In hard times people tend to look for somewhere or someone to turn to. Sometimes that is faith and they will turn to their God for help and pray for their health to be returned; or it could be a family member. “In sickness and in health” is a vow you make to one another at the alter and is meant to be honored. Or, if you are like me, you turn to an animal(s) who don’t understand your language, but seem to provide comfort and strength in an indescribable way.
I have been an avid horse lover since I was little and started riding when I was 5 or 6, i’m 18 now. It has been a long time and I of course can’t imagine my life without horses in it. Yes, they are animals who have a mind of their own. Yes, my horse could easily kill me with one kick from his hoof to my head, but he is my comfort. He is my reassurance, the reliable element that exists in my life. He doesn’t speak my language, but in a way that almost makes me feel more connected to him. It is a silent yet solid connection that can be witnessed in a quiet cuddle or even jumping a long course. It’s all communication between horse and rider, and one that I am very thankful to be able to understand. I can trust him with the whispered secrets that I tell him when nobody is listening, I know that he’ll be there for cuddles after a horrible day, I know he won’t judge me. I know he will love me unconditionally, no matter how sick I may be. He is the one steady element in my life, one of whom I literally trust with my life.
When i’m having a hard day, where is the first place I turn to? The barn. Something about that sweet (what some people call “disgusting”) smell of fresh hay and a soft nuzzle from my favorite pony (really a horse) makes everything disappear and the stress and weight of the world be lifted from my shoulders. There is no better feeling than climbing on the back of a horse in a quiet ring while enjoying each others presence to help the stress and tension melt away.
Today I realized just how lucky I am to have that outlet. One of my friends who i’ve known for about a year now lost her outlet, dance, to this awful thing called Lyme. It’s hard as I lost riding for nearly 19 months out of 24 months, and I know how devastating it can be to have to lose the one thing keeping you sane. So for anyone who has lost their outlet, their stress reliever, know that one day you will get it back. Keep fighting for it, because when you do finally get it back, it is the best feeling in the whole world.