Most everyone will say that people, train horses…
It has been almost 13 years since I have been on the back of a horse. My love for these animals, and riding them, began when I was 6 years old and my mom brought home the movie: Wild Hearts can’t be Broken. The movie is an inspirational true story, about a girl who comes from the poverty stricken “Great Depression” era of America; runs away to escape the lonely and futureless life she leads at her Aunt’s home, and finds a horse diving act at the county fair. Horse diving? Yes, literally taking a horse, running it straight up a steep inclining pier, where a rider is waiting to jump on their back at the very last second, before plunging from a very high distance, into a pool of water below. Señora Webster (the main character of this story), becomes blind, halfway through the movie, due to an unintentional misstep that happens when she hits the water with her eyes open, which causes both of her retinas to split, resulting in lifelong blindness. Her story ends in a positive way, which I will not spoil for those of you who want to see the movie, but it is inspiring non the less.
What is it about horses that renders them so majestic? So awe-inspiring? Is it their graceful movements? Their speed? Their stamina?
I’ve been asking myself that same question, every time I see one. I believe it is their appearance of complete and absolute freedom. Think about it. No really; think about it. It doesn’t matter if they are in a paddock, or they have a rider on their back. Horses always seem to look free. How mesmerizing is that?!
About 10 years ago, I suffered a leg injury that has kept me from doing THE ONE SPORT (all caps because in no way am I an athletic person), but THE ONE SPORT, that I fell head over heels in love with. When I was younger, I rode. Every Saturday. For 12 years. I was captivated by riding. It was my kind of sport. It was an escape. It was pure happiness. It was freedom.
Well, I’m so happy to say that after 10 years past my injury, I am well enough healed that today, I got “back in the saddle again”, on the animal I admire most.
I have experienced a few business related trials and temporary stresses in the past few months, that made me seriously question humanity and the morals in people. I got on the back of that horse today, and all of that melted away. It was like it never happened and never existed. When I was on the back of that horse, it was: my breathing and his breathing. His step and my body’s response to that step. It was the up and down motion as we trotted around the inclosure. It was the focusing on my leg muscles to give me the balance and stability I needed to keep me on his back. It was the concentration and centering of my upper body to maintain posture and position with the rhythmic “up/down” motion of posting during the steady and consistent trot. It was rhythm. It was harmony. It was perfection. When I was on the back of that horse, I remembered what I loved most, about me. It was that I am free.
Most everyone will say that people train horses;… but I believe horses train people – to be free.