Sunday, July 20, 2014
The ritual of driving a good distance, parking my car at an unmarked fence road, and getting out my mountain bike for the reminder of the journey has gradually become second nature, a routine I've memorized as if for a singing recital. I eagerly set out to find the natural horses: none of them shod, no barn, no cross-tying or heavy tack to deal with.
Once immersed into the herd, I choose a horse, or they approach me for some attention, and brush him/her to remove all the dried mud for their mane, body and hand-pick the tail a little. I pick up their hooves (if willing) to look for anything stuck in them that can be cleaned out. This allows me to see how willing the horse is to accept my touch and be in their space. I next allow the horse to check out the rope halter with his/her nose that I'm about to put on. I stand on the left and put the halter on and gently swing the end to be tied around and make a natural horsemanship knot. I know how to check for correct fit and adjust things where needed. I have added another 8 foot rope to the lead rope so I tie this back to the halter to use as the reins. I am riding bareback and lead the horse to a rock for that extra 4-5 inch boost up that I need to get on. Once on and balanced, I feel like a teenager who just stole the keys to her parents' car and ready to leave the driveway when no one is watching (and really, not another person is watching)! It's exciting, but I am not ready for the open pasture and so ride in circles, weaving in and out of the herd, lovingly touching and stroking other horses within my reach. Sometimes I do yoga poses on the horse's back, such as tree, locust, warrior 1, twist, bridge, etc. and sometimes I unpack the suitcase of my soul. I enjoy this time; this is everything.
These are "skills" I did not initially possess, and it still amazes me because of how much sense they make now. My friend once said, "You will learn by doing." And he is right; the more I do it, the less I need to think about it. Love, Sharon