Tuesday Morning Feed by Dubarry

Yesterday was just one of those days. You know–the ones where you feel like you’re running as fast as you can and going absolutely nowhere.

By the time I finished my day-to-day obligations, I had just enough time to speed out off to the barn to teach a 7 o’clock lesson. As my student trotted circles around me, I observed the sun sinking lower in the sky. I observed my horse racing his buddies to the furthest corner of his giant pasture, because I forgot to tell the evening feeder to leave him in. My student was doing a lovely job and I was glad to be helping her; meanwhile, however, my own window for riding was growing smaller by the moment.

After the lesson, I squinted my eyes to see my horse grazing happily on the distant hillside. I considered giving him the day off. I imagined myself picking up dinner on the way home, maybe Chinese, and eating it in front of the television that I never watch. After dinner, I could finally use those bath salts somebody gave me for Christmas (three years ago), or read something not about horses, or just go to bed early.

But instead, I hiked out to fetch the brown spot on the horizon that was my horse.

As soon as I swung my legs over his back, I knew it was the right decision. The fact that it was nightfall only added to the experience–with one sense nearly removed, I could really feel what was going on underneath me, which I can only liken to floating though the dark on a cloud.

As horsepeople, we make endless sacrifices to pursue our passion–some large, some small. But for every gripe over vet bills, groan over a lost shoe or grumbling about training roadblocks, they sure have a knack for coming through for us in unexpected times and in unexpected ways. What I needed last night, even more than a Kung Pao Chicken binge or an extra couple hours of sleep, was a perfect canter lengthening, an obedient shoulder-in, a powerfully swinging back.

Go Riding.

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