What little girl didn't dream of having her very own horse? Brushing their long, flowing manes and swishing tails; galloping bareback through a wildflower field; holding their heavy muzzle and burying your face in their warm necks...
Ever since I can remember, horses completely captivated me and I wanted nothing more than to be near them as often as possible. Around age 8, I started taking lessons regularly and after a few years, progressed to novice competitions and horse shows, eventually having the privilege of leasing a pony named Bubbles whom I absolutely adored. I ultimately outgrew Bubbles, and a lot of the barn politics that dictated when, how, and where I could ride, so I sought out leases on privately owned horses at smaller stables. Two or three days a week I would head up the hill to the stable and spend as long as I could (thanks for driving me, mom!) grooming, riding, cleaning, and bonding with my biggest, and some of my very best, friends. I was completely content at the barn, but when my friends started talking about dance lessons, junior lifeguards, and cheerleading, I decided that in order to fit in with everyone else, I couldn't be a horse-loving little girl anymore.
Not choosing to seriously pursue riding throughout high school and beyond is something I wish I could go back and change but horseback riding is expensive, time-consuming, and somewhat isolating- a challenging combination for a teenage girl who started working, and dating, at 16. Since then, I have made every effort to spend as much time around horses as possible, briefly volunteering with a horse-rescue in Colorado, taking trail rides, and visiting my friend's horses a few times over the summer. But I knew that if I were to take riding seriously again I had to make a firm commitment, and since we aren't in any position (nor will be anytime soon) to own a horse, I decided to find one to lease again.
Over the weekend I dusted off my old saddle, pulled on my boots, and rode two very different and wonderful horses, carefully weighed the circumstances of each, and made the tough decision. I spoke to the owner last night and am waiting to finalize the plans for my first official day with "my" new horse. I am so giddy I could barely sleep last night.
It feels so good to be back.
Is there anything you wish you had continued to pursue from your childhood?
Have you made the transition back to that thing as an adult?