I shined Ray up a bit and put the Bridle in his mouth and started to walk him out of the barn.
‘Pa’ comes out and says “Where you goin’?”
“We’re going to ride in the field again” I said.
“Well, aren’t you forgetting something?”
I paused for a second, looked Ray over then myself and said “No, I don’t think so”.
‘Pa’ then said “Well, aren’t you going to put a saddle on that crazy Arab?”
I laughed and grinned “Nah, he’ll be fine”
“Okay, well, I’ll get the 4-wheeler ready in case you need me. Want me to feed him when he comes back before I get ya?”
“Sure, that sounds great” I told him.
As I explained last time, Ray got a lot taller on me, so I had to grab the mounting block. It wasn’t pretty getting on him, but I struggled up and got comfortable. I gave Ray a gentle ‘click’ and off we were.
The nice thing about riding bareback is you get to feel, wholeheartedly, what your horse underneath you is doing. Every step, every tail swish, you feel it until it becomes a part of you. Every time he moves a muscle, it’s as if where you connect becomes one. His muscles become yours. Until, quite literally, the two of you unite.
We had an amazing ride despite a black cat that started stalking us. I saw it’s green eyes hunting us, and while I’m not usually one to recoil from a challenge, I thought it best not to fight this one today. We stopped as the sun started to go down just underneath the trees. It was so bright I couldn’t look directly at it, but I leaned down and hugged Ray’s neck. At this moment, I was happy. True happiness is so rarely felt, but this one of those occasions.