Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 19, 2009: Morrison, Wisconsin: State #1

It turned out to be a beautiful day today, so when I got done with work, I went to the barn to see Ray. There’s something about being at work on a Saturday knowing that you can see the man you love right after you get done.

Ray, as you know, is my 6 year old Black Arabian. I got him when he was 2 and I wonder how I ever lived without him. Despite everything in the past 4 years, Ray has always been my constant. In January, he hurt himself. He cut his hock real bad and to this day, I’m dealing with it. I have not ridden him since last year about this time, simply because I have been babying him, so I thought today might be a good day.

I saddled him up and he stood like a champ. Despite having a year off, he knew what to do. We went into the yard and I saddled up. Little did I realize how much bigger Ray had gotten on me. Last year he was a measly 14.3 hands and now he had sprouted up to be an impressive 16 hands. As I struggled to get my 5 foot 2 leg up in the stirrup, I paused to look at him. Wow, he really has grown up. He has such a presence about him now. Quite stunning how his black coat shines in the sun and his beautiful espresso eyes glimmer. I could go on for hours, but I’ll save that for a different time.

We rode around the hay field on the property. Not an exciting ride to the Average Joe, but to me, this was one of the best rides I’ve ever been on because it was with my boy! It was almost as if he didn’t forget a thing. Nothing seemed to bother him. It could be that I wasn’t uptight, so then he wasn’t. I’m not really sure.

As we rode in the open field, I could feel Ray getting excited and wanting to go. He has so much heart and as much as I wanted to let him go, with his leg, I just couldn’t. I made him walk and it broke me as much as it did him. Nothing is better than letting him go and letting the wind whip through his mane and my hair. At that point, we are one, or at least as close to one as possible. The wind picked up and it started teasing him with a game of tag. We’d have to forfeit this game…

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