It’s a wonderfully recurring theme throughout my Horse Life . . .
“The more I ride, the more I want to ride! The more I ride, the more I must ride !” DawnHoof
The more I ride, the more I experience that effervescent, single-minded, can’t-wait-to-do- it-again, fluttery feeling: Horse High!!!
Enjoy this post I wrote last fall. My wonderful ride on Fae in our woods tonight brought back my Horse High, and I decided to post this now, in honor of all the Great Rides we Horse Humans live for . . . DawnHoof
It’s the Horse High that keeps me a Horse Girl.
Not just my owning, caring for, and feeding my horses every day . . .
Not just that I can ride.
But that I do ride!
Again. And again.
Not a Given . . .
Yet sometimes the High alludes me.
Occasionally, rides go bad, or leave me flat.
Sometimes it’s tough to get out and ride at all!
Be it weather — too hot, too cold. Conditions — too slick, too much snow. Time — too little daylight, too much work. Or my own energy levels — too tired, or just not quite “up”.
But most of my Horse Adventures fuel the High I feel today, from all the great rides and carriage drives I’ve experienced recently :)) :)) :))
Keeping Stats :))
You may not know, but I log every ride! Like in my old days of piloting airplanes, every hour spent in flight, every destination, every landing, recorded in flight logs.
I record my rides in a series of yearly At-A-Glance type organizer books, (going back more than twenty years!), along with my day-to-day work, travel and activities.
Rides are circled and flagged, so they stand out and can be tallied. Time, horse(s) and destination, all recorded.
I treasure these records, as they paint the overall picture as to how my Horse Life is playing out, over the larger scope of time.
Going back through the years and adding up my number of rides and hours spent in the saddle — I’ve noticed, as I’m getting older, the numbers tend to shrink.
You might be tempted to think, “One day, when things slow down — I’ll live the Life of my Dreams.”
Oh, so naive.
You might find, as you age, you won’t quite have the energy levels you have now.
(Like our vehicles, our own body mileage starts piling up, and we require more maintenance to perform at previous levels of expectation :))
“A good reminder to you younger folks — On with it! Get out and get on with your Dreams! Find a way to manifest the Life you’ve always wanted . . . right now.” DawnHoof
The Urge to Call it Quits . . .
In fact, from time to time throughout my more difficult years, when the High has partially alluded me, I’ve actually considered finding a new home for my herd.
This happened a couple years ago. My rides had gotten less frequent, and some of the thrill had gone.
“If I’m not riding as much, and not enjoying it like before,” I asked, quite seriously . . . “Would my horses be better off with someone else???”
Mind Mapping my Solution
So I did what I always do when faced with a Life Dilemma: I got out felt markers and poster board, and started a fresh Mind Map to explore the topic.
I came home.
I rode again.
Over the course of a week, I had my answer:
- No, I don’t need to re-home my herd :))
- I am an excellent horse owner — but my Life has shifted at this stage, and my horsing must now adjust
- So, rather than find faults, change my expectations and enjoy the phase I’m in now
- Create joy in all that I do with my horses, whether I ride, or not :))
In shifting my approach, I’m happy to report, my Horse High, which powered the dreams of my childhood, has returned! 🙂 :))
Altering my Expectations
I reset my goals and expectations to include accepting a bit less time in the saddle, yet allowing myself to enjoy this “golden autumn” phase of Life and Horse . . .
(Like the colors and light that grace the fall equinox season.)
From my Mapping, I discovered that my Horse High shows up most when I shake up the usual mix :))
- Hauling and riding somewhere fresh
- Inviting a friend to join me
- Making some daring change to my everyday routine
So recently, I took action — and loaded Aria and Laddie in the trailer, and headed toward Lockwood Valley.
Earlier this summer I joined an endurance-riding neighbor for a big evening/moonlight ride (4.5 hours!) up Seymour Canyon, an old haunt I hadn’t ridden in years.
Now I set out for an encore ride of just the lower, easy part of Seymour, riding Laddie and ponying Aria.
Golden Seymour Canyon
Up, up we rode.
Up the dirt track.
Past the dried creekbed.
Magical Sunbeams :))
A single doe,
Large eyes and ears,
Paused. Looked —
Leapt off into
The underbrush —
Laddie’s neck high,
Past ramshackled remains
Of previously inhabited
Trailers and outbuildings.
Abandoned gravel pit.
Grass-lined, dried-out ponds.
Up, up, ever up —
Winding past private
Along the forest line.
Outside the fence,
Outside of time . . .
To Golden Seymour Flats,
Ablaze in once-a-year
Perfect fall glory.
My saddle warm,
My horses eager.
Forward. In sync.
My body fit, fine.
Galloping into freedom —
Of constant, fluid motion.
High on Horse!
High on Nature.
High on Life :))
The day after a big ride, my lower back, neck and shoulders wake up stiff.
But they work out of it . . .
More powerful than that, my Soul wakes up refreshed, yearning for more.
Dreaming. Recounting. Re-living —
Bursting out in an effervescent, obsessive, Horse High!
:)) :)) Old Fashioned Horse High :)) :))
So today, all I could think was:
- Where to go next?
- What day could we go?
- Which horses should I take?
- How far shall we ride???
High, Again :))
So I rode again, tonight —
In the moonlight.
One with my mount.
Dreaming again now —
Where to go next?
Which horses to take?
What’s up for the rest of the week??? :))
Please visit my Life Blog, Journal of Dawn ,
for Strategies and Insights into the
Journey of Life