As a kid I'd wait in the summer time and get all of the chores done on the summer place and hope for my Aunt to call.
She'd call my Grandparent's house and ask if we could come and play. The moms would get together and the cousins would play.
[We had no phone at our cottage. Talk about being Unplugged!]
On the drive to my Aunt's house we'd huddle in the back seat, my sister and I. Would we get to ride? Would our cousins want to ride?
My uncle had horses and a pony. He'd started us riding when we were very small. We'd caught the riding/horse bug of course. We'd try to act nonchalant around our cousins when we got there.
We'd try not to stare at the horses and beg with our eyes. We'd try not to nag that we wanted to ride.
My Aunt sometimes had some work that had to be done. Pick cucumbers, or strawberries, or...something. We'd dive right into it, if we got those chores done, ... perhaps someone would let us ride.
I can recall how much I wanted to ride. My heart ached inside and felt like it was hurting. My inside burned with desire to be on a horse. I didn't even mind if it was the pony, Thunder. I needed to ride.
Because when riding [even the pony], I felt free. I felt so incredible. It was as if I'd grown wings and the world lay at my feet. My heart sang and my head was clear. It was like being high in a way.
Then I grew up and life didn't let me have any equine. Not until later in life. Suddenly there was a red horse in my life. Then there were two.
Over the years I have become a mule person. But the feeling is still there. The ache and the desire.
My husband used to complain that I loved my mule more than him.
How could I even discuss that?
I haven't ridden as much in the past few years. But the itch has always been there. I promise to scratch that itch this year.
Once upon a time long ago my heart ached and fluttered when I go around horses. Even while riding the pony and getting dumped was better than anything else in the world.
I swore one day that I would have a horse of my very own. And I would soar with the eagles and feel the freedom.
No longer is it once upon a time.
Badger is gone, but I have Siera, Sunshine, and Fred.
And I need to pass on the burning desire.
Photo from 2008
So another young rider can get the itch and the burn.