After dealing with the mess that has become my barn, Sunday night I only had one thought: I want…nay….I need to ride my horse.
It was already past dusk and growing darker by the minute but I didn’t care. It didn’t even dawn on me to worry about Eeyore in the dark. It maybe should have. I haven’t ridden him in the dark since last winter, but I didn’t care. I needed that ride.
I walked out to the pasture in the fading light and, like he always does, the moment Eeyore saw me he came walking over with his ever optimistic look on his face. I slid the halter on and told him about my stress. Told him I needed him. Told him we were just going to have fun, no agenda, no plans.
He walked quietly to the barn where he proceeded to stand perfectly still in the crossfires surrounded by roofing trash and looking out into the night. Then we walked through the night into the lit arena.
What proceeded next was magical. It’s the reason we ride really, isn’t it? Those moments when you forget all your troubles, the world melts away and it’s only you and the horse beneath you.
We danced under those lights Sunday night. His walk was free and swinging. His trot was forward without being rushed. His canter was smooth and easy. I hadn’t planned on accomplishing any real work but he felt so good that I took him into the 20m circle at the canter and he responded by collecting, lifting and slowing. It took my breath away.
In those moments under the lights surrounded by a black night, I felt more free than I’ve felt in years. Eeyore knee that I needed him that night. He knew my world was falling apart and I needed to feel something solid under me. He gave me everything he had and then some.