Over the weekend, my daughter and some friends went horseback riding. I didn’t think Natalie would really get into it because … if I’m being really honest with you … I’m absolutely petrified of horses. Like straight up anxiety attack whenever I am near one. They are so beautiful – yes 100%. But they are also so powerful and I know that with one kick they could end my life.
Now my children were near them.
It was not ok. IT WAS NOT OK.
Can you tell I’m a city kid?
So, I tried my hardest to keep it together on the outside while the kids were getting the horse cleaned up. At one point, Liam looped around the back of the horse which is an absolute NO NO and I swear I almost fainted. But the children were in their glory. They loved every second of it. They were laughing and falling in love. I could see it. Natalie loved this horse. For a split second, I saw her as a teen riding a horse of her own and being in her element. In another world, one filled with money and.. money, maybe that would be possible. But we aren’t capable of any of this. So, it was short lived.
THEN… then went to go ride the horses. And. I lost it. My eyes started to tear up. My kids were in the center of the barn with trainers that were THEIR AGE and they were climbing MONSTER HORSES. Not little ponies that you see at fairs. I’m talking the biggest horses on the market. (I was later told that these were the calmest horses.) I stood amongst all the other parents who were taking pictures and smiling and rooting and I tried to swallow every fear that I had.
I had no control over this. I can’t protect them. I wouldn’t even know how. I’m too far away if something happens. They are both in there. I wouldn’t be able to help them both.
One horrid fear after the other was overlapping in my mind and I just started to cry. I really did. For about 15 seconds, I started to cry. I couldn’t handle it. It wasn’t a movie cry. It was a secret cry and I talked myself out of it pretty quickly but it was just too much for me.
Then it started. Liam was the first to loop around. I watched him as he came around and I was focusing on his face to see if he was happy or sad or scared or crying himself. And he was so thrilled to be on top of that horse!! So, that moment I knew- as a mom – I just had to suck it all up and IN. I wasn’t going to ruin this moment for my kids. They had to remember this as a great experience and I wasn’t going to be selfish and make it all about me. So, I put the camera in front of my face so he couldn’t see my face (just in case it was red) and I started to shout encouraging words to him as he rode by.
The same with Natalie. Pure joy.
It was the longest 20 minutes of my LIFE. But it was the best moments of their lives. Sometimes you just have to do things that scare you. Or let the ones you love do things that scare you. Because in the end, they both ran up to me and BEGGED ME to sign them up for lessons.
Impossible (thank GOD). Lessons are so expensive – it’s completely out of range for us. But a ride every now and then will now be in the cards.