Do you remember being a very small child and wishing to ride a horse? I do. I was not part of a horsey family growing up. The closest thing I could get to were my grandpa’s dogs, which I naturally tried to ride. They were greyhounds - fast and slippery, and not a good choice for a first “horse.” I rode the futon, which was a more stable mount. I rode my sister around the house, which was perhaps the most unpredictable of the three. Finally, my parents sent me to riding camp, and I was a goner.
Now, I get to ride all kinds of horses and do fun things I never dreamed I would do. That in itself is magical, but let’s dig deeper than that. We sit on prey animals who breathe calmly and trust deeply. To feel the muscles rippling underneath our legs, to feel the communication running through the reins, to feel the soft puff of their breath, to see their fuzzy faces reaching back for a treat, to go galloping through an open field, to sashay across a diagonal in halfpass, to fly over an oxer, to splash through water, to trot down a dirt road, to feel the silly happiness of a fun spook, to feel the power of collection, to feel the drama of extension, to feel the quiet of a walk home --
This is magic. There is no other way to say it. It is a privilege to sit on their backs, and most of these other things are icing on that magical cake. It is an amazing, privileged, awe-inspiring thing we get to do.
So, in this time of gratitude, let’s give thanks for the magic we experience day in and day out.