Writer on a Horse
And a Dog

The world looks better from the back of a horse and the roads of life are easier with a good dog beside you.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A page from an 87 yr old horsewoman's journal

This is making the rounds in the email world but it sounds so much like me.. except for the ex husbands and I would be drinking Pepsi instead of beer. And yes I know I missed a word yesterday so... here is two!

Word for today: delectation --delight,enjoyment,pleasure
Horseback riding is my one delectation in life.

Yesterday's word a little late: Tradition -- A mode of thought or behavior followed by a people continuously from generation to generation

Reminding my friends and family how important they are to me is my Christmas tradition.

Now for the page from an 87 year old horsewoman's journal

I Ride

I ride. That seems like such a simple statement. However as many women
who ride know it is really a complicated matter. It has to do with power
empowerment. Being able to do things you might have once considered
out of reach or ability. I have considered this as I shovel manure, fill
barrels in the cold rain, wait for the vet/farrier/ electrician/ hay
delivery, change
a tire on a horse trailer by the side of the freeway, or cool a gelding out
before getting down to the business of drinking a cold beer after a long

The time, the money, the effort it takes to ride calls for dedication. At
least I
call it dedication. Both my ex-husbands call it 'the sickness'. It's a
I've had since I was a small girl bouncing my model horses and dreaming of
the day I would ride a real horse. Most of the women I ride with understand
the meaning of 'the sickness'. It's not a sport. It's not a hobby. It's
what we
do and, in some ways, who we are as women and human beings.

I ride. I hook up my trailer and load my gelding. I haul to some trail head
somewhere, unload, saddle, whistle up my dog and I ride. I breathe in the
watch the sunlight filter through the trees and savor the movement of my
My shoulders relax. A smile rides my sunscreen smeared face. I pull my ball
cap down and let the real world fade into the tracks my horse leaves in the

Time slows. Flying insects buzz loudly, looking like fairies. My gelding
his ears and moves down the trail. I can smell his sweat and it is perfume
my senses. Time slows. The rhythm of the walk and the movement of the
leaves become my focus. My saddle creaks and the leather rein in my hand
softens with the warmth.

I consider the simple statement; I ride. I think of all I do because I
Climb granite slabs, wade into a freezing lake, race a friend through the
Manzanita all the while laughing and feeling my heart in my chest. Other
days just the act of mounting and dismounting can be a real accomplishment.
Still I ride, no matter how tired or how much my seat bones or any of the
numerous horse related injuries hurt. I ride. And I feel better for doing

The beauty I've seen because I ride amazes me. I've ridden out to find
that remain for the most part, unseen. Caves, dark and cold beside rivers
full and rolling are the scenes I see in my dreams. The Granite Stairway
Echo Summit, bald eagles on the wing and bobcats on the prowl add to the
empowerment and joy in my heart.

I think of the people, mostly women, I've met. I consider how competent
they all are. Not a weenie amongst the bunch.. We haul 40ft rigs, we back
into tight spaces without clipping a tree. We set up camp. Tend the horses.
We cook and keep safe. We understand and love our companions, the
horse. We respect each other and those we encounter on the trail. We
know that if you are out there riding, you also shovel, fill, wait and
Your hands are a little rough and you travel with out makeup or hair gel.
You do without to afford the 'sickness' and probably, when you were a
small girl, you bounced a model horse while you dreamed of riding a real

"My treasures do not chink or glitter, They gleam in the sun and neigh in the night".

1 comment:

Julia Edwards-Dake said...

Hello. My name is Julia Edwards-Dake and I wrote the essay "A Simple Statement" though most know it as "I Ride". I wrote the essay in 2006. It was first published in The American Trail Horse Newsletter in 2007. It exploded all over the internet. Since then I have been published many times in EQUUS Magazine. While A Simple Statem (aka I Ride) is my favorite, I think my best work is "Tea With Miss Em" also published in EQUUS Magazine in Mar of 2009. My most recent work is A Case Report in EQUUS Magainze title "Equine Canker" That was published in Aug of 2009. Thank you for posting my essay. and take a glance at my blog at http://voiceforhorses.blogspot.com for other essays...just one thing...I am only 54. I have no idea where the 87 thing cam from.
Julia Dake