“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom”
― Helen Thompson
Last week I had a break from the normal, a chance to forget for a little while and just live.
I spent so much of last week wondering why we couldn’t do this more often, why is so much of our lives caught up with worry, stress and anxiety?
One of my cousins from New Zealand has just moved to the UK and spent last week with me. I got to play tour guide and show her around the city. Of course, a few pills were popped to help me through the day, to give me the confidence to leave the house and venture into tourist zones but I managed it and actually managed to have fun doing it aswell.
It reminded me how much I loved travelling and how much I’ve missed travelling, but one thing we did really stood out to me, it really reminded me that I’ve been letting myself down by leaving this thing out of my life for so long. We went on a hack at a local riding stables.
I grew up riding regularly and used to be a good rider, I haven’t ridden for several years though and am surprised I even remembered how to ride…although, as I was to discover, it all comes back to you!
I was so nervous going riding after so long but it was only the two of us going on the ride along with someone from the stables, so not too many people for me to embarrass myself in front of! However, once I was on the horse, it all came back to me, how I should sit, hold the reins etc. Someone had said to me it would be just like riding a bike…I’d like to say it was easier than remembering how to ride a bike!
The ride went well, my horse was super-stubborn and preferred to play follow-the-leader rather than to take instruction from me, but I soon felt completely at home remembering how to position myself for different situations and an hour later was disappointed when the ride was over.
For that hour I forgot I have been suffering for so long, I felt alive, free, happy.
I didn’t feel anxious, or afraid. There was no panic or concern.
I was reminded why I spent so much of my younger life with horse, why I used to love riding so much as a child, because being with and around horse makes me feel at peace.
This experience has made me realise I need to find a way to fit riding into my life, no more complaining it’s too expensive. I am sure I can find a way to make it work, there is a local riding school which runs as a charity so I may speak with them about volunteering.
I wish I could bottle that feeling of freedom and sell it!