“The canter is a cure for every evil.” -Benjamin Disraeli
“How was your horse today?” Peter asked his usual question as I came into the house from the stables.
“Tara cantered for me!” I answered, then burst into tears.
“What? Oh no, are you okay? Tara has cancer?” my non-equestrian husband asked worriedly, giving me a hug to make me stop crying.
I cry more when I’m happy than when I’m sad, but Peter doesn’t do well with any sort of tears. I was ecstatic. I tell my kids all the time when they get impatient: the longer you wait for something the more it means to you. I had waited a long time to canter again and when we finally did, it was amazing.
Tara is one of two horses owned by Barb, a lovely lady who boards at our stables. Tara had been ridden by Barb’s granddaughter for years until she moved away to work out west last year, and Barb asked if I wouldn’t mind riding Tara in her place.
Would I mind, are you kidding? I love everything about Tara, except for the fact that her previous rider was 5’8” and I’m 5’4”. Tara is used to nice long legs that wrap around her and give firm canter cues, so I am at a physical disadvantage that requires me to get more direct and clear with my cues. My short legs combined with the fact that Tara had been a pasture pet for months put cantering at the bottom of my list, as we worked on getting to know each other, sticking to walking out on the trail and trotting in the arena.
Tara had reluctantly cantered short distances for me this past month, but last Saturday was the perfect setting – the weather wasn’t too hot yet and the bugs weren’t too bad. Tara was trotting straight and controlled for me, and I had some extra time before starting chores. We were completely comfortable with each other and went for it. She transitioned nicely into a perfect canter for as long as I asked her to, and once again I got to believe I could fly. That ride was definitely worth waiting for.