This weekend I packed up the Stump Kids and headed north to visit my parents and spend some time on the farm. M was going to be working long hours all weekend, and I knew that with how gorgeous the weekend was supposed to be, I was going to be itchin’ to be at the barn. Plus I just had one of those feelings that it would be good to be home with my parents, even for just a couple days.
On our farm we are down to four horses–all mares and all Quarter Horses. When I was younger, we had an upwards of eight horses on the farm, majority of them being shown by my sister and me. But since I’ve graduated college and had to move across the country for my career, the horses had to take an unfortunate back seat to life as a grown up. I hated it (and still do) and have held out hope that I can bring them back into my life physically (considering I work for a horse publication, they’re in my life in that way, but not like I can go and groom magazine horses). But, for now, that requires a 3.5 hour drive to my parents’ place.
Springtime on the farm means lots of brushing–the horses are shedding their thick winter coats. It’s a great arm workout, but also a great way to clear your mind because it is a mindless session. With the sun shining and a stiff breeze, the horse most likely will fall asleep with the constant scratching/massaging from the rubber curry. (When is it my turn?)
Then it’s time to do a little tail brushing, which isn’t really brushing, but more like using your fingers to pick through the tangles, removing the hay and shavings, and the occasional burr. I’ve always been one to pride myself on my horses’ tails–keeping them long, thick, and gorgeous. It’s another great mindless activity that’s so relaxing for me. It’s definitely something that I’ve needed after the past few weeks.
Then of course there’s the fun of riding! Whether it’s bareback with just a halter and lead rope (which I do with my 21-year-old mare that I’ve done everything with), or using a Western saddle, I’ll try to get in at least one good ride while I’m home. You may have heard the saying, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”–that’s so totally true.
It’s funny because this weekend I felt more confidence that I have in a long time. It’s like no matter how long it’s been since I’ve swung a leg over the back of a horse (in this case, almost 5 months!), I immediately feel like I am home and where I’m meant to be. The saddle envelopes my body and, seemingly, my soul. I have patient hands and a patient mind again. Chloe can try to unseat me because she doesn’t want to canter, but I still have my balance and remain seated. I’m not afraid to push my horse for a little more (which might mean a little fight, or not), yet I’m afraid to push myself to take a leap when it comes to my life.
So why can’t I just direct that passion and that love to my horseless life? It could be perhaps because I have felt that there’s been a hole in my life since I had to step away from being a horse person all the time. Being a horsewoman was my identity for more than half of my life, and to have that become the past like it has is pretty traumatic.
But for now, I’ll trudge through and hope that I can suffice on those moments that I can escape back to my childhood and get away from the realities of the adult world.
Is there anything from your earlier life you wish you had continued to do?