A Friend For All Seasons
I hope to have the recap of our First Level debut posted soon, but I'm trying to be patient and wait for pro photographs to be posted before I do so! Soon...
If you have not seen a golden hour sunset filtered through a summer rain shower from between the ears of a trusted four-footed friend, I highly recommend the experience. It's grounding and refreshing to feel and see and hear the world around you do something beautiful, and to share it with another creature. It's what I did yesterday.
And while I was having that experience, I thought to myself that the great thing about horses, and most non-human beings, really, is that they have no aspirations.
Dino does not care that it's practically July and we have only been to one horse show this year, and didn't even jump anything during the competition.
He doesn't care that my schedule just can't handle a regular once-a-week lesson at this point in time.
He really doesn't mind that I have zero horse trials scheduled, no set weekly schooling plans, and no grand schemes for competing at new venues or new heights.
He just enjoys the time we spend doing things he thinks are fun; namely galloping up hills, jumping things, trail riding, and cruising around the farm with no particular agenda. He likes when I feed him treats and scratch his belly where the gnats bite him and he can't get to the itchy places. Dino's all about exploring new places and trying to convince me to let him walk up onto the front porch of the farmhouse, and he could care less about the fact that we haven't been cross country schooling once yet in 2018.
And with all of the changes and adjustments and new responsibilities that this year has brought, I'm starting to find a whole new appreciation for his perspective.
Because a horse is a friend for all seasons, whether we are working and sweating and competing and striving, or trotting through an open field in a rain storm for no other reason than the fact that sometimes it's lovely to high-tail it out of civilization and get a little wet just for the sake of being a part of nature for a moment. When the rest of my life feels like I'm chasing a ball rolling down a hill that remains just out of reach, my friend Dino is still there and still ready to take on whatever I'm up to that day. Whether that's a horse show, a tough lesson, or just jumping a single 2'6" fence enough times so that my heart stops jumping into my throat every time I look at it.
Or sitting on my pony bareback and wandering around to pick blackberries.
Dino doesn't know what my goals are or that I feel a small pang of envy as I watch my friends move up the levels and rock around horse trials without us. He just knows that we're friends, and we have fun together, and that's good enough for him.
I think perhaps that's good enough for me, too.