I realized something with my last blog post, something I certainly have tried to ignore and push out of my head and fight for a few years now. I am a horseback rider, it is literally in my blood and my family on both sides has horseback riders. I can see an image of a horse from miles away, and as a little girl I collected breyer horses. I pretended that they were my own and even had a wooden stable for them. I raced them in circles, jumped them over miniature jumps, and dreamed of having my own horse.
And, I got my own horse, and she was amazing, spirited, bratty, smart, and most of all, one-of-a-kind. I loved her more than anything, even when she tossed me, even when she hurt me when she was younger. We fought each other and we were both stubborn, but I still loved her to death. She was diagnosed with a degenerative disease and slowly that feisty little thing started to slowly fade before my eyes. The pain was evident, she limped when she trotted and it was clear she was in so much pain. Near the end she went off her feed and stopped eating, me and my mom were distraught and tried everything to get her better. We did injections that were supposed to help and supplements, and kept fighting hard but she was suffering, and kept on losing so much weight.
Finally, we made the decision we didn’t want to make. I cried for so long, and I still cry when I think about it. I put away my model horses and took down every bit of horse stuff I had. The saddles, the bridles, all of our equipment and clothes were boxed away and I swore to myself I would never do anything with horses again. How could I when I finally owned my first horse and then lost her even though my mother and I tried so hard to do everything to make her better.
Horseback riding has always affected me in a strong way, whether it’s the adrenaline rush of jumping or the peace I feel from trail riding. I’ve been doing it since I was 7 years old, and I did everything horse related I could. I even tried every riding style out there, from English, to hunter/jumping, saddle seat, and I even dabbled in western and gaited horses. My favorite type of horse was always the high-strung ones, the horses no one else could handle. That was the type of horse my girl was, my first horse, and she was high-strung and hard to train. I like the challenge of a horse that is nervous and how I can calm them down by just not being affected by their nervous energy. I enjoyed breaking in gaited horses when I got the opportunity and how it feels being in the saddle.
I think I’m going to try to get back into riding, I think it might make me feel more at home with the move and get me back into something I’ve loved for so long. I hope I’m strong enough to get back into the saddle and ride again, because I’ve tried to tell myself I don’t want to be a horseback rider again but I know it’s in my blood.