and those words sound so sophisticated for such a fun and laid back event. At least that's how it was for me. I know there are occasions when it involves lots of money and years of training and the horse is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars....but, for my own experiences, I'm talking about just the LOVE of riding. To get on a horse....most of the time bareback....and take off with the wind blowing in your hair, is one of the best things you can do for your heart and soul.
When I was 8 years old, my grandmother asked me what I would rather have.....piano lessons or a horse. What a ridiculous question! Even though I wish I could have done both.....of course I took the horse! Horses are a lot of work though. I was fortunate that we lived on a small farm so we had the room and the barns. My mother had previously owned horses so she was experienced in the care and feeding, as well as how to ride and saddle. The horse pictured is actually my horse and I owned him for 8 years. When I was 16, I sold him to a woman who was buying him for her 6 year old and I know he went to a good home.
When I owned him, I would meet up with other kids my age who had horses and we would all ride together. We loved to play "hide and seek" in the wooded fields. The rules were that you could not get off your horse.....so you not only had to find a place to hide yourself....you had to also hide your horse. So many times the horses would nicker to each other and betray our location. It was a lot of fun, as were the rides we took that stretched for miles on narrow, gravel country roads. We would stop along the way and have a picnic and we always remembered to bring along carrots for the horses. Of course they always had grass to munch on, so they weren't hungry.
I can't even begin to explain the feeling.....the ultimate freedom....of riding a horse. I would ride in our back fields almost daily and then over to an adjoining farm frequently to enjoy an additional 80 acres there. There were paths all through woods and around a small lake. It was so peaceful.....and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Just me, my trusty horse and my faithful little dog. How I wish I would have had the forethought to have had a camera with me. The pictures I have are only in my mind now. I have cherished those years all my life and can feel a smile slowly creep over my face as I think back and fondly remember. Just the sound of his hooves methodically hitting the ground and the squeak of the leather saddle under me.....the birds in the trees, ducks from the lake and the jingle of my dog's collar tags. When I'm stressed......I go back there mentally. I know I am so lucky to have these memories. So much so that I forgave my grandmother for tearing that picture out of the magazine. LOL (reference to the B post)