Today, for the first time in over 16 months, I got on a horse. Even better, it was Cricket, one of my own horses, who I have had for over 10 years, since she was a baby.
I’ve been riding for more than 25 years, and this is the longest hiatus I’ve ever taken. I was expecting to go on a nice trail ride with several of my friends, but the weather didn’t cooperate (I did get to hunker down in a horse shelter while it was pelted by hail and blasted by winds that had Jill & I strategizing about whether the round bale would be a good place to hide in case we lost the roof off of the shelter). Instead, I took a quick ride with a friend after the weather settled down.
It was fantastic. Catching Cricket, grooming her, getting her tacked up, swinging into the saddle and setting off for a ride was all so blissfully familiar. I hadn’t forgotten anything — every movement felt natural and right. Cricket responded wonderfully, even though she’s had a year of mostly novice riders on her. It was a great feeling to pick up our partnership right where we left off. I loved riding again, working with my horse, riding across the beautiful Maryland countryside, and knowing exactly how she was going to react to everything that happened and everything I asked her to do.
It was great to be back on a horse today. Being a rider is a big part of who I am, and I’ve really missed it. I think I may need to find a way to ride a bit in Vienna — I don’t want to have to wait until next spring to go for another ride.