Still underwater over here, but the end is n(e)igh! (har, har).
While snorkeling in my backyard, I am on a contemplative streak.
There are so many happy moments in my life, and I am lucky that many of those happened to be on the back of a horse. Excluding horses, my happy moments are still plentiful, but they take away a large chunk of availability in my tremendously awkward “growing up” phase.
I had this thought earlier today, when was I most happy while riding on a horse? I would say there have been times I have been champion, high point rider, and other notable honors, but none of those strike me as the happiest. Especially now, as an adult, where the color of the ribbon means relatively little to me.
Over the course of my quarter life, flashes of nostalgia do stick with you though. Memories that are warm, rosy, and fill you up with joy. Here are a couple that immediately float to the surface of my mind.
- Riding in a faux fox hunt, galloping across a field as a young girl who was used to city riding in a cramped, havoc-ridden indoor
- Leading a trail of my camper-students on the Appalachian Trail in the Southeastern U.S.
- Being lauded by Bernie Traurig in a clinic where I jumped grand-prix level heights (with my no-business-being-there trakehner)
- Ending a particularly good O/F round in University and receiving a personal and loud cheer from my team
Each of these bring a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart. None of them are related to winning. I particularly enjoy the moments of relief in the midst of struggle. A lot of these memories I called out were bookended by times where I was questioning my capabilities and was losing faith in myself.
Riding is cyclical. And the weeks of “what am I doing”, “I suck at this”, and “why am I wasting money” can be so handily broken by a piercing optimistic burst. It’s in that moment, where Bernie calls you a natural, and it all christens the memory.
What are your favorite memories on a horse?