When I was a little girl there was a farm we passed on the way to our summer cottage that had a pair of Percherons.  I would ask my mother to drive by very slowly so I could admire the huge, gentle animals.  Sometimes we would see them pulling a plow and other times a wagon.  When they leaned into their harness you could see the muscles ripple down their shoulders and flanks.  I remember they always seemed to be beautifully clean, their manes free from tangles.  I was told that took hours of brushing and care.

During that same time period, our neighbors had a pony.  I desperately wanted to ride that pony.  The one time I was given the opportunity I don’t remember being given any instructions other than to hold on to the reins and saddle horn.  The pony ran along the electric fence, my leg getting shocked at every step.  I got off as fast as I could and didn’t ask to do that again.

As an adult I went with some friends to a horse ranch to ride in the hills of western Washington.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to get up on top of that big animal, but wasn’t going to admit I was afraid.  I didn’t know the horse could tell I was.  He ambled along while I hung on for dear life.  I didn’t do that again either.

You practiced horse riders are probably thinking there is nothing easier than riding a horse, and having a good chuckle at my inexperience.  That’s all right.  Another person smiling because of something I said or did is a good thing.  In my book, horses are one of the most majestic and beautiful animals on this earth, and I love them.