Not everyone holds the same affection for the western lifestyle and horsemanship as I do. If you are one of those people that “just doesn’t get it,” please feel free to stop reading now; this column is probably not for you. But then again, maybe it is; maybe you can translate these feelings to something you hold dear.
When I Am An Old
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me,
And I shall spend my social security on white wine and carrots
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
And show instead the flowers growing
Inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
As if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
To have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.
Now, let me get one thing straight: I do not consider our horses “friends.” I am not the girl that has pictures taken from the saddle captioned “happiest place on earth.” Sometimes I want to kill my horses! Sometimes they do everything that you don’t ask them to and nothing that you do.
However, some of my happiest memories have taken place on a horse. A sweet-heart relationship budded into a marriage, one which I hold in the highest esteem, on the back of a horse.
My challenge for you is this: find your passion, and find it as quickly as possible. There is no worse feeling than knowing exactly how much time you’ve wasted not doing exactly what makes you happy.