I’m always trying to notice what things bring me a feeling of happiness. This week I found another one.
I haven’t felt this particular source of happiness for years. Not since the last time I was on the back of a magnificent horse.
My mom loves horses. She was the little girl who drew horses and read about horses and took every opportunity she could to ride horses. So, when I was growing up, as often as she could, she would take my siblings and I horse back riding.
There was a stable near Hume Lake, CA where we would often ride. There was a beautiful golden horse there named Sundance. I loved that horse. I would beg to be the one to ride Sundance. And when I sat on top of her beautiful back, I had daydreams of dancing across meadows full of wildflowers and right onto the rays of the sun.
For me there is something so magical about being together with such a marvelous animal. Horses are just beautiful creatures in my eyes. And their strength woven with their intelligence and such a variety of personalities just captures my sense of wonder.
I’ve missed that.
It’s been years, since I’ve ridden a horse. Grown-up life and single motherhood and a set of twins are only a handful of the reasons that my feet haven’t made it back to a ranch.
Until last week.
I connected with an amazing lady that I met through our mutual love of music… and found out that we also have a mutual love of horses. And she has two beautiful horses. And she was gracious enough to invite me to come over and meet them.
I got there a few minutes before she did and walked over to the fence. One of her stunning horses, a black and white paint, looked up at me. And regally, he stepped over to the fence to check me out.
I smiled at him and let him come near. He wasn’t afraid of me for a minute. And he must of sensed that I was a friend, because he nosed over the top of the fence and nodded at me.
I respectfully reached my hand up and stroked the side of his neck. He was so warm. So silky. So amazing! My happy bucket nearly overflowed!
I spent an amazing morning with my friend and her animals (she also has 3 goats, a turkey, and chickens!) And she invited me to come back… and go riding! I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
Monday morning, bright and early, I was back to help load the horses in the trailer. We headed to a spot on on the north side of the San Francisco Bay (San Pablo Bay). We saddled up the horses… and with a nod from my ride… I jumped up.
It felt like no time had passed since I’d been in a saddle. It all came back to me and felt as natural as dancing. The feeling of riding together with such a powerful creature was awesome.
We took a nice leisurely ride around the nature preserve. The sun was warm. The air was cool. And the rhythmic steps of the horses tapped out our music.
I felt so light. I felt so carried. I felt so lifted up. Not just physically, but emotionally too. This beautiful paint horse (whose name is actually Paint, by the way) was willing to carry me. And it made me smile.
Here’s a little about Paint, too. He was a working cowboy’s horse for years. He would regularly spend hours out on a cow ranch with a sturdy cowboy on his back. He’s 18 now and in “retirement” with my friend. He’s kind of like a tough old cowboy with a heart of gold.
And he took such good care of me. And I let him stop for a couple of snacks too. I like to think we both enjoyed the ride.
I know I definitely enjoyed the ride! It reminded me that being on the back of a horse (or even just being around a horse) is one of my happy places. I felt truly light while being carried.
Do you have an animal that makes you feel light?