I got my fix this past weekend. It consisted of Friesians. And Gypsy Vanners. And dust. And the smells of hay and leather and horse poop.
I went to a horse show in Ohio this past weekend, and it was so much fun to just sit there and watch all the horses and their handlers, grooms and riders. For the first time in a long time, I felt immersed in the beauty and wonder of horses. I watched as teams rejoiced with a big win and as others grumbled under their breath and scuffed the ground after a loss. I listened to the coaching from the rail as riders made the rounds. (One “coach” in particular made me laugh. His coaching ended with “Cheat if you have to!”) I walked the barns and ran my eyes over a number of exquisite animals. All the while, I was drinking in the sounds and the smells. I loved every single minute.
I recently had a little one-on-one time with one of my favorite equines. Magpie. She’s the biggest sweetheart in the world, despite the fact that she’s the only horse to have ever bucked me off. That’s another story. We were just hanging out on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I gave her a bath, put some conditioner in her hair and let her graze while she was air drying. You know, girl stuff.
Then I made a big, hairy decision. I was going to ride her. I haven’t been on a horse in a really long time; I rode once all of last year. I was intimidated with the thought that I might not be able to stay on because of the knee, but I was going to give it a shot. And we rode!
Of course, we were in a small ring, my knee didn’t exactly work the way it needs to, and I barely even attempted a trot, but we rode. In those brief minutes, I felt so happy that I was afraid my heart might burst out of my chest. I don’t know how much riding is in my future, but I’m now as hopeful as I’ve been in a long time that there will be many years spent on horseback yet to come. I think my euphoria may be giving me an easy optimism, but hey… it’s something.