Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Coffee with old friends

I had coffee today with two of my favorite people. We use to see each other almost daily but times change and people move on. It’s sad when it happens, yet I’ve learned it doesn’t have to mean the end. All it takes is a little time and a little effort and we can hang on to the people most dear to us. It’s especially helpful to have something in common that bonds you together like we do. That bond would be horses. Horse people are wonderful people, and the friends I have made over the past few years with my horses are the best in the world. They have taught me so much, and we have shared some wonderful experiences!

When I first started taking riding lessons I felt so out of my element. I had always liked horses…you might even say I was rather infatuated with them. Give me any opportunity to be around horses and I would take it. I spent hours sitting at horse shows watching but not really understanding what I should be looking for. Even so, I was somewhat afraid of them too. Largely because I was so green.

Once my children had left home, I decided to learn to ride. Considering I was somewhat intimidated, I thought the best option would be to learn something about horse behavior before I took the plunge. I enrolled in a community education class on horse behavior taught by a local stable owner. I took that class two times just be to certain I had my bases covered. I went on to enroll in riding lessons with the same stable owner and I stayed there for seven years. I had two different riding instructors there, and I learned a lot from both of them about riding and horse care. They helped me to find Boo and helped my hubby find Bay. Their experience and help was invaluable.

So was the help, advice, and companionship I received from the people I met at the barn. I learned how to clean stalls from watching them and how to pick out hooves. I learned how to bathe my horse, clip my horse, and braid my horse. I even learned how to sand his feet and make the hooves reflect like a mirror for the class A show circuit. I learned about different products to use and which ones didn’t work. I learned about blanketing and fly sheets, lunging and supplementing and so much more.

We spent countless hours together watching horse shows and clinics. This time I had someone with me who knew what to look for, so I learned about confirmation and gaits and all the different disciplines. I learned to be more generous from these people. I was able to share my horse with young women who truly are talented and kind. In doing so, I was able to learn the ins and outs of the show world and to share in their disappointments and in their victories. Seeing my friends show made me a better rider. Just watching them was a learning experience. We all pitched in and worked together. We helped set up, we helped tear down. We shared our food and our chairs and our enthusiasm, and through it all we built a bond that will bring me to their side anytime, anyplace I am needed.

Although I am at a different barn these days, I haven’t forgotten my old pals. As a matter of fact, I cherish them even more. Enough to take the time and make the effort to insure that we do not lose touch with one another. I want us to continue sharing our horse experiences and our life experiences…and I look forward to making those kind of friendships in the future at my new barn and within the horse world.

1 comment:

  1. Oh that sounds like a nice day. Hey I am coming to visit your "new" barn on Sunday with a friend to meet Tracey, maybe we will see you!