When I was five my dad asked the neighbor at our cabin if his horse-crazed daughter could ride one of his horses. Ernest quickly agreed and saddled up a horse and took me for a trail ride.
About a mile from the barn my horse decided it wanted to return home and FAST. It bolted home, my tiny self along for the ride.
I could barely hold on and was so scared I peed my pants and lept off into the tall grass. Not being able to see over the towering grass, I sat down and waited for help.
I still remember sitting in that field thinking, “wow that was cool, it was like I was in an action movie.”
They found me and brought me back to the barn.
“You know the number one rule of riding is that when you fall off you have to get back on.” One of Earnie’s daughters told me.
More worried about the fact that I peed my pants than getting back on the horse, I reluctantly climbed back on. Nobody mentioned my wet pants as they led me around that backyard.
The following two decades have been filled with horse adventures.
Catching horses in the pasture at midnight and taking my mom Mary Jane on a moonlight ride, galloping through fields upon fields with any friend willing to join.
Getting lost in the backwoods with my sister Ellen, horse shows across the country with Kelly, driving to the barn in my old pickup truck with Lisa and Ashley singing loudly to 90s music.
Riding a racehorse in Serbia, jumping in Romania, riding double with Britni in Panama, trekking up a volcano in Guatemala.
Dragging my new husband horseback riding on our Puerto Rican honeymoon. Mexico beach rides, Montana jumping lessons with Alex. Life lessons learned from Alison. Toasting farewell to my German Pony and childhood love at the Gasthaus.
If I think about all that I would have missed had I not gotten back on that horse when I was five, I am thankful I got back on today.
Life is about getting back in the saddle when you’re knocked down, and “laughing without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31