Girls Horse Club Blog

Such Is Your Life

Published by • Mar 6th, 2011 • Category: by Julia, Poetry

You Are An Equestrian
by Julia, age 17

You will pick up the reins, your heart fluttering with excitement.
When you use your hands, you will jerk the reins too hard.
Your horse, irritated with you, will swish his tail and toss his head.
You will apologize by letting go, by releasing, and your horse will thank you.
He will trot forward.
You will be expected to stand up in “two-point” position,
But your body will protest this ungodly physical effort,
And your legs will shake,
And the first few times you will only be able to last a few seconds.
You will be exhausted after this,
And your knees will buckle from the impact of your dismount,
Your thighs and stomach and back screaming at you for being so silly as to think you just sit there.
And you will leave smelling of hay and dust.
It won’t be too long before you don’t even notice this smell anymore.
Don’t worry – your friends and family will remind you.
They always notice.

~

You will return and this will repeat.
Again and again, mistake after mistake—
You will become stronger.
You will learn what commitment is, what persistence is.
You will want to go faster.
You will want to go higher.
You will fall and it will hurt.
You may or may not want to get back in the saddle,
After all, that big, stupid animal is dangerous.
No, you know that isn’t true.
You deserved that fall.
And when you realize this you will become your biggest critic.
You will learn to feel for extension, balance, and impulsion.
It will become rare for you to pick up the wrong lead, the wrong diagonal.
You will want to put on a hunt coat and go for a blue ribbon.
Your stomach will be in knots during that first show,
And your horse will probably not be on his best behavior,
But you will take home a ribbon anyway.
It might not be blue, but you will be proud.
Those ribbons will begin to cover the walls of your room,
And then you will say goodbye to all of the lesson horses who taught you so much,
Grateful for every time they presented you with a challenge,
Even though it was only frustrating at the time.

~

It will be time for you to purchase your first horse.
You will save every penny to make sure you can afford that month’s board,
And you will spend every minute you’re not at school or at work at the barn.
You will grow older.
Your horse will too.
You will struggle with issues of the family and financial variety.
Sometimes the only thing keeping you moving will be that horse.
He will leave all his usual shenanigans at the barn while you’re out on the trail.
He will give you a few hours of peace until you have to return to the chaos that is your life.

~

Years will go by and adult responsibilities will cut into your barn time,
But even as your horse gets older, too old to be ridden anymore—
You will not abandon him because he, like you, will always need a shoulder to rest his head on.
He will be thirty years old and you will go out to visit him.
On wobbly legs, not unlike yours on those first few rides, he will walk beside you.
You will comb the burrs out of his tail and let him graze in his favorite pasture.
Then, one day, you will walk him out of his stall for the last time.
Slowly, letting him take his time, you will lead him to that beloved pasture area,
The one where the shafts of sunlight shine down on those perfect days.
With the aid of a kindly veterinarian,
You will coax him to lie down, his big head in your lap.
The tears will start flowing,
You will choke on your words as you try to say goodbye,
But realize words aren’t necessary.
There aren’t words to express your gratitude and love for this animal, this friend,
And so you will weep and his eyes will close.
His soul will canter to greener pastures,
His body will be missed by his paddock friends.

~

It will be difficult,
And you will not want to love another horse because the pain of goodbye is too great.
Some things are out of our control,
And, one day, a new equine soul will quietly settle in your heart.
She will never replace your first horse, your first unconditional best friend,
But you will love her all the same.
And, when the stresses of the world are pressing down on your shoulders,
You will lean against the pasture fence and peer out over the green expanse of land.
It will be one of those perfect days,
The kind when the golden shafts of sunlight shine down.
The memories will play through your mind like a scrapbook of Polaroid photos.
A smile will unconsciously spread across your face.
An impatient whinny will wake you from your reverie,
And you will wander off to tend to your mare.

~

You are an equestrian.
This is your life.
And it is beautiful.

~

 

11 Nickers »

  1. champion poem.. made me feel at peace and I loved how you pinpoint exactly how new riders feel and how growth and experience ages along with a consistent love for the horse.

    awesome
    HF

  2. I can relate to most of that … and trotting in the two point is not my favourite exercise either! But the poem was heartfelt and striking, a great job.

  3. amzing! you realy captured every aspect of the equestrians life, and your right. it is beautiful

  4. This poem is beautiful. I’ve never had a horse, never been trail riding, never stepped into an arena with a trainer, but I love horses all the same. I hope that maybe someday, that person will be me.

  5. *applauses loudly* GREAT POEM!

  6. This is amazing!
    You covered the life of an equestrian
    beautifully.
    Great job Julia!

  7. I utterly love this. The words you used gave immense clarity to your poem. I love it! I read it about 10 times!! lol Keep writing you have a great gift.

  8. Thank you, everybody. Your comments are very much appreciated.

    To those of you who can relate to at least a part of this poem, you are all very fortunate and I’m nothing but happy that you are also presented with such great equine opportunities.

    To those of you who have only been able to spend time with the horses in this virtual barn, don’t ever settle. If you have a passion for anything, namely horses, you need to follow it. The person in this poem could be any one of you at any stage in your life; you don’t need a million dollars or a barn in your backyard to be involved — just the passion and the willingness to pursue it.

  9. *Sniff…Sniff…Sniff*
    I loved everything about this poem, the truth ( that can hurt) has been topped with funny anecdotes everyone can relate to
    Thank you, thank you Julia for putting my feelings and thoughts and probably every other horsey girl’ ones, down into a beautiful poem
    It feels so real to be that girl and i hope i will fufill my life long dreams with the help of my equine friends
    Never Stop Writing x
    Keep Going Strong everyone x
    And, Forever Have Horses In Your Heart x
    Tabs xxx

  10. That is a GREAT poem! Good job!

  11. Wow, where do I start? This poem makes me feel so nostalgic but excited for the future at the same time. The equestrian life is indeed very beautiful on so many levels, but that is at least partly owed to your amazing writing. I felt so many emotions from such a simple yet beautifully written poem. It makes me a little guilty reading your work without paying for it. Thank you for such an inspiring experience.