Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Nice Ride

By Laura Crum

Don’t you just love it when once in awhile you have one of those idyllic rides that make you realize why you fell in love with riding to begin with? Yesterday was one of those days for me.

I have been riding very sporadically, between being busy and the weather…etc. Two days a week is about my average. And I actually haven’t been feeling very motivated to do that. But yesterday was sunny and in the 70’s and my friends were going to gather the cattle and do some practice team roping. For the first time in awhile, we loaded Sunny and Henry and went along.

And it was glorious. My son pushed cattle on Henry and I helped run the chutes. We both loped big circles in the huge, beautifully groomed arena. The sun shone brightly. This particular arena has the cattle field on one side and a forest of mixed oaks and redwoods on the other. Not a road or a car to be seen. I loped along on my steady little yellow horse thinking that hey, I’m having fun. My son had a grin from ear to ear. What a pleasure.

It dawned on me that sometimes, between the work and the worry factors, horses can seem almost a burden (well, they’re never quite that, but I’m guessing you know what I mean). So its really nice that we get rewarded fairly frequently with these delightful moments. For me, these days, they mostly occur as I do the mundane tasks of feeding and such, or when I’m riding along the trail. I haven’t been very excited by riding in the arena for awhile. So it tickled me that for once I was thrilled to be loping big circles on a horse who felt good (hadn’t been ridden in a week).

Sunny’s energy was high, he enjoyed the loping as much as I did. His long mane (it hangs several inches below his neck) flared in the breeze of his motion and I was amused to see how much of a kick I got out of watching the shiny gold light sparks on his palomino neck and seeing his shaggy cream colored mane swing and lift in the rhythm of his stride. It felt in some ways like being a teenager again and admiring my horse because he was so “pretty”. At times I think I’ve spent too many years in the horse biz to be seduced by the cute factor, and/or the thrill of just flying along on the back of a horse, but it turns out I’m wrong. Those things can still get me.

On top of which I get the thrill of seeing my son discover these delights. In class yesterday, when he was asked what he would be grateful for on Thanksgiving, he said, “Our horses—especially Henry.” And when we got to the roping arena, big and wide open for loping in the winter sunshine, he said, “I just want to live at this arena. Then I could lope forever.” And I knew just what he meant.

So, anybody else out there have any inspiring horsey moments to share? The ones that get us through the difficult times and make all we do with horses worthwhile. Sometimes its just the little things…like loping circles in the arena on a sunny November day.



Unknown said...
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Promise said...

That sounds absolutely amazing! I remember discovering those things as a kid...and how much I love falling back into that feeling now.

My last ride on Promise was like this. Just perfect, in every way. The weather, the energy...and us, as a team.

I am really itching to ride again, and have found myself enjoying the beautiful weather in Florida and wishing she wasn't still gimpy from pulling a ligament in her right hind. Maybe this weekend she will be sound enough that I can hop on and walk her that way. My fingers are crossed!

Maryannwrites said...

Lovely post, Laura, and I don't think we ever get over that "thrill of flying on the back of a horse." Although I am a little more cautious about actually "flying". Old bones and all. :-)

lopinon4 said...

Lovely post! I had a ride like this about 3 rides ago, and I think it's what keeps me hanging in there. Not that the horse life is tedious, but seriously I often wonder who is working for who!

Laura Crum said...

Promise--I can remember when I first got back on Henry bareback and walked him around, after many months of rehabbing him from colic surgery. Just sitting on his back was a thrill--I was so happy we had come that far. I hope you can get on Promise.

Maryann--I was actually just loping, not even going very fast. But sometimes it does feel like flying. My son says this all the time.

And lopinon4--boy do I hear you. I really don't mind the work I do for my horses and I enjoy them very much, but that phrase rings true. "I wonder who is working for who!" Well said.

autumnblaze said...

Laura - I have an idea I posted about Sunny's quirk post.

horsegenes said...

That is so awesome. It always makes me feel younger and renewed when I have a day like that.

Laura Crum said...

autumnblaze--thanks for the idea about Sunny. I am going to try to be more aware if there's a possibility its a pain issue.

And kel--yeah, I feel younger after a good day with the horses, too (!)

HorseOfCourse said...

I find what gives me most joy is trail rides together with my daughter, in addition to successful training sessions.

But there is something special in the shared joy of being together with your child AND together with your horses.
Enjoying the beautiful scenery, or laughing together when our happy horses are doing something stupid.

Sadly I seldom get the company of my daughter anymore, she is 14 and prefers to ride without her mum *sigh*, but we had a lovely autumn ride together a month ago.
I enjoyed every minute of it!

Laura Crum said...

Horse Of Course--I am trying very hard to appreciate every moment of this time when my young child prefers riding with me to anything. I know it won't last forever (!)