When I was 17, I took a horse-care class in my high school to fulfill some remaining gym credits before my senior year. I was only a couple of classes in before getting on the horse. I had anticipated the ride, imagining country clubs and well fitted riding pants. I thought I could possibly add horse back riding to my list of hobbies, something to show for attending an all girl school in Long Island. I knew girls in my school who were very serious about horses, riding on the weekends, caring for the horses outside of school, wearing t shirts with sparkly horses on them. You know the type. I digress.
I got on the horse, assisted by our tough-as-nails instructor, Lori. All of the horses needed a spray down of some bug repellant before we could start our day. When it was my turn for a protective spray, the nozzle malfunctioned and I was instructed to ride Buddy for another lap and that she’d grab a new bottle. Damned if I’d had any luck in my life, Buddy was stung by a bee before we reached my instructor. Have you ever been stung by a bee? It is the most concentrated pain, a thousand fires in the smallest pin point on your body.
Buddy, a gentle elderly horse, went absolutely wild with the bee sting. He began to gallop and I held on, by instinct. I screamed and tightened every muscle in my body to hold on. Buddy, then started bucking me off of his body. I’m sure he didn’t understand that I wasn’t the reason he was in pain. He galloped and bucked and I held on for dear life with frightful images of a paralyzed Superman in mind.
Finally, he successfully throws my 100 lb, 17 year old body off of him, rodeo style. My foot gets caught in the stirrup and I am dragged for what seemed a lifetime. All the while, I am screaming and my back is being scraped across the dirt as buddy runs. I cried and felt defeated but happy that Buddy didn’t stomp away at my small bleeding body.
Needless to say, I never rode another horse. My instructor and her assistant said to me that they thought I should get back on the proverbial horse. They said that I had stayed on so long and that they saw a natural talent in me. I dropped the class and instead bought a t shirt that read “Rosie’s Rodeo”.
Anyways, segue into my life being a lot like that horse. I’ve let go of the reigns on this horse called Life and have been letting it drag me across a very bumpy road. Never having jumped back on that horse and admitting defeat is something I’ve been thinking of lately. There is very little in our lives that we are not in control of. We’d like to think that a lot of things happen to us but we have a hand at our fate and I’m realizing that I need to be in control again.
I am hopeful for my future despite the chaos that sometimes occurs in loads like wholesale misery. I need a few days of tears to come to the conclusion that I am still alive and that nothing that comes my way is too difficult for me to deal with on my own. To hell with loneliness, I’d rather the company of myself than the bad company of the equally miserable and unreliable. I am amazing. I am more than good enough and I deserve not just good things but the best of things and I need to treat myself as such. I had an amazing conversation with someone very dear to me recently, someone who sees me clearly and those words are more than gold to me.
7 years later and I’m getting back on the horse.