Wednesday, July 19, 2017

in the clutch

Nellyda age 9, and Duchess. Back yard jumping, Beavercreek OR, circa 1985. 

Jumping.  That's what we call it.  If you've never had the thrilling privilege of riding an animal while she jumps through the air (pegasus, unicorn) then you are missing a piece of life. It's just that simple.  I've ridden waves in the ocean.  I've run and hiked long distances in the mountains. I've caught many a trout on a fly rod.  I've seen the northern lights.  I've been able to go fast on a motorcycle.  I've fired a pistol. I've tasted caviar (not that great). Nothing (and by that I mean nothing) compares to galloping a horse towards an obstacle, and then balancing your weight and hers as she leaps--  carries you through the air, a live animal with a mind of her own (actually, two live animals with minds of their own) collaborating on a feat of athleticism, trust, and communication.
 Nellyda age 12, and Kachina, warming up for competition. Oregon, circa 1988

 Nellyda, age 41, and Abbey (Cat Power), Philomath OR. Inavale Farm, circa 2017. 

 So, that is all good.   But I was somehow foolish enough to walk away from my number-one passion for 25 years.  At the age of 14 I finished my last year of riding, and didn't really look back until I was 39 years old. This was largely a function of cost (horses are just not cheap, no matter what you think you can pull off).  It was also a function of being a hormone-saturated 14 year-old, teenage girl, and then finding cars, boys, beer, etc., all of which pulled me away from the large gentle goodness of horses.  But, alas! I woke up about 2 years ago, suddenly aware of my love for the beasts, and now, here I am, all horse crazy again.

Abbey broke a bone in her leg in May of this year.  We are just coming off a 2 month stall-rest program for the above splint bone fracture. We have completed week 1 of rehab, and she is ruling it.  For the 2 months that her future was uncertain I was deeply depressed. Never in my life has my happiness been tied to another living being like it is tied to this wonderful mare that I love more than just about anything that breathes...  I got her go-ahead to start rehab last week.

We are on top of the world -- soon to be sailing through the air together, woman and beast.

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