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Sunday, August 17, 2014


A few days ago, I was on the back of a black and white pinto, trotting around an exercise arena. And because I'm me, my eyes welled up with tears as we shuffled across the ring together.

I rode when I was a kid, on and off, for about ten years. I was a complete horse girl. I read every book, watched every movie, and every Christmas and birthday I nourished a small hope that maybe this was the time I'd get my own horse. Like most kids with that same hope, I never did. But I kept up my lessons, through moves and falls. I was a timid rider, anxious even, but I think that spoke to how much I loved them, that I stood up to myself and my fears.

I've never stopped loving them, never stopped gasping when I encounter one unexpectedly.

So aboard this little paint, in an English saddle, I started to feel like perhaps there was a part of me that wasn't gone forever. I spoke to her with my body, the old words coming up with ease. Nothing fancy or advanced at all, but when the owner of the barn told me I was "a good little rider," I flushed with a pride that I rarely feel, smile impossible to hold back.

In those moments, my body was not broken, or fucked up, or wrong.

A few times I had thoughts of, "Should I be using my arms this way?" "Am I hurting myself?" but I quashed them. I didn't care. And though my muscles complained, sometimes bitterly, later, I stand by it.

Blinking back those tears in the arena, I had a distinct feeling of this is it. This is what I need. After all this time, this is what it is. A girl and a horse.

I realized, finally, completely, that the path back to myself is not one I will walk alone.

I'm not unique in this, I realized after obsessive googling. It's not easy to find a barn when you're in the city. Even if I can't make regular lessons happen right now, I'm going to do everything I can. Here are programs for the other horse girls out there, that I'll be looking into as well.

Big Sky Yoga Retreats
My Feet Take Wings -- Breast Cancer Support Program
Riding Beyond
Horse Power for Life

Happy riding, my lovelies.

1 comment:

  1. Emily google Big Sky as that is where I went in May on the breast cancer scholarship with 7 others. Every year they sponsor this and you are the PERFECT candidate!