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!


Anonymous said...

Isn't it tragic that women give up things that are so essential to their happiness when they become wives & mothers because we are taught that it is selfish? I did the same thing and so did all but a few of my riding friends. Welcome back!

Mrs. B said...

Oh, no, that wasn't my situation! My entire family made sacrifices for each other, and I was happy with being as involved in my boys' activities as my own family was when I was growing up with horses. Would I have been happy if my boys had expressed any interest? Of course, but the paths that they chose gave me great joy. I treasure every second that we spent with them, and their friends, when they were growing up. My husband never spent a minute off hunting, fishing, or playing poker with the guys. He was as involved as I was.

I did almost feel selfish when I brought these equines into our lives, but that was my own feeling, the rest of my family was thrilled for me. I concede that those feelings of "selfishness" are more common to women, but I got over it! Now, the granddaughter is horse crazy, and we've added a nice little gelding for her to ride. I'm looking forward to indulging her passion the same way that my grandparents indulged mine!