I Found What I Wasn’t Looking For

Jig and I often ride out alone. Sometimes I think I know where we are going but then we end up somewhere completely different, like the time I headed out intending to do the Silver Lake Trail to the power lines and then go back the Hassanamesit Trail.  But when we got to the power lines on a whim I went up toward the north instead of south.  We’d never attempted that before.

That part of the power line trail is rocky and steep, but we found a side pass that avoids the worst of the rocks. When we came to the top, there was a wide path to the trees on the left. We headed that way.

It was cool under the pines and oaks. The path was soft and wide enough to canter without worrying about tree roots or mud.  We stayed straight through for a few miles coming to a large field that had just been hayed. The trail circled the field and passed through the edge of the local show barn, finally coming out behind a Christmas Tree farm. It was a glorious ride with stretches of leisurely loping.

Of course we got back later than expected. 3 ½ hours and folks had started to wonder where we were, but what a time we had.

We’ve gone back to those trails several times since.  They are a great place to hide from the world; a place to let loose and go.

If I’d not strayed from my original plan that day, we’d never have found those trails. Yet I know it is not always a good idea to deviate from ‘the plan’.  Alone on horseback it can be dangerous. (I always carry my cell phone on my person not in the saddle bag). But for me and Jigs, it was worth the risk.

It’s gotten me to thinking about how many things we miss by sticking to the plan and doing safe, sensible things. In a way it is about routine versus risk.

Most of my life I’ve followed the well worn path, the known, safe trail. I’ve done what everyone expected, graduated college, worked in an office, raised my girls, and gave up the childhood fantasies of becoming a poet or owning a racehorse. I never allowed myself to consider doing anything else.  And now it occurs to me that I’ve probably missed some things along the way.

But over the past couple of years I’ve done a few not so so sensible things. I decided to buy a horse and ended up with a crazy Appy on a whim because he looked like my childhood horse, Freedom, knowing he had eye issues. I got back into horses at an age most folks are getting out of them. (I’m the oldest boarder at Bear Foot)

But I’m not sorry about any of it. Pepper taught me more than any other horse could. I’m grateful  for his lessons. I wouldn’t change our time together even knowing the outcome. I still talk to him sometimes.

And now I have Jigs. Or more likely, he has me. It’s not clear who belongs to whom. The truth is, we are partners in exploration. Together I hope we continue to break from routine; to take the left instead of the right;  to go north instead of south. Who knows what we will find when we do?

Explore posts in the same categories: horses, Living in the moment, poetry of apaul

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2 Comments on “I Found What I Wasn’t Looking For”

  1. Gwen Says:

    They both had you at “Hello” 🙂

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