Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Me, 50 Years From Now

I just thought this was the coolest, so had to share:

A page from an 87 yr old horsewoman's journal

I Ride

I ride. That seems like such a simple statement. However as many women

who ride know it is really a complicated matter. It has to do with power

and empowerment. Being able to do things you might have once considered

out of reach or ability. I have considered this as I shovel manure, fill

water barrels in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/electrician/hay

delivery, change a tire on a horse trailer by the side of the freeway, or cool a gelding out before getting down to the business of drinking a cold beer after a long ride.

The time, the money, the effort it takes to ride calls for dedication. At

least I call it dedication. Both my ex-husbands call it 'the sickness'. It's a

sickness I've had since I was a small girl bouncing my model horses and dreaming of the day I would ride a real horse. Most of the women I ride with understand the meaning of 'the sickness'. It's not a sport. It's not a hobby. It's

what we do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

I ride. I hook up my trailer and load my gelding. I haul to some trailhead

somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog and I ride. I breathe in the

air, watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my horse.

My shoulders relax. A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face. I pull my ball

cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the


Time slows. Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies. My gelding

flicks his ears and moves down the trail. I can smell his sweat and it is perfume to my senses. Time slows. The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the leaves become my focus. My saddle creaks and the leather rein in my hand softens with the warmth.

I consider the simple statement; I ride. I think of all I do because I

ride. Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the

Manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest. Other

days just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment.

Still I ride, no matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the

numerous horse related injuries hurt. I ride. And I feel better for doing


The beauty I've seen because I ride amazes me. I've ridden out to find

lakes that remain for the most part, unseen. Caves, dark and cold beside riversfull and rolling are the scenes I see in my dreams. The Granite Stairway

at Echo Summit, bald eagles on the wing and bobcats on the prowl add to the

empowerment and joy in my heart.

I think of the people, mostly women, I've met. I consider how competent

they all are. Not a weenie amongst the bunch.. We haul 40ft rigs, we back

into tight spaces without clipping a tree. We set up camp. Tend the horses.

We cook and keep safe. We understand and love our companions, the

horse. We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail. We

know that if you are out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait and

doctor. Your hands are a little rough and you travel with out makeup or hair gel. You do without to afford the 'sickness' and probably, when you were a

small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real


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