplicity. I’ve been so fixated on being the best and hating myself because I wasn’t born into a home that had money that I forgot what being a horse person is all about.

Two weeks ago, I stopped hating myself for something out of my control. I decided to ride Julie bareback, at a walk, for about 20 mins. We worked on some things but I didn’t put pressure on myself. I didn’t get mad because we weren’t jumping 3’3″ fences. I enjoyed our partnership. I enjoyed the fact that I think something and she does it. I enjoyed the communication between us and I enjoyed that she is my horse. I also found it entertaining that she was worried about Fae. The two are attached. I know most would say I need to wean them from each other. I will, in time.

Today, I had to shovel a lot of snow to clear a path to their turnout. The problem- I didn’t clear a wide enough path for three bodies (I would have died). Solution: I’ll ride Julie and pony Fae. Both were in for most of the past 24 hours. There is only one horse I would ever get on knowing that- Julie. I led her to my truck and spent a couple of minutes convincing her to stand still and trying to keep Fae from being too nosy. I got Julie close enough to my bumper and Fae was standing still on Julie’s far side. Julie finds it funny to start walking before I get on. She always make sure I’ve gotten on her back but doesn’t wait for me to get settled. Which means that this morning I launched myself onto her back and wiggled into place as Julie turned and headed towards the turnout. She had a pep in her step and Fae followed along behind like we do that all the time.

I never do that with them. The last time I rode Julie with Fae around Fae was about a month old and she galloped around screaming bloody murder because what I was doing broke all the laws of her little world. I’m so glad Fae figured out that humans riding horses is normal. I think Fae was a little jealous I decided to ride Julie instead of her. We got to the paddock without incident. When I got off I managed to wrap Fae’s lead around my leg. Luckily, she stopped and let me undo it.

Those two horses are amazing. I can do anything with them and they’ll do it. They trust me.

Today, on my five minute ride, I remembered the magic of riding.

Happy Trails.

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