Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Ever Stronger

Life has been busy busy busy- nothing new there. Work has been keeping me on the road a lot (and giving me a ton of airline mileage lol) but whenever I do find myself back at home, I always make time for a ride. 

To her credit, Quest has been SO good despite the haphazard and sporadic ride schedule. It marvels me to no end that we can get right back to it regardless of the many days, sometimes nearly a week, going by between the last ride and now. Mareface still has her sassy moments obviously but those have been very few and far in between. Most of the time it's simple as tacking up, hopping on, and deciding what trail to explore together. 

Our rides have been 100% solo still (Mel is working through some feet issues and other folks at the barn are hard to coordinate with) but that's fine. Quest is very much okay with being by herself and eats up the trail happily. 

Last weekend I took L, one of the high school girls I mentor, out to the barn to meet and ride Quest. This was something we had planned since last year but due to circumstances (L tragically lost her brother in December and a few months later in May her dad also passed away), we didn't make it out to the barn until this weekend. 

We got an early start to escape the heat and had a great morning at the barn. L was eager to learn and help. After giving her a quick run-through of basic horse care and horse sense, I handed L a brush and she helped groom Quest while I tacked up. 

We headed to the indoor arena and I hopped on Quest first. Since I had been out of town all last week, it was a good mental check (and one that I normally do whenever I have guest riders) but  mareface was completely fine from the start. She was on her absolute best behavior and did so well for L the entire time. It was starting to get really warm in the indoor when we finished the riding lesson so we cooled off with a quick loop walk on the trails before heading back to untack, bathe, and stuff Quest with treats. After the barn, I treated L to lunch and we got ice cream for dessert before I dropped her off at home. L had a great time and it was just so good to see her smiling again. 

There's no denying that horses can do things for people that other humans can't though. In fact, I began riding because I needed something, anything to get me out of the mental state I was in. Even now, I go to the barn on a bad day and just spending time with Quest-the things that burdened me somehow seem to go away, even for a moment and that's sometimes all the reminder I need to make it through another day.  

Those reasons and more are why I realize how truly blessed that I resolved to learn how to ride and followed my gut instinct that day in August four years ago when I bought a certain mare sight unseen at a feedlot auction. I'm grateful that I can share Quest and my love of riding with those who otherwise would have not ever had the chance. Horse ownership is not without its challenges but this is one of the many reasons why I do what I do.