In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Another Round

It’s official. Consolation and I are back on the conditioning trail.

I confess that I was slightly nervous. As many miles as I post, as many hours as I spend safe in the saddle, I can never quite forget that with riding — particularly on green horses after winter layoffs — comes a set of significant, undeniable perils. It doesn’t help that I can’t escape my temperamental hamstring, a constant reminder of the risk inherent in our sport.

Well. There’s nothing to do but do it anyway. Visualize the best result (which is thereby made more likely), quash the fear, focus on passion, trust your skill. Every ride, it’s easier. As a good friend of mine noted, the worst parts are takeoffs and landings.

Yes, I agreed…in more senses than one! But I needn’t have worried.

Swinging astride felt like exploring my garden in early March. Here, the ghosts of perennials awaiting spring. There, some windblown clutter for sweeping out. Everywhere, the earth sweet and solid and familiar, pliant in my hands, rich with promise.

All the miles Consolation and I have covered together came rushing back, tumbling one over the other in their haste, chattering in our small, secret language hammered out on the anvil of experience. The occasional, impatient dip of her head. The respondent press of my calves against her ribs. A word, a breath, a hint of give. The sorting out of which job belongs to whom, reminders that all belong to both.

We spent half a mile on static, more or less, as together we remembered. And then? The ancient, centaur magic! The reins turned to blood that flowed between us. We talked like old girlfriends clutching hands across the table at an empty bar, grinning, pulled toward one another by conspiratorial murmur.

“Remember the old days?”

“The wild days, you mean? Hell, yeah.”

“Those are the ones. We should do that again.”

“Damn straight.”

And we waved for another round. _________________________________________________________

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11 responses

  1. Grats!I'd love to hear more details of your conditioning strategy for Consolation. Are you still using that spreadsheet you put up last year?

    February 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm

  2. I love the way you write! Such great expression. You and Consolation are still a team.

    February 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm

  3. As always Tamara, this is one of my favorite blogs to read.

    February 3, 2010 at 11:46 pm

  4. Nice you are back at it. I look forward to reading your new adventures with your "girlfriend"

    February 4, 2010 at 2:50 am

  5. horseadventures

    Ah…glad you're back in the saddle, and you and Consolation finding your rhythm together. 🙂 Love the description!

    February 4, 2010 at 11:43 am

  6. I'm curious about the spreadsheet comment that was made….I might have to go back into the archives to search for it. I'm intrigued about your conditioning program, especially when getting back into the swing of things. So glad to see you back, I always enjoy my visits here!

    February 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  7. What a wonderful post. Your description of coming together is spot on, and I identified with your dealing with the reality of the sport. Many happy trails to you both!

    February 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

  8. I'm just tickled that you and Consolation are grooving. Whoopee .. what an exciting year ahead.

    February 9, 2010 at 4:05 am

  9. Thanks, all. Sorry for my slow reply — busy time of year at the day job and on the farm! But, your comments never fail to make my day. :)About that spreadsheet — yes, I do still use it. (I'm such a nerd.) It's still available for download (free), as well. Just look under Endurance Resources on the righthand side of The Barb Wire.

    February 21, 2010 at 1:57 am

  10. Can't wait to hear updates! You have always been a fave blog of mine as well… you have an award on my blog. happy trails!

    February 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

  11. This is BEAUTIFUL.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:34 am

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