Sunday, March 29, 2020

Awkward Rider 2018

I have memories of always owning and riding horses, having traded my bottle(when I was four)for a pair of cowgirl boots so I could take riding lessons. We owned horses throughout my childhood, and I always had a special horse that was mine, progressing to better horses as I got older.  I rode mostly bareback, treating my horses much as other kids did their bicycles, and having those horses in my life is probably what most helped me arrive at adulthood (more or less) in one piece,.  However, when I started riding again, now a much older person, I was shocked to find that, although I still had all that muscle memory, things were different.  When I went to get on, the horses' back seemed miles away, and the ground seemed just as far once I did manage to get up. Where I could once throw my leg over a bareback horse and spring on, I now stood futilely by his side, tossing my leg up only to slam into his side with it, again and again. A ride meant that I would be sore for days after, and I found that I was nervous being around the horses on the ground--they just seemed so big and unpredictable.

But now, I'm finding that once again, being around horses is helping me get through the stress and worry of this tough time of Covid19.  It's very hard to think about all the things that are going wrong when you might find yourself being dragged through the dirt, or being stepped on, or run away with. So, in many ways I find I'm back to my 14 year old self, escaping the world through the wonderful portal of being with a horse.  The ride is a little different now, but I'm getting the two things I most need--a different focus and a connection to something that isn't dark and scary.

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