Time Keeps on Slippin' Slippin' Slippin'....Into the Future
2:36 p.m. - 2007-01-09
Well, hello there.
Been gone a long time, eh? Sorry.
Until yesterday, I haven't felt much like writing. Just didn't have anything to say. But a couple of nights ago, I was reading a book that Alan's dad and stepmother gave me for Christmas. Certainly not my usual fare, but Nicholas Sparks' _Dear John_ did accomplish one thing (aside from making me cry at the end, which caught me completely and totally by surprise, because the book was absolutely predictable). The girl in the book loves horses, and the descriptions of riding got me fired up at the idea.
I know I've mentioned a few other times that horses have always been an integral part of my life. Up until I went to college, I rode practically every day of my life. I broke and trained barrel racing horses, and I was really, really good at it. Not necessarily at the barrel racing part--I never had one of the $30,000-$75,000 professionally trained horses that the pros do the big winning on--but when it came to actually WORKING with the horse, I was great. I can't count the number of times people that knew me called to ask if I'd come ride their problem horses to see if I could do anything with them. I've always had a knack with horses, and there was Nothing in the world that I loved more.
I rode through college too, but not nearly as frequently as I wanted to. Both classes and being an hour away from home and my horse put a huge damper on the amount of time I had available to ride, but I did manage to come down every week or so.
After college, however, things tapered off to the point that I hardly ever rode at all. I was always working or doing something else, and I just didn't feel the same pull toward riding that I used to. And then I got pregnant, and Ali came along, and it had been so long since I rode that I didn't even think about it anymore.
But after reading that silly book, I lay in bed for over an hour thinking about how much I really, truly missed my horses. Their smell, the feel of them beneath me, the view of the world from their back. And I made a decision that I was going to ride the next day, come hell or high water.
And I did. I left Ali with my mother, and went outside and brought my mare up from the back pasture. I combed and curried her out, and then saddled and bridled her. She's always been cold-backed when you first get on her, so I lunged her for ten minutes or so before I attempted to crawl up in the saddle. After she'd gotten the majority of bucking and kicking out of her system, I steeled myself against shaky nerves (let's face it, after three or more years without riding, I'm certainly not in the shape that I used to be, and knowing Windy, I was about halfway certain that I'd end up hitting the ground within a matter of minutes) and climbed on.
Aside from the right thigh muscle that protested against swinging up and over the saddle in such an unfamiliar motion, I was almost immediately at ease on top of her. I spent the next hour on her, taking her through her paces, and then cooled her down by letting her lead the way on a leisurely walk through the woods behind my parents house.
Afterward, I felt happier and more content than I have in a long time. I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day, and I can honestly say that yesterday was one of the best days I've had in forever.
I had every intention of going again today, but I've felt crampy and headachey and grouchy since I woke up. (Which probably means that I should go for certain.) Also, I didn't have anyone to keep Ali until 2:30 this afternoon, but now it's 3:00 and there's really nothing stopping me except myself.
Whether I decide to go or not, I know that I'll be riding again within the week. Nothing is going to keep me off horseback for that long again.