The first horse I ever climbed on was met with a swift kick by the owner and the eruption of laughter, not from me. The rest of the story is unimportant as I decided that was the last day I would be within arms reach of a horse, and I was fine with that. A fear of horses convinced me that large animals were dangerous, horses were aggressive, and frankly I was perfectly happy to go through life without them.
In logic, the fear attached to that ride had nothing to do with the horse and everything to do with my inexperience and an irresponsible owner. The fear was escalated by vulnerability, and laughter meant to be mockery.
Thirty years later, I realized I had set aside a curiosity and love for these gentle animals, because of a mindset someone else created. I have a fierce admiration for people who work with horses, and as you would guess, they are commonplace in Arizona. Friends promised me, that I would like it, if I tried it, just for my love of the outdoors, but they also reminded me, horses could take me to places that my legs could not.
Unfortunately, would it hurt me, kept cropping up.
I wandered into Cave Creek Trail Rides with a list of questions and concerns, and it was Jake who took me on my first real ride though the hills of the Sonoran Desert. It was Jake who taught me about being in control, about safety, about attentiveness and about trust.
Did I mention Jake was a horse?
Over the next few months, confidence tucked fear into a new place, called fearless. Overtime I graduated to riding on the matriarch, June, And I discovered she is a bit like me, a free spirit, who loves adventures, and snacks. Not that those are good qualities for a horse, or a human, but we are who we are, and we enjoy our moment in time.
These days, sunset rides are now a favorite date night.
And the best part in all this is cherished time with friends who visit us in the winter months. They do not leave Arizona without a chance to wander around the Sonoran Desert, on a horse with me.
Wind Kisses, Donna
Have you ever overcome a fear of something that you love?