Monday, June 30, 2014

Silent Partner

After last summer of riding accidents, this summer I put an ad out for other riders to come pay 20 bucks and ride my horse while I watch - my version of spending horse time without risk of death. Also, it's just a lot easier to have a summer with my kids when I don't have to ride everyday, and Dewey is a horse that needs exercise at least every other day. To stay level and mellow. All I have to say is there are ALOT of young women in LA who are experienced riders and need a horse to borrow. Almost every girl that writes me and then comes out to ride is someone who moved to LA and misses their horse at home, and who is happy to pay me to have an hour with Dewey while I hang out, watch them ride, and hear their past history with horses. I'm like the Eharmony of horse hook ups. Luckily Dewey is happy to oblige - he's a gentleman. I took a girl out the other day to show her the trail - I have to walk the dog next to the rider and I figure I'm getting paid to get some exercise, the dog is happy, and Dewey gets out too. Nathan is following us in the golf cart - he's gotten to be a good driver, and is like my secret service - driving up and around, picking up the dog who goes on little rides with him when she gets sick of walking. This young girl has a baby at home, so we end up talking about babies and families and jobs and it is really hot out, and I had a collapsed lung, so I'm always worried I'm going to fall over or something, but I think I'm just getting sunburned. Becky the dog is definitely too hot and letting me know by constantly wanting to get back into the golf cart, and then whining when I don't get in with her. Like, DUDE, the walk is too LONG. GET IN. IT'S A MILLION DEGREES. But every now and then I meet a person that isn't afraid to be honest - about how being a mother is confusing and messy, about how being a mother is bewildering and amazing, about how much of everything in life is just made up. I end up thinking about my 12 year old, and how I don't understand her as well as my other two - because she is the A student, and the one who needs the least, the one who works hard, the middle kid. Then I thought maybe it's not that she needs the least, it's just that she asks for the least. She doesn't know how much she needs, she tries to figure it all out on her own. But when I lay with her and talk about stuff, she still will curl up with me and becomes that young kid again, the one that says "don't leave, momma," when it's getting time to turn off the light for bed. The quietest of us maybe needs the most. We all need attention, that light to grow into like the plants do toward the window. I want her to know I notice her. She is still mine. I don't know what this has to do with Dewey and all the girls I'm meeting, and giving horse time to. They're all away from their moms, maybe for the first time, all graduated from college and moved away and trying to have a grown up life. But when they're on Dewey and we're walking, it all comes flooding back, and there's a young girl up there, missing her home and so happy to be back in a place that is comforting and familiar, where they know what to do, how to function well. On the back of a kind horse. A silent partner, Dewey gives you room to think. The regular beat of his hooves - it's a pretty nice place to be, even just to walk alongside.