I had the most amazing opportunity to ride with Wendy Murdoch yesterday. It was a last minute private lesson before her regular clinic, I was so thankful for the chance. I have not ridden in over 6 months, since I lost my longtime partner, Belich.
I have ridden Pam Pierce’s lovely horse Poet once before when I had signed up for a clinic and Belich got injured. Pam graciously offered for me to take Poet to a Tom Curtin clinic in Buffalo, Wyoming next week. Since it had been awhile since I had ridden Poet and a long time since I’d ridden at all, the chance to squeeze in a lesson with Wendy was a welcome opportunity.
Poet is a horse who puts you at ease the moment you swing a leg over. Right away it felt great to be riding. After a quick trot though it became apparent that my old imbalances left to right did not magically clear up over my extended riding break. Wendy offered a series of rider aids to help adjust my position. I’ve known Wendy long enough to know that even though things seem weird… really weird, it will all work out in the end.
My hesitation gave way to joy. Pure joy. I know that this middle aged body might not look like it did 20 years ago, but for a moment I felt fantastic, I felt young, I felt balanced, I felt free. It was like, “Oh yeah, I remember why I do this. I remember why this is my thing. This is FUN.”
It was a very emotional experience. I really, really miss my horse. I can’t hardly think about Belich without tearing up. So there was a part of me that really felt like… maybe I don’t want to do this again. Maybe I just support my daughter in her riding and maybe I just be thankful for the great horse I had. To open yourself up again after a loss is a scary proposition, there was some emotional self preservation telling me to just wait.
But… the lesson reminded me just how much joy riding can bring. The spark was reignited. I’m looking forward to riding Pam’s Poet with Tom next week and opening myself back up again to look for my next partner.
Thank you Wendy, and thank you Pam.