Sunday, October 23, 2011

Horse Heaven

When I was three my grandparents bought me a pony. Several months later our small East Texas community held its annual trail ride in conjunction with a week long festival. My grandfather and oldest sister were riding horses, my middle sister was to ride my pony on the seventeen mile long ride, and I was to ride in a covered wagon with Daddy and others.

As people gathered for the start of the ride, my poor Daddy was confronted with two hysterical daughters. He held me in one arm as I screamed, and pulled my screaming sister off of the pony with his other arm. As he pulled her off the pony, I grabbed the pommel, clambered into the saddle, and stopped crying instantly. As soon as my sister was in Daddy's arms she stopped her wailing, too. Those two got into the wagon, and I joined the other riders.

All of this came back to me this weekend. On Saturday, for the first time in twenty years, I climbed on to the back of a horse. I felt my face split into a grin, and that exhilarating sense of freedom flooded through me. While I'm an awful long way from that little girl, she is still inside of me, and she is thrilled beyond words that her barn will once again be home to a horse.

I must confess though, it feels odd. Almost selfish. It's something I desperately want, but I want it just for me. That doesn't feel right, but I'm pretty sure I'll adjust-especially once the grandchildren start to ride!