That Which Doesn't Kill Us....
It’s been eight years since I have journeyed into the horse world. Eight years since my world changed. No longer did I search the greenhouses for the finest perennials and shrubs – one of my prior hobbies -- but now peruse the ag stores for the best pasture grass and ponder today how much it will cost to plant 6 acres of alfalfa. Our “acreage” is now a “farm” with trailers and tractors and tack (oh, my!). No longer do I dig up long lost lost relatives (figuratively speaking), but my genealogy interests now lie with quarter horse pedigrees. I haven’t read a non-horse related novel in years!
And my attitude about my horse life has changed, too. At first it was the “I can ride anything” phase, which lasted about 3.5 weeks and then it was the “What the hell am I thinking?” phase when I would swing my leg over a horse and ride all of about 43.5 seconds before my heart was in my throat. I feared for my life and would dismount before I even got to the mailbox at the end of our short drive! I moved along to my “It’s the horse, not me” phase and bought everything in sight thinking this was “the one!” And now I’m at the “I prefer to ride my own horses” phase, because they “fit”.
Now that I’ve gotten over the cockiness of thinking I could ride anything and the fear of thinking I will die if I even think about riding a particular horse, I’ve found peace with my horsemanship skills. If I haven’t learned something after 8 years, I am a pretty awful student! I’m not the prettiest rider or the fastest rider or even the bravest rider. I’m kind of the human equivalent of the horse ads you see that read, “will make good trail horse!”
But hey, don’t play down us trail riders – horse or person! We have to know our stuff! Do you know how long it took me to ride my horse up a “grassy knoll” at Rock Creek that I swear looked like a mountain? Do you know how hard it is for a middle aged woman to duck under those low branches on the tree lined trail or how that pit in your stomach feels like as you look in wander at the miles of real estate the horse could cover should it decide to bolt?
I started Horsetrailriders.com after I started to get my groove back and got to ride all of these cool places – grassy knolls and all – to share it with other horse trail riders! When I started Horsetales, I found horse people of all levels: from beginners -- still sure they, too, were going to die -- to the diehards!
As the years go by, I have seen some of the newbies dwindle from the horse scene. Sell their horses, their trailers and go back to potted plants or dead relatives or whatever new hobby they discovered. (If it was me, I’d make sure that new hobby didn’t eat more than me nor require its own vehicle for transport!) But what thrills me to pieces are the others who have, like me, lived to tell about their horsemanship journey and are living their dreams! Since I have been there, done that – I know that wonderful feeling. It’s called freedom! To those still on the bumpy road – be patient, be consistent, and be brave. I’ve said it before, it’s worth the ride!