“I didn’t have a plan ‘B.’” –Waiting to Exhale
This old Whitney Houston movie is a story about how to go on in your life without the love of your life. Love is supposed to be forever but we all know it has a physical expiration date which is mentioned in wedding vows, “Til death do us part.”
Sadly death had suddenly and unexpectedly parted Sportie and me. Other girls at the stables rode a few different horses, but all I had ever wanted was him. I had only ridden another horse a couple of times in the past three years when Sportie had a bad cut from some kind of unknown horseplay out in the field.
“‘Only The Shadow knows’ what goes on in that pasture at night,” the owner of the stable laughed.
I had ridden Misty a couple of times since losing Sportie, but she already had a regular rider. Peaches didn’t, however. I gazed at her in her stall, as she stood at the window to her neighbor and best friend, Sunny. Over the years I had gotten serious attitude from mares and wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with that. Sportie had been a tall, dark gelding who instantly stole my heart and Peaches was just a short, cute strawberry roan. I didn’t see a future with her, but she hadn’t been ridden in a while and I wanted to ride so that’s what we did.
When I had groomed Misty last week, I automatically took extra time to scratch behind her front legs. Sportie always loved that, but Misty had turned to look at me as if asking, “What are you doing back there? Stop.” As I groomed Peaches for the first time and scratched that same spot enthusiastically, she stretched her neck out in pleasure. I find change very hard so was relieved that was one grooming habit I could keep doing.
Once I was in the saddle I found her a sweetheart to ride. She listened and was compliant as I steered with my legs and was soft with my hands. Even though her legs weren’t as long as those of my riding partner Mary’s gelding, she kept up with him at the trot and had a quick but smooth canter. By the time I dismounted she had completely dissolved my aversion to mares and redheads.
As I thanked her for the ride with a hug and a treat I thought, “Well that was easy, and easy is fun… I could get used to this. Maybe I could even like this riding thing again.”