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Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Makes Me Happy

I'm frequently asked by the curious non-equestrians at work, "How often do you ride?" My typical responses are "Me ... Oh ... not since the Nixon administration" or "They don't let the wretched ride."

The truth be known, I did ride almost daily while courting my wife 23 years ago. She was teaching riding lessons and I was taking riding lessons so I could actually see her when she wasn't exhausted. She even convinced me to go into a little schooling show. True story: I almost ran over the judge and then cut off a 75 year old woman in a flat class causing her to fall from her mount. After my primary rival was taken away in an ambulance, I got second in the class, much better than I expected.

I now rarely get on a horse...maybe every 5 years or so if the stars line up just so. Yes, it usually does take 5 years to recover. Even when I do ride, it on the pony Bobbie. I'm 6 foot 2. If he starts getting fresh, all I have to do is straighten my legs and he just trots out from under me.

Truth also be known that none of this is or was ever about me. The quicker I came to that realization the better. My role is cleaning stalls on the weekends, picking up the feed at the store, doing night checks, trailering horses here and there, fixing stuff, helping with turn out and yes paying some bills. The horses are as much about me as breathing is about smelling the flowers. I'm only a side benefit that comes with the entree.

However, I love (and I do mean love) to watch my wife and daughter ride. The horse and either rider float so effortlessly around the ring with such grace and beauty that it's almost like a spiritual type of experience for me. OK ... before you think spiritual in the sense that I'm channeling my long dead fore fathers ... no ... nothing Casper the Friendly Ghost here.

Watching them ride somehow makes me feel like I'm part of something bigger.
I always have to stop and watch for a moment. I'm always at least tempted to grab a camera. I always get tears in my eyes.

It's not truly about their riding either. Yes, my wife and daughter both are accomplished riders and no I don't get the same feeling watching others ride (that would be weird), no matter how good they are. I do, however, get the same feeling watching my son snowboard effortlessly over powered snow. See the Link...

The watery eyes, the spirituality, the sappy stories do not come because of the beauty of the ride of horse or snowboard or because I live to peal onions.

It comes because someone I love is doing something something they love. It makes them happy beyond happy, which makes me happy beyond happy.

Ride Happy!

1 comment:

  1. There is an awful lot about horses that makes me happy. Just standing beside them while they are chewing away on a bale of hay or just watching them play is okay. But not today... it's 20 degrees out there.