By Gillian Trimbee
A few weeks ago, I celebrated my birthday. During this time, I reflected upon my life. I am now 26 years old, and have come to a conclusion; adulting is hard. A fact that is not helped by my inevitable equine addiction. I say inevitable because, according to my mother, I had begun drawing horses (okay, horselike amorphous blobs) at about two years of age. By four I was clearly one of the statistics all families hope to avoid: I was one of those little horse girls. I was, and still am, a Horse Junkie.
While it was cute in the early years, reality set in and my parents realized I was also destined to be a lawyer or a saleswoman, and while they fought the good fight they did finally cave when I was seven years old. They agreed to take me to some riding lessons, on conditions of good behavior. My dad, who was once an equestrian himself (many, many moons ago) brought me to the local tack shop where I was fitted with my first helmet. This was the 90’s, so thick padding had just become a thing, and I was positively delighted with my over sized black velvet appendage. I did look like a small humanoid mushroom, but I was not a girl concerned with appearances. I had ponies to ride.
And ride them I did. Paints, greys, buckskins, chestnuts, blacks and bays; the lesson horses of the barn were, in my opinion, my personal carousel. We didn’t have a lot of money as a family – that would come later – and for years I would suffer through a week of school with my carrot at the end; my Saturday morning lesson. My happiest memories as a child were on or around a horse. Whether I was getting frostbitten little toes from riding in an unheated Canadian riding arena, to sporting a glorious riding tan from the hot prairie sun, I made those sacrifices without even thinking twice. I loved each and every horse entrusted to my care, and treasured them from muzzle to tail. I love and agree with the quote “every horse deserves to be loved by a little girl”. Riding was, and still is, my own personal savasana.
Which, in my opinion, was a very good thing. We all need a savasana, a place of peace – especially weird little horse girls.
But, weird little horse girls do grow up. We endure trials and tribulations, successes and bitter failures in all aspects of our lives. We fumble through our days like newborn foals, and sometimes we overcome huge obstacles like our majestic pet unicorns. Today, I put on pants one leg at a time, to go to a very grownup job at a local publishing agency. I closed a big deal with a new advertiser, wrote a beautiful proposal and did so many adult things – things I am proud of. The weird little horse girl grew up into a successful young woman. My work ethic – developed from hours of cleaning tack, barns and horses, grinding in both the hot sun and freezing Canadian temperatures – was my childhood internship.
That being said, I haven’t changed entirely… Because, at the end of the day, I’ve still managed to engineer a big carrot in my life. I’ve worked hard, and bought a brand new-to-me trained show horse (more on that later). So, though it’s been a long day of very hard adulting,I am comforted by one thought: My savasana awaits.