I'm Already Dreading Saying Goodbye

Friday, January 9, 2015

There are some things I've written about forever and I don't think that will ever change.
They are usually the most important things in my life, which makes sense. 
Writers write what they know.
And one of the things I know, inside and out, without a doubt, is riding. 
The barn, and the sweet peace of happy horses quietly munching on hay and standing in the softly glowing barn aisle, content and thankful that you get to experience that serenity.
That may be one of the best things about the horse world-the dichotomy you can find there.
The enviable peace of horses munching, the beautiful views most barns boast. The connection with nature you usually find in these situations.
And then there is the hustle and bustle, the people in and out, the tense shouting in the arena, the stress sweating of trying to perfect a course. The aching legs when you feel like you couldn't possibly canter one more lap.
It's a beautiful thing, I tell ya.
And what makes all this even better for me is the people I share this time with.
Ryan Miller, as many of you will know, has been in my life since I was about 14 and he, 18. I had typed "has been my role model, best friend, and trainer", then deleted it. Because those words just seem so insignificant and incompetent to the task of describing our relationship and just how much he means to me.
Cue the tears! I actually have a very hard time talking about him without tearing up.
I've spent the last couple days at the gorgeous new barn with my all my boys-horses and humans.
And it feels like home.
I've always thought that no barn could compare to Euro, where we have spent the most amount of time. We were there during the best time of my riding years so far, and I have so many special memories there that I thought it would be hard to top it simply because of that.
But this place…this place feels like our home.
I came in just during moving time, which means instead of being back from break without knowing anything and feeling a little out of place, I was the one people were asking questions, and I (mostly) knew where things were.
Ryan will put you to work right off the bat, so as soon as I got there I was bringing horses in from turnout, tacking up his training rides, helping little girls tie lead ropes and tighten girths.
It was tough for me, coming back to the barn (wherever that may be) on breaks from school. I stopped riding my senior year mostly because I needed to save money for school.
But it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
It was my whole life, people. My world revolved around soft horse noses and early mornings at the shows and telling Ryan everything and watching and learning and growing.
So it was almost physically painful for me, I missed it so much.
I'm glad I'm over that enough now that I can enjoy it again.
I still miss that instinctual feeling, when you get on the horse and you know it feels right or wrong or perfect, and it's so familiar to you.
And I've realized something I've probably always known but don't often remember: how I feel the absolute most confident when I am wearing breeches and a polo, leading a beautiful horse or two.

Everybody has something that they love, or they work hard to be successful at. Sports are a common part of people's life. What they don't realize is that riding is not simply a sport (although it is the best freakin leg workout you will ever get).
It's a lifestyle. And once you're a horsey person, you can't just walk away.

My heart will always be in these Arizona arenas.

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