When I watch a kid riding, I get taken out of myself. I’m full of happiness in a great, basic, rock-bottom sort of way. There’s nothing goopy going on here, I swear, nothing mawkish or sentimental. I’m amazed when it happens, the increadible rush of simple joy. And it happened this Saturday out in Plain City, a community north and west of Columbus, a community not yet overwhelmed by the Burnham-Wood-to-Dunsinane (that’s from Shakespeare’s Scottish play) March of the Condos.
The owner of the stable very graciously invited me out to get an idea of the facility and the program. It’s a place with a lot of soul and I felt comfortable right away. Horses were dozing in their stalls, nipping at each other’s halters out in the field, and going through their paces in the ring with their riders aboard.
I watched one girl go around, doing just fine, asking her horse into a trot and then a canter under the eye of her teacher. She was concentrating. Didn’t looked relaxed by any means, but did look intent. When she got the horse up into a canter, I found myself nodding along with the 3-beat gait, the way you do when you keep time to music. The horse came around the corner and past the fence, the girl kept a good steady seat, and just by watching I felt like a kid too. It was magic.
Oh more’s the pity! The word magic is used too much when we try to talk about how we felt when we were first horse and rider. Transubstantiated is not too strong a word — but might be the wrong word. Love works pretty well. I wish there was some word that combined more with enough. I feel like I am more than the sum of my parts, like I understand that I do have a soul — and that I am enough and don’t need anything else. Both of these feelings exist within me at the same moment when I hear the 3-beat gait and watch the girl riding the horse. I am her, back when I fell in love with horses.
But I’m not her. I’m the grown-up 46 year old woman. And I am made into enough by the horse.