Thursday, 28 April 2011

Scratching An Itch

I grew up as a horse crazy kid. From the time I was 9 all my birthday and Christmas lists were topped with ‘a horse’. Thank to my Dad’s literal sense of humor, I had a great collection of glass, porcelain and Breyer horses, but what I wanted was a living, breathing, real horse. 

Shortly before I was 17, I had met all my parents conditions (a driver’s license, a job and $2000 in the bank) and bought myself a horse. His name was Brandy and he and I spent many hours and had many adventures together over the years. 

As sled dogs began to take a bigger and bigger part in my life, my time for my horses (3 at this point) waned. By the time we moved to Perryvale, I was hardly riding at all anymore. 
When Brandy had to be put down while we were away at the Race to the Sky in 2002, I knew it wasn’t fair to hang onto my other two horses and we sold them to a couple horse crazy teenagers, where they could get the attention they deserved. 

At that time I vowed to own a horse again one day, but since then I have not been on a horse at all. 
If you had told me when I was in my twenties that I would go about 10 years without riding, I would have told you you were crazy – but life happens and time sometimes just gets away from you.

The last year or so the ‘itch’ has been coming back. I’ve found myself ‘friending’ horse pages on Facebook and watching dressage videos on YouTube. A few weeks back when I ended up biking passed the riding stable in Edmonton where I took my very first riding lessons (about 35 years ago) the itch was almost uncontrollable. So I decided it was time to scratch. 

I know owning a horse is still not a responsible decision for me – I still don’t have time and our property is just not suitable for horses – but I have friends with horses. 

So last week I emailed our friend Gabi Husch and did a bit of begging. It paid off. This was the view of a trail I’ve traveled many time by dog team last night. 

I’d forgotten just how lovely it is to look at the world through a horse’s ears.

Many thanks to Gabi, and of course, Cookie – I had a GREAT time. It absolutely will not be 10 years until next time!


Ann said...

Congrats on getting into the saddle again!

I'm also a horse crazy kid! I eventually got into the dog stuff because it was more affordable than the horse stuff. It's been about 15 years since I did any riding.

On my to do list is to start riding again, so I can take a riding vacation in Ireland.

BADASmusher said...

Awesomes... I love riding horses... and one more thing in common...I spent my childhood and teenage years riding horses before I got my first husky... I personally own own horse now.. I bought her mostly for my younger daughter to have a broke horse to ride to build confidence in the saddle to transfer over to her own horse that she grew up from a filly and trained.... Keep on enjoying.

Scratching itches can be so fun!!!!

Dana J. said...

Mattie says that you can come down and ride Prince Philip any time that you want!!!

BTW- You look marvelous my lady!!!

Cat said...

I did the same - 14 years off horses, rode last summer as an exercise rider for a hippotherapy center in the little free time I had. Then a FB post Thanksgiving pleaded for horse homes for those headed to slaughter, I took in an emaciated mare and a month later another. *insert country song about being back in the saddle here*

Anonymous said...

Wow Karen! I hadn't seen a picture of you recently, but you can really tell all your workouts are working. You look great! Keep up the good work. Glad you were able to get in some time riding.

Anonymous said...

First of all, Karen you look great!
And now all the other wonderful things about the blog today: I am glad you got to do something else that you love to do. 10 years seem to go by really fast when you are in that 35-40ish age bracket. (Just wait till you get to the 50-60 bracket,10 years seems like 2.) It's always fun to do things that you haven't done in awhile and love to do.
Riding a horse is so therapeutic and you have such nice scenery. BTW I can't believe you still have snow on the ground.
And finally, I hope you get to ride again soon. Have a wonderful weekend.
Sitka's Mom Lisa

Katerina said...

Not just great reading this post Karen (I share a very similar life story with you - had to leave my beloved horse Presto with a friend when we moved to Sweden), but I also wanna say that you look fantastic!
I bet you must be feeling great too.