I love horses.

If you’re reading this blog, you probably do too.

And you understand what I mean when I say I love them. It’s a hobby, a sport, a lifestyle.

Even during the several-year stretch when I couldn’t afford to have a horse of my own, I was connected to the sport in some way. I always found horses to be around and to ride.

But after a really crappy summer, thanks to awful Florida weather and a prolonged lameness with my horse, Belinda. I really needed a break.

Riding Brandy in Montana

Riding Brandy in Montana

I had just started a new job. My dream job. I was nervous and anxious about kicking butt and making a good name for myself right from the start. Belinda didn’t transition into life at her new barn so easily. She was stressed. Then the rain came and ruined her hooves.

I was so busy at work. I didn’t know the other boarders all that well yet, so it was easy to feel isolated and alone with the issues I was having with Belinda. My trainer moved out of the barn abruptly. I felt abandoned.

Finally I got Belinda on the right treatment path and she was doing better. I was finding my groove at work, but logging a lot of hours and was exhausted.

At the end of October, I flew out to Whitefish, Montana, for a work-related conference. We were just a few minutes from Glacier National Park. Even though I was there for work, I knew I had to make some time for myself to appreciate the mountains and the few minutes I had to be alone.

I’m so glad I did.

I booked a two-hour trail ride in the mountains of Montana. The colors were still rich and getting brighter every day. The weather was cool, but not freezing. I rode an old mare named Brandy who knew her job. I had nothing to worry about.

Belinda and I on a trail ride at the state park near the barn.

Belinda and I on a trail ride at the state park near the barn.

I’ve always been a competitor with horses, showing on the A circuit, logging lessons with trainers and working to meet goals with every ride. Sure, I’ve trail ridden around the block and done a few lazy hunter paces, but I’ve never been a “real” trail rider.

After my time in Montana, I vowed to make more time to “relax” with Belinda. We were, after all, boarding literally right next to a state park full of equestrian trails.

Now it’s my favorite past time. We don’t make it to the park as often as I like, but I do believe it’s a ride both Belinda and I look forward to every time we do. It’s the hour or so when I’m reminded just how much I love my horse, and to be in a position where I can ride. It’s where I go and don’t bring my phone, or my work calendar, or whatever errands I have to run before I go home.

All is right in the world when I’m on my horse.