Girls and their horses


I was a late bloomer, when it came to the schoolgirl obsession with horses: I didn’t start riding until my early 30s, long after a fear of heights — and falling — had set in. So it was with some trepidation that I took up jumping.

Two things scared me about jumping. First, the horse had to build up a certain amount of momentum (read: speed) to make it over the obstacle. Second, being on a horse that was airborne meant I was even farther off the ground.

Still, I overcame my fear long enough to take on some pretty tall jumps. And that’s how I came to fracture my pelvis while trying to clear an almost 6-foot (1.8-metre) fence. I still remember the quizzical expression on the horse’s face as he came back around to check on me. “What are you doing down there?” he seemed to be asking.

That was back in 2004. The pelvis grew back, and I continued my visits to my horse-friend, Keeper. But the desire to ride never came back … until today.

Today I had the honor of watching my friend Heather (and her horse Mikey) win her division’s championship in a local competition. I was in awe of Heather’s poise as she led Mikey through the course; she and Mikey seemed to be one.

It’s that sense of partnership with a horse I miss most. There’s something indescribable about building a bond with an animal that could easily crush you — and then channeling his power and feeling as if it’s yours. It’s a bond that transcends logic and language; it’s a bond you just feel.

I came home gushing about Heather’s great showing. “Are you going to take up riding again?” my husband Esteban asked casually. “Naw, I don’t think so,” I answered. It’s expensive. My hips aren’t as flexible as they used to be. I don’t have the time anymore, or the discipline.

But just for a couple of hours, it was fun to smell the familiar barn smells. It was wonderful to run my hand along Mikey’s neck and feel his strength. It was lovely to be back in the world of horses — and their girls.

Here are a couple of parting shots. Hasta mañana …

14 Responses to “Girls and their horses”

  1. J’aime beaucoup ton reportage sur le concours de saut à cheval ( de ton amie, félicite la de ma part pour sa victoire)…

    La dernière photo est vraiment superbe sur différents plans, celui qui m’interpelle le plus c’est le côté nostalgique ( en rapport avec ton passé avec les chevaux ) renforcé par le noir et blanc vraiment bien vu, j’adore ! 🙂

    Bonne journée.

    MO and his M3 from Paris. 🙂 😉

    • 2 hmunro

      Bonjour mon cher Mo,
      Je te remercie beacoup tes mots gentils. Je l’ai envoyé tes felicitations à ma amie et elle a répondu “You are very lucky to have a friend like MO.” Je suis d’accord ! C’est un énorme honeur penser que tu aimes mes photos. Jet e souhaite une très belle journée à Paris. Ta poule te salue! 🙂

  2. 3 dancingbeastie

    Good Lord, you are so brave!! Six foot jumps, and taking it up in your thirties, just as we all start to get a bit less ‘bouncy’ – as your horrible fracture proves! Respect.

    I was a typical horse-mad child, constantly drawing them, day-dreaming about them and even riding them, as often as pocket money would allow. I was lucky enough to get my own horse in my teens, but a pelvic injury eventually did for my riding career as well. Like you, though, I still adore the chance to be back in an equine environment occasionally, with those smells of hay and horse.

    Your shots of the day are so evocative. I especially love the last portrait, and the one of your friend and her horse walking away after their round. She looks lovely, and I can hear the clop of the horse’s hooves and the swish of his tail.

    • 4 hmunro

      As usual, you’re far too kind, dancingbeastie. I often joke that there’s a fine line between courage and stupidity, and I fear I have a lot more of the latter. (Grin.) I’m not at all surprised to hear that you were horse-mad as a child, though, as your love for nature and your fellow creatures is so evident. What a pity you had to give it up. Don’t you hate it when our bodies refuse to cooperate? Grrr.

      • 5 dancingbeastie

        Oh, yes, exactly – in my head I’m still about 20 and capable of anything, which is sadly far from the reality! 🙂

        • 6 hmunro

          We’re two birds of a feather, dancingbeastie! I keep wondering when my head will realize that my body is no longer 20. (Never, I hope!) 🙂

  3. Wow!! Great pictures, now I wish we had driven up to see Heather ride in the horse show.

    Thank you!!

    • 8 hmunro

      You’re very welcome! I wish you’d been there, too — she rode beautifully, and Mr. Mikey was in great form as well. But I have a feeling you’ll get to see her compete again in the near future! 🙂

  4. Querida Heide,
    He estado un tiempo lejos del mundo WordPress y cuando volví y vi un comentario en mi blog sobre mis últimos dibujos, de parte de un tal ‘Heide’, no tenía claro quien era… Has hecho unos cambios en tu blog cierto? De Heatherblog a Heideblog? O me estoy confundiendo… Yo me acuerdo que hemos hablado sobre tu familia y su relación con México (por tu mamá, la que te educó) y que aprendí mucho sobre salud de ti, en particular respecto a ‘braintumors’ etc. a parte de todo los demás bonitos temas y tu preciosa forma de escribir. Entonces volvía a buscar parte de esa información en tu blog, ya que por casualidad constataron un tumor en el cerebro de mi madre (y yo ya sabía varias cosas sobre este padecimiento gracias a ti, y sin saber que me iba servir algún día!) pero ya no encontré nada, entonces, me pregunto si estoy confundiendo todo o si tu antes si eras Heather de Heatherblog con todo lo anteriormente mencionado incluído…
    Un beso!

    • 10 Heide

      Queridísima Rosa,
      Sí, tienes toda la razón … mi nombre en la vida real es tal como te acuerdas. Desafortunadamente el año pasado tuve un incidente con un lector que me amenazó un poco, y me di cuenta entonces de la mucha información muy personal que había puesto aquí a través de los años. Para protegerme un poco cambié algunos de los detalles (“Heide” es mi nombre en Alemán). También hice privadas algunas de las entradas más sensibles, como lo de mi tumor. Pero ya que el mundo de WordPress me ha aceptado como Heide a la mejor los hago visibles al público otra vez.

      Pero el tema más importante es la triste noticia que me has contado respecto a tu mamá. ¿Cómo está? Espero que lo encontraron aún de pequeño y que se lo puedan curar. Si me quieres escribir por email para continuar esta conversación, estoy por favor dame tus noticias. Estoy an hmunro (punto) wordpress (en) gmail (punto) com.

      ¡Un beso, y un enorme abrazo!

      • Querida Heide 😉
        Qué pena me da que tuviste este tipo de experiencia desafortunada con un lector. Espero que no te haya afectado demasiado. Entiendo perfectamente que te has tenido que proteger.
        Mi madre está bastante bien, gracias a una novedosa imunoterapia para tratar (metástasis de) melanomas. Tambien le han operado del cerebro. Estuvo paralizada en un lado de su cuerpo, no podía hablar, ni tragar. Fue terrible, pero ya está caminando, hablando, comiendo. Estuve en Holanda con ella durante el periodo de la total indefensión, cuidándola porque en los hospitales había escasez de personal de enfermería..
        Gracias por enviarme tu correo electrónico.
        Por ahora un beso enorme.

        • 12 Heide

          Saludos querida Rosa,
          Me complace muchísimo oír que tu madre está bastante bien, y que el tratamiento ha logrado restaurar su mobilidad, y sus abilidades para hablar y comer. ¡Qué alegría! Pero qué horrible que tuviste que cuidarla porque en los hospitales había escasez de enfermeras. Pensé que eso solamente pasaba aquí en los Estados Unidos …

          Pues bueno, ya me regreso a mi trabajo un poco más tranquila, sabiendo que tu mamá se está recuperando y que tu tambien estás bien.

          Un enorme beso, Rosa. Cuídate mucho.

          • I had to change nappies, wash her and brush her teeth, feed her, change her body position all the time (as she was half-paralysed), everything, as you can imagine…, rather strange to become the ‘mother of your mother’ in some way… but I did it with love, even if she hadn’t been the kindest mother to me when I was a child, but it felt just good. Lovely to be in touch with you again. Loads of kisses, Rosa

          • 14 Heide

            You are a wonderful person, Rosa — and I have no doubt your mother was immensely grateful to have such a wonderful daughter to care for her. What a big heart you have to be able to let go of the past and devote yourself to her with all of your love. Everyone who counts you among their friends is very lucky indeed. Muchos besos y mucho cariño, querida Rosa.

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