Thursday, November 04, 2004


So that's what it is like to reach back and touch all the good parts of your 14 year old self! I don't really know why it hadn't occurred to me before to go on an adventure in the forest. Maybe it was just a lack of vision on my part, forgetting to see all the alternatives. But after we went to our local precinct to vote on Tuesday, and with husband being home to stay with the kids, I got the horse, forgot the rest of the dishes and laundry, and went for a ride. Just like I used to do, all my young life, even the year I was 14 and first fell in love.

Now, a 2000# Belgian isn't exactly a saddle horse like those I grew up on. I ride him on a bareback pad because he is too big for any of my saddles, and I put my English reins which are barely long enough on his blinkered bridle so I'm pretty much riding him "on the buckle". I lead him over to a big log and swing myself up. Find husband, tell him I am gone (with FRS radio) and move out. Duke, the horse, thinks I'm insane. He likes his work collar but this riding stuff is for the birds so far as he's concerned. Next time maybe I'll take him in the forecart, but it was so fun to sit on him, swing with his gate, feel when he shortens his step. It is a body memory. Hours spent and how you just settle down into the horse, when it is done right the center of gravity of the both of you inside the horse, two become one.

It is a body memory. The unhurried four beat walk, looking around, experiencing the world from a higher perspective and a slower one, feeling the pockets of cool and warm air, seeing the lay of the land in an entirely different way. I remember how cars slow, how everyone waves, how kids call to their moms "There's a horse!" I noticed turkeys and guineas and ducks that I never before knew our neighbors had. And different places morons had dumped their trash.

My legs were surprisingly not sore afterward, even now, a couple days later. Duke may be sore -- he's not been worked much lately. Bless his heart, just walking lathered him because it was a warm day (70s) and he has his winter coat on. I can't wait to go back though, explore more, go further, wave at all my neighbors again.

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