Words to Ride By

Words to Ride By

“It’s pretty amazing that I’m privileged enough to have a horse,” she said. “I don’t have a $100,000 horse, but she’s a lovely horse. There are a lot of people out there who don’t even have a home, and I have a horse. To be privileged enough to have a horse and be able to do this sport is truly a blessing.” Phoenix Cooke and Skys Burnin Blue

This quote is pretty amazing and puts much into perspective. Like Phoenix said, some people don’t even have a home, and I have a horse. Actually, I have three of them (or rather, two horses and a retired pony). But still. I have horses. Plural. It’s both funny and sad how quickly you can lose sight of all you have and become consumed with pettiness and then – bam – this quote.

Misty pretending she's shy. Actually, she wants to know why I'm bothering her during 'nap time.'

Misty pretending she’s shy. Actually, she wants to know why I’m bothering her during ‘nap time.’

Sometimes I get into a crazy, ridiculous riding/horsey headspace. I’m competitive and driven and want to succeed. What’s wrong with that, you ask. Well…nothing. But, unfortunately, I just create a lot of unnecessary stress in my life and tend to overlook things unless they fall into my equine world. Nothing else matters. It takes obsession to a whole new level, and that’s not healthy. And when I’m in this headspace, all I can think about is how much of a failure I am because I didn’t (or haven’t yet…?) accomplish the very grand goals I had for Misty.

But – who cares? I have a horse. And, “she’s a lovely horse.” And she’s mine. For almost six years, she’s been my horse. She’s lived with me longer than she’s lived with anyone else. And maybe we never made it to some of the shows I wanted to attend, and maybe I can’t canter her on a regular basis…but that’s okay. Because she’s my horse, and I will never part from her.

Like I said in some earlier posts, Misty and I are taking a break from training this year, and maybe forever. I don’t know. But in the meantime, I’ve been enjoying our little hacks around my property, and, more importantly, so has she. There’s a different atmosphere to our rides, a lightness, if you will. I’m not riding with any goals in mind. I’m not thinking of our next lesson or that show in two months. I’m only thinking about Misty and how smooth her walk is and how adorable her little ears are. For maybe the first time ever, I’m present. I’m riding in the here and now and not thinking of what this ride or her current behavior may or may not mean. And that’s glorious and relaxing – and we are happy!

Of course, like any competitive person, I’m thinking, what’s next? But I’m not letting that mindset cloud our present. I feel like I can see a little clearer now and see Misty for the silly, quirky, beautiful creature that she is. And I’m lucky enough to live with her and call her mine. Maybe one day we’ll compete again together, or maybe we won’t. Either way, “to be able to do this sport is truly a blessing.” Well said, Phoenix.

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