Horseback rides of our youth
If you spend any time on social media, you’ll have seen memes about adulting.
Millennials (and even some of us mid-lifers) are finding that being a grown up really sucks sometimes. We have work we don’t feel like doing, choices we don’t feel like making, and aches and pains we don’t feel like… well, feeling!
Whatever happened to the carefree days of our youth in the saddle?
Want the truth?
It was all a lie.
OK, to clarify, I’m not one of those people who run around insisting that the world is flat or that the moon landing was a hoax (please – if you’re a flat-earther or conspiracy theory zealot – don’t flood Horse Authority’s social media with complaints! (The opinions written here don’t necessarily reflect the views and opinions yadda, yadda…)
So, what, exactly do I mean by saying our carefree youth was all a lie?
I mean it probably didn’t happen the way we choose to remember it. For all the glorious trail rides on perfect spring days with birds singing and flowers blooming, there were at least two days of barn chores where we slogged through ankle-deep mud pushing an overloaded wheelbarrow. The truth is we just hoped we wouldn’t end up either dumping the wheelbarrow on ourselves before we reached the muck heap!
For every perfect pleasure class, there was the missed lead (right in front of the judge, of course), and those favorite riding boots of yours probably caused a few blisters before they became your favorites.
All of this is actually going somewhere, for instance, adulting definitely has its benefits… Don’t forget our friend wisdom. Remember, you don’t get it out of a book.
Yes, we have work we may not want to do sometimes, but the paycheck from that work buys your next set of tires for the truck or shoes for your horse. The choices we don’t feel like making are simply the flip-side of the fact that we get to make choices! No parents or teachers are setting our rules – it’s all up to us. And while that can be one heckuva burden sometimes, it’s a hard-earned benefit of being an adult.
Oh, and those pains? Just remember the first few days in those favorite boots and be thankful for the pains that can be treated with BioFreeze and a hot bath.
As equestrians, let’s celebrate our gratitude together!
Penny Hawes is a life coach from Monroe, VA, who has taught hundreds of people to ride on two continents. She specializes in helping re-riders confidently rekindle their internal fervor for equestrian sport. Penny offers experience to help guide ‘mid-life’ riding students with any challenge in or out of the saddle.