It has been a busy summer. In addition to all our wonderful travels, I have realized a life-long dream: owning my own horse, and very reluctantly caved in to the (almost life-long) wishes of my dentist and having braces fitted. I’ve been jokingly telling friends this is a woman’s version of a mid-life crisis. But then I thought about it some more and realized that, in fact, it is more of a celebration of having reached middle age, and planning for what’s still ahead.
As the parent of a soon-to-be 9th grader, who has his own very busy social and study schedule, it started to dawn on me that for the first time in about 15 years I had some free time on my hands. And it was only going to increase. (Sidenote: I find it unfathomable that my blonde little toddler will be striking out on his own in just a few years.)
Monkey and I have been riding horses together for the past couple of years and recently, I started to wonder what it would be like to have access to a horse on a regular basis. Since I was four years old, I’ve yearned for my own horse. I started out by sponsoring someone else’s mount in May, and quickly realized that it was a poor substitution to having my own.
So after many nights of searching for “Morgan horses for sale” on the interwebs, I found a just-broke, but beautifully raised, gorgeous young filly, aged 3, named Quintessa. Yes, that’s right. Rather than buy a well-trained, level-headed school horse, I opted for one that will need training from the get-go, has only been ridden a handful of times and today spooked when a duck took off from the pond. It appears I always like to take the road less-traveled.
My reasoning for this seemingly irrational decision?
- I want to challenge my brain, and learning how to do something complicated and completely unfamiliar—like training a young horse—fits the bill. (It’s a flawed argument, I know. Yes, there are many easier and cheaper ways to keep one’s brain ticking over. Sudoku anyone?)
- I figured that I would get to spend longer with my “forever horse” if she/he was younger when we started our partnership. I fully intend to be riding into my 70s.
- Having gone to meet Quintessa in Southern California I just got the feeling that she was the one. She is a total sweetheart with a desire to be literally in your pocket. Problem is that my pockets aren’t big enough for a 1,000lb horse, so we are working on that. (Meaning quelling her desire to get in my pockets vs. me getting bigger jeans.)
Anyway, here we are, two weeks in. I spent the first ten days pinching myself and unable to believe that she was truly mine. It’s a funny feeling to realize a lifelong dream. What’s more my wonderful trainer loves her and said I must have an angel looking over me because Quintessa is so quick to learn, moves well and has a wonderful soul. Oh, and she was the one who noticed that Quintessa has a heart on her forehead. And it’s true, she does.
And of course, I am so happy to see her and Monkey together. She makes him smile and is very sweet and gentle with him. And he in turn, loves her, as you can tell from this shot.
And as for the braces? Well there’s not much to say, except they hurt, are a horrible inconvenience and are surely going to impact my ability to review restaurants and try new foods. But anyway. The goal is not so much straight teeth, but being able to keep my own teeth for the next half of my life. No pain, no gain. Right?
Anyway, if you spot my new “resting sad face”—apparently braces drag down the corners of your mouth—and wonder why I have a twisted grimace in photos for the next 16 months, now you know.
The moral of this tail? Being half-way through your life isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s really good. You get to take the next few decades to realize your long-held dreams and if you’re lucky (or willing to put up with a bit of pain first) you’ll even get to keep your own teeth. Enjoy every minute.