Before I can re-home Scout, I have to get her in shape. A fallow summer has rounded and softened her. She spent the long days running her herd, browsing grass, keeping one half-interested eye trained on the business of the little farm. There were times when I saddled her, a sense of hope quietly there in me. Other days, I never went to the tack room. To ride or not ride depended on the strength and velocity of my dialogue with fear. Sometimes it also depended on a certain swish of her tail, an impatience in her eye as she strained to catch a glimpse of the herd.
Today, I had the ride I needed to have. I looked up at the sky when the familiar finger of tension scraped the length of my spine. Scout leaned into my hands, picking rigid steps. Just feet from the paddock, Keely ran and bucked, in heat and fretting along the fenceline.
Walk, trot, walk, circle, bend, walk. The minutes calm me. Scout stretches and blows. I see finally the one last inch to heaven that is all that is needed to link us to each other. But the metal to forge that final link is rare and beyond my skill to mine. Now that I know why she's not my horse and I'm not her person, I'm released.