Thank you, Mike L, for your inspiration!
There are times in life when a merry-go-round sounds so simple. You can jump on a horse or other character that goes around in a circle until the vendor says it’s time to quit. It goes up and down and you hear the carnival music that goes with it. It’s fun. It’s tame. It’s safe. But for some of us, it isn’t that simple, but rather the memories that we have of the real animals that are depicted on that ride.
Have you ever ridden a horse on a full gallop? How about a simple slow trot? I can bet that a lot of the people that are reading this have not. Have you ever even touched the soft nose of a horse or heard him or her snicker, whinny or puff at you? Again, I would say you probably haven’t.
They are amazing animals. They know when you are afraid of them and they know when you have control of them. I have had that experience. It was my misfortune to ride a stubborn gelding that belonged to my neighbor. I used to go there just to see their three horses, but I wanted to ride them, too. They needed the exercises and attention, and I wanted the adventure of a good ride. I got that and more.
First of all, I put two younger children on the milder brown mares and I saddled the stubborn white gelding. He knew there would be a rider when I cinched the saddle, but I guess he didn’t care. He was totally into just running with no saddle or bit. The mares were sort of giving a soft nicker to calm him, but he wasn’t listening, I guess.
We left for our ride, with me at the back on my wayward gelding. The kids were in the front on the mares. After a distance, the mares knew it was time to head back for the barn, so they turned around where they should have, still at a steady walk. (They went back to the barn and got their rub-down from the kids.) But my gelding had different ideas. The mares headed back but my gelding went forward, first at a trot and then a full gallop. I hung on. The ride was invigorating but irritating. too. He did not listen to commands, nor would he accept the restraint of his bit, reins or saddle. He ran. When he was done, he turned and stood. Then I took him on his slow trot to home.
You’re wondering what this has to do with you. I can see that. The point is that sometimes there are no restraints. You do what you have to do. If you need to run, then run. You don’t always have to be under restraints. Although I was on that horse’s back, he did what he had to do. Run. He felt free. When I got him home, I rubbed him down, told him he was a good horse, and gave him the attention he deserved. He has run like that since, and I hope he is still running today. I hope that you find that freedom as well. After all, life is more than just a pony ride.