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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Email: jackereynolds@yahoo.com


December 13, 2009

I RIDE


Photo by Lida Pinkham


A page from an 87 yr old horsewoman's journal

I Ride

I ride. That seems like such a simple statement. However as many women
who ride know it is really a complicated matter. It has to do with power
and
empowerment. Being able to do things you might have once considered
out of reach or ability. I have considered this as I shovel manure, fill
water
barrels in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/ electrician/ hay
delivery, change
a tire on a horse trailer by the side of the freeway, or cool a gelding out
before getting down to the business of drinking a cold beer after a long
ride.

The time, the money, the effort it takes to ride calls for dedication. At
least I
call it dedication. Both my ex-husbands call it 'the sickness'. It's a
sickness
I've had since I was a small girl bouncing my model horses and dreaming of
the day I would ride a real horse. Most of the women I ride with understand
the meaning of 'the sickness'. It's not a sport. It's not a hobby. It's
what we
do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

I ride. I hook up my trailer and load my gelding. I haul to some trailhead
somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog and I ride. I breathe in the
air,
watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my
horse.
My shoulders relax. A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face. I pull my ball
cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the
dust.

Time slows. Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies. My gelding
flicks
his ears and moves down the trail. I can smell his sweat and it is perfume
to
my senses. Time slows. The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the
leaves become my focus. My saddle creaks and the leather rein in my hand
softens with the warmth.

I consider the simple statement; I ride. I think of all I do because I
ride.
Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the
Manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest. Other
days just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment.
Still I ride, no matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the
numerous horse related injuries hurt. I ride. And I feel better for doing
so.

The beauty I've seen because I ride amazes me. I've ridden out to find
lakes
that remain for the most part, unseen. Caves, dark and cold beside rivers
full and rolling are the scenes I see in my dreams. The Granite Stairway
at
Echo Summit, bald eagles on the wing and bobcats on the prowl add to the
empowerment and joy in my heart.

I think of the people, mostly women, I've met. I consider how competent
they all are. Not a weenie amongst the bunch.. We haul 40ft rigs, we back
into tight spaces without clipping a tree. We set up camp. Tend the horses.
We cook and keep safe. We understand and love our companions, the
horse. We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail. We
know that if you are out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait and
doctor.
Your hands are a little rough and you travel with out makeup or hair gel.
You do without to afford the 'sickness' and probably, when you were a
small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real
one.

"My treasures do not chink or glitter, They gleam in the sun and neigh in
the night".

4 comments:

  1. Are you trying to psych yourself up to go deal with the cold snow? ;)

    I love that poem and the essay, thanks for sharing them again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, you are the next "next blog" from my trainers' blog...what a neat find!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Welcome...kick up your feet and stay awhile :)

    ~E.G.

    ReplyDelete