Girls Horse Club Blog

My Latest Epiphany

Published by • Jun 11th, 2011 • Category: by Julia, Horse Girls

by Julia, age 17

JuliaI remember being ten years old and leaning against the black-painted fence that separated the spectators from the riders training within its confines. The spectacular shining coats and flowing gaits of the horses reminded me of runway models — tall, leggy, and stylish. “The older girls,” as I always referred to them, would ride around bareback like they were born to do it, and as far as I’m concerned, most of them were.

It’s only a matter of months until I’m eighteen now, and I still lean against that fence. A coat of fresh paint definitely wouldn’t hurt it; maybe a good sanding too so it won’t impale me with splinters. The difference is I’m one of the “older girls” now. As I watched the instructor teach kids to pick up the correct diagonals, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. They all looked so unbalanced; heels were definitely not down and eyes were not looking ahead. I remember when that was me. I could tell by the expressions on their faces, varying from frustrated to dismayed, that they thought it would never get better.

Oh, how I laughed at the poor girl who got stuck riding Rascal, and how he just wouldn’t stay trotting, hindering her ability to post at all, let alone on the correct diagonal. The instructor was telling her to keep him moving; be the boss! At one time, I was that girl too. Tears of anger and frustration were cried over that fat little Appaloosa, and I wanted to tell her to keep at it because one day she will actually want to ride him. I wanted to tell her that her legs would get strong, so strong, and her rides would become conversations, not battles. However, I didn’t say any of that. I just walked back into the barn, spurs jingling, figuring that it would be much more rewarding if she figured it out for herself.

I admit that I have grown up, admittedly with a bit of reluctance to let go of my childhood. Until recently, I had neglected to realize that everyone and everything else grew older with me. The lesson horses that were once so frisky and vivacious are now in their 20s, their faces gray and their coats roaning out. The wood of the hitching post I always sat upon has been weathered, and the tree it is shaded by has also stretched upward, branches reaching toward the sky as if I could climb up to rest upon the nearest cloud. And of course, there are the people. Don’t even get me started on the people.

It is with great pleasure that I can vouch for this undeniable truth: You don’t leave your childhood behind; you take it with you. You will forget this, as I had, but one day you will be cantering around bareback in the outdoor arena, and your eyes will inadvertently meet with those of the little girl who is standing on her tippy toes, leaning against the fence. That girl was you. That girl is you. It just might take the passing of time for you to realize it.

8 Nickers »

  1. Amazing Julia! You really made me think. (:)

  2. Wow, this is so well written. You really now how to make people think. 10000/10 is how I would rate this!

  3. Julia, thank you for sharing this insightful blog! It’s been an honor to have you as part of GHC and to share in your experiences as you’ve become one of “the older girls” who gives the newer horse girls something to aspire to.

  4. I can really relate to this, I’m one of the “older girls” being just a few short months from 17. I’ve come so far from who I was, and looking back, I’m afraid to keep moving on and abandon my childhood. You gave a good insight, though. Keep pressing on :)

  5. This is so beautiful. Once again I’m captured by what you have to share and how you manage to say it with no meaning ever being lost. I really admire how you note the often disregarded details and put them so simply yet expressively into words. I’m definitely very inspired :)

  6. Very wonderful. Thanks for the encouragment!!

  7. Woah, this is super…
    Words can’t really describe how beautiful and flowing you made the poem. But i can say that you made my day

  8. Im ten years old right now and i love riding and its fourth of july so. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
    :D The story really helped me