Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Simple Pleasures

In times such as these, it is so easy to get caught up in negativity. We worry about the economy or we worry about school or friends or finances. If you need to escape the worry for a little while, please take a moment to read the story below. It will remind you of why we all have horses in our lives. "Simple Freedom" was written by 13 year old Lauren Hickey who is taking riding lessons with Erin. Her usual mount is World Grand Champion Barb's Stormy Knight owned by Don and Nancy Copland. Lauren went home after a particularly enjoyable lesson and wrote her story in about 10 minutes. She is a strong competitor in the show ring and an excellent student. Enjoy . . .

Simple Freedom
By: Lauren Hickey

The breeze weaved through my hair and flowed around my face. A small expanse of fenced in blue grass stretched before me and my friend. I could hear his breathing as he tasted the air. There were no rules; we were allowed to roam the small pasture. Sensing his new freedom, my companion started into a brisk walk. I clutched the reins a bit tighter, but he knew this wasn’t a show ring. Soon, he sped up to a gait. Faster and faster he started to transform. I let him do as he pleased yet tried to stay in control. The longer we gaited around the small enclosed expanse of grass, the freer he felt. I could feel it too. I could feel the barely controlled excitement. I soaked in the sun and wind and forgot the worries of school and the world. All I knew, all we knew, all we cared about, was the perfect day. I slowed him down a bit, but he hated it. His instincts took over and all he wanted was to leap through the grass and race the wind. But years of training and being under the lead of humans became a shadow in his mind. Slowly, he transformed, right under the saddle. He hopped a bit, switching between the taught gait and a more natural canter. He battled for control. He strained against the bit, trying to become what he truly is; and I became the barrier he fought. I didn’t want that, and I let go a bit. He needed no more incentive. He gaited faster and faster, becoming stronger and stronger. We shared control now. No longer was he the focused, gentle show horse everyone knew. Instead, he became a creature of wind and ocean waves. He could barely be contained, even by his own body. The sweet breeze and warm sun opened a heavily locked door inside him and awoke something ancient. He awoke something that humans attempted to breed out of his race. He became his name, he became a storm. I became a simple passenger, no longer in control. Then, he cantered, not for long just a few seconds. For those few seconds, we lifted into the sky with eagle wings. We raced the wind and mocked the birds. He remembered the days when horses ran free with only the falcon to match their speed. He remembered everything he forgot while under the saddle. He embodied the spirit of the horse, beauty, speed, and power. For a few seconds, humans did not dominate his life. And I rode the storm and enjoyed every second of it.

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