I am officially back in the saddle again. I can’t explain what it means to me to be able to be around these amazing animals. No matter however brief the time may be, I always leave refreshed and humbled. I didn’t always love horses. They scared me so much as a youngster. There was no traumatic event that occurred, they were just so big! I didn’t stay on a horse until I was about 19. I would be put atop a saddle and then immediately wanted to get off. I had just moved back from California and reconnected with an old family friend. She had a horse farm that abutted the National Forest in Hector and I went out there to ride twice a week. I am by no means an expert rider in any way. Actually, I am not that good at most of the stuff that I do but it has never deterred me from continuing. We would mostly ride the trails in the forest smoking cigarettes and chatting; intermittently hanging forward in deep bends to swat at deer flies circling the heads of our horses. Sometimes we would just sit on the ridge looking out at Seneca Lake as though we were the only humans alive. Once I could post a trot she wanted me to buy a Percheron and move to Wyoming and be a ranch hand. I nearly did. I came closer than anyone knows. But something came up. I can’t remember what. Something trivial I am sure like a new job or a boyfriend (both ruin everything), something important to a 19 year old. So ended my magical trial riding days in Hector. I still have dreams of the horse whose invitation west I foolishly declined. Now I ride when I can. I found a great farm nearby called Kelviden and really enjoy spending my Saturday mornings deep in concentration, flushed, sweaty and as dusty as Pigpen. Smiling all the while.