Multiple times throughout the years, I find myself dreaming and daydreaming of being with horses. Riding them, feeding them, grooming them, heck, even cleaning up after them. At first, it was just the desire to ride them on long quiet trails. Then it became more about the connection, not just a physical connection, but a spiritual one as well.
This was only cemented for me, when I found that one of my most prominent power animal companions is a horse. I was honestly expecting more like wolf or tiger, but when Horse appeared, it all made sense. I cannot remember a time when I haven't been thinking about horses. I was about 4 when I had my first experience with a horse. It was a beautiful Roan mare, who I think was a quarter horse mix, though I'll never know for sure. Her name was "Chicken", and she lived with a quiet couple out in Woodinville, who rented a property out there that my mom and dad used to own. My mom, having to hear me talk about horses and ponies all the time, thought it would be great to take me out to meet Chicken from time to time.
Sadly, I never was able to get too close to Chicken, as I was too young and my mom was one of those ultra nervous helicopter type parents who always tried to keep me from getting hurt in any way, plus Chicken was a skiddish rescue, who was scared of her own shadow. Though I did get to bring her sugar cubes and fresh carrots that I sit and feed her, as a walked up and down the paddock getting her to follow me back and forth. Chicken was a good girl, though I remember several stories from her two legged mama, who said she was quite the trouble maker, but not to bright. One of my favorite things to do was to watch her try to get apples from a few lone trees at one end of her paddock. They were tucked in by some tall cedar trees and there was only one small bit of fence that sat in front of the apple trees, with nothing on either side of the little fence, so that anyone or any thing could just go around the fence and easily get the apples. Though Chicken never seemed to realize this, and so she tried and tried to reach her long neck out to the branches that were always just out of reach. Not that she never got any apples. Of course, they were a regular and coveted snack. Though her two legged mama told me that she couldn't have them as often as she wanted, or even have too much in one sitting, because all the extra sugar would be bad for her.
Until I was about 7 years old, we would go out and see Chicken at least twice a year, usually in the summer. I never felt like that was enough, but when we started only going once a year, and then not at all, I found myself wishing just for those twice yearly visits, however inadequate they might have been.
Mom never did tell me why we stopped going out there, though I suspect that Chicken might have passed or been rehomed, and mom probably just didn't have the heart to tell me.
At about 9 years old, I was finally able to go on my first Horseback riding adventure near Yellowstone, on a family road trip that summer. If I hadn't already been hooked from my meetings with Chicken, I would've been after these trail rides. Every summer after that, I begged and pleaded with my mom to take my riding again. Though sadly, with money getting tighter and tighter from rising inflating and other factors, I was only able to go horse back riding one more time when I was about 12.
Ever since then, I've dreamed of finding some way of reconnecting with this deeper desire. Somehow, some way, I'd find the time and money to have a regular relationship with horses.
Unfortunately, my adult life has been riddled with a lack of sustainable financial resources, which has made it difficult to follow through with this need. Sometimes I even go for up to 6 months without thinking about trying to get lessons. Though it always seems like just when I least expect it to pop up, I'll see something that reminds me. A statue of a horse as I dash around Seattle delivering for Postmates and DoorDash. A meme about horse wisdom on facebook. A groupon offer a steal of a deal on trail riding or horseback riding lessons within an hour from Seattle. That's not to far to travel for such a simple pleasure.... is it? Do I have the time to take to go out there and do something like this, just for me? Shouldn't I spend that time with the kids instead? What if I take my oldest with me... what if he hates it... what if I miss out on making enough money for the next week? What about the laundry? Oh look! A discount on a membership package... You mean, I could actually arrange to have a regular relationship with the same horses at the same location?
Yes, my overactive mind kicks in and it's like a just drank a RockStar. I can feel my heart beating more rapidly, and my mood quickly picking up, no matter what mood I was in a moment ago.
I can be in the worst mood in the world, with a million stresses threatening to consume me whole, and it all fades away at the thought of just being around horses. The moment the topic gets triggered in my mind, I find myself stumbling through any money I have coming in each month, and what I could justify spending on the endeavor, both in time and money, without taking away from my family. I'd really like to have a regular monthly or bi-monthly lesson, though even just two or three times a year would change many things for me, of that I'm sure.
Maybe through that I could even find a program to volunteer to care for some of the horses, or even find a connection to a ferrier program, something I've been searching for for over 4 years. Having that training would enable me to have a lifelong connection with many horses, in a way that truly helps them. In a way that helps me too.
Sadly, going through these thoughts only reminds me of my many physical limitations, not the least of which is my weight, which often bars me from many stables offering lessons and trail rides. Though even with what feels like a million things getting in my way of having a life full of regular connections with new equine companions, I know that one day I'll make it happen. I guess it's just something about horses. I just can't get them out of my head.
What is it about horses?