Saturday, February 23, 2008

Leah Rides Again

Thanks to my cousins I had a little bit of a chance to go relive my youth.
While they are stationed in Kansas my cousin, her husband and the girls take horseback riding lessons together as a family. When I was making my travel arrangements she mentioned that Friday was their day to ride. My heart started thumping like a little kid. The chance to ride again?

I watched the girls riding and it just brought back so many happy memories of my own childhood and my own horse, Bear. It was hard to hold back my enthusiasm as I readied to get back in the saddle, literally. It had been eight years since I last rode. The last time was on a guided tour through the Lake District in England and I was with a tour where only walking was permitted.
Auggie was the horse the girls had selected especially for me. As it would happen, it was a very good choice. He was a soft, gentle horse with a sweet way about him. Not too spirited so I was confident enough that my rustiness wouldn't be too much of an obstacle. Don't be deceived by the picture, it doesn't quite do him justice. I just couldn't believe it. I was going to ride again!

Riding a bicycle comes back to you like second nature, or so they say. Somehow the learning, the ingrained kinesthetic patterns write their way into your brain. So too, I found, is riding a horse. All of it came back and woke up that part of me that had been so long absent--that girlish giddiness that just clicks right through my heels into the stirrups. I trotted circles in the indoor ring with Colleen and Tim all the while thinking "this is so cool." How can you have been away from something for so long that gives so much happiness? The answer is time, change and circumstance. A generic and shallow excuse perhaps, but I find it amazing how one special reminder can jolt like electricity through you. And as I walked bowlegged through the airport like a regular cowpoke, I smiled and thought how even the most unfamiliar journeys can bring you back to yourself. A very special trip indeed.
Thanks again Colleen, Tim, Julia, Emily and Shelby. Miss you already.

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