Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Six Long Months

Beautiful weather. I left work early to see the horses.

One thing has changed irrevocably in me since Scout's injury: my priorities. I won't allow less important things, less meaningful things, to push the horses into the background anymore. Keeping even one of them will require sacrifice and commitment, things I now realize I'm perfectly willing to accept. To work that hard for them means they deserve more of my time than the things that come easily.

When I pulled up to the barn today, Scout was lying down, her legs curled under her, catlike, in the sun and mud. She was basking, her eyes alert, her expression soft, completely relaxed. It's only the second time in the years I've owned her that I've seen her lying down.

The last time I was on a horse was in September 2009. I can't even believe that. But K told me I could ride Gambler whenever I wanted to. It means a lot to be trusted with another person's horse.

Gambler dozed in the cross ties while I spent 45 minutes peeling off some of his winter coat with a shedding block and brush. Eventually, a deep white pelt covered the ground around us. I love grooming horses, especially in springtime.

I tacked up Gambler and off we went. It was just a 30-minute ride, but I was also shedding. I left bits of frustration, pressure, tension and sadness behind me with every step. Gambler picked his way through the wet edge of the field. The sunlight, the stillness. Somewhere, a woodpecker jack-hammered a tree.

At the center of the south pasture, we rode serpentines and circles. I kept a light, steady contact, and deepened my seat, stretching tall.

Oh, I can remember how to ride.

4 comments:

Denali's Mom said...

Good for you! I have such a hard time getting up on any horse. It's funny because I feel most comfortable with my beast, but then the anxiety hits (usually before I get to the barn) and she can sense it. She is super sensitive and it's a blessing and a curse at the same time. Thanks for following our journey!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Keep up the goals! We are all here to support as we all go thru the same anxiety...it sucks! It's tough.

Kate said...

Good going on your part!

Julia R said...

Thank you all for your comments. It's wonderful that you took the time. The reason I went six months without riding was because my mare, Scout, suffered a fracture, and Dar, my new boy, is just being started in training. Finally, I just couldn't take the waiting any more, missing it so much, too much, and I'm lucky enough to have a dear friend who will let me ride her horse. He's bombproof, and it will do me a world of good to get back into the swing of it on a horse who doesn't worry me.