Today, it was absolutely gorgeous outside, so I headed to the barn. It took some effort, though, as does everything these days (mentally). I told myself I didn't need to do anything, that it was OK if all I could muster up the energy for was to visit with them (I have two: my Paint mare is Shaveya, horse #3 if you're keeping track). Lately, just thinking about going for a trail ride or having a serious play/study session wears me out. It's the depression from this past year; it'll pass (I hope). I spent a little time in the mares' pasture with Shaveya, then went over to the boys' pasture to do the same with Cheerios. When I say spend some time, I mean hang out. Literally. Scratch them, pet them, love on them, walk beside them, demand nothing of them. No halter required. (This Parelli stuff is A-MAZ-ING.)
After a long session of catering to my horse's scratching whims, I felt this overwhelming urge to just sit on him. I haltered him (rope halter), checked his brakes and made sure he looked "ready" to ride (he was, they were all pretty laid back today), tied the 12-foot lead line into "reins", found a ditch to put him in (so I could be up higher), and hopped on. Bareback. With him wearing a halter and lead rope. No bit. No saddle. Naturally. Like a wild Injun (I'm part Cherokee so it's OK for me to say that).
And, there we sat.
As I was drinking in the sunshine and the quiet peace of being on my horse's back as he casually grazed in the pasture with other horses about 100 yards away, it occurred to me that:
- I was sitting on Cheerios
- no bit, not even the hackamore, just a rope halter and lead line
- in the 10-acre pasture
- surrounded by other horses
...and not the least bit afraid.
That, my friends, is HUGE.