Sunday, June 14, 2020
At a very tender age, I went into intense negotiations with my parents: I would give up my bottle if I could have a pair of cowboy boots. Next were horseback riding lessons starting from the age of four. By about age six, our family moved to a house in the country where we could have horses and since my mother had kept a horse every summer in Colorado when she was a girl, she always made it a priority that I would have a horse as well. I started with Rio Grande, graduated to Hondo Bay, then a neighbor's horse, Charm, then a gift from another neighbor of Rebb, a retired race horse. So I put in my 10,000 hours (as Malcolm Gladwell says), and was as comfortable on a horse as any person could be. My horses were my best friends as well as being my main mode of transportation. I spent most of my time alone with them, and that's what carried me into those other worlds where my imagination and my curiosity could rule the day. But, as I got older and had children of my own, my life moved me away from horses and I went on without them.
This winter I met a lovely woman who had a horse that needed riding, "Stormy", a young gray gelding. What started out as a casual offer to ride, has now turned into a consistent, regular part of my life, not to mention that, like the teenager I once was, I have fallen head over heels in love with this lovely, goofy, sweet, and talented guy. That world has reopened up for me, and I find myself learning about horses in new ways, understanding how they work with the brain of an adult as opposed to one of a child--entire new philosophies have emerged about how to treat and train horses. But mostly, I find that I take a huge amount of pleasure and joy from, once again, having a horse in my life.