Monday, March 11, 2002

...If these are life's lessons, she'll take this test...

Driving home tonight, listening to one of my billions of mixed CD's, I decided that Wide Open Spaces could practically be my theme song. Hearing it brought back the memory of listening to that same song while I was driving to the nearby town of Highlandville, back when I still drove Mustang Sally, on my way to test-ride a horse. Not just any horse, but a sweet bay horse named Slick. Oh, but lets get in a little deeper here- Slick was three years old. Slick was a three year old Thoroughbred. Slick was a three year old Thoroughbred straight off the racetrack. Those of you familiar with horses know what I was getting myself into here, but hey, I was 17 and I was convinced I knew everything!! So, here I am on a half hour drive that my parents dont know I'm making to ride this horse I'm considering buying. My parents didnt know because they would have immediatly said "No way, you have nowhere to keep it.." yada yada ya. Remember when you were seven and asked your parents for a pony? Same speech, and I wanted to avoid that. I got there and had a great time grooming Slick (I swear, if all else fails I'm going to be a groom for a living, I love it), and we were getting along great- he had lots of personality and was really sweet! So, I tacked him up, and got ready to lead him out to the outdoor ring to ride him. Well, what they hadn't told me was Slick wasn't too keen on the idea of being led. It took me forever to get him out to that ring (Keep in mind I'd never had a horse, so I wasn't really sure how to handle this situation!) Next, when I went to get on Slick, the fact that he was well over 16 hands high kicked in, and I split the seat of my jeans getting on!! (Thank God for my sweet Emmett who stands every bit of 15.2 hands!) After a quick mental note to do Buns of Steel when I got home, and get new jeans (The seat already had a tiny hole, who knew it could split THAT easily!?), I was up and ready to go. We walked around awhile while I got used to him and vice versa, and I got comfortable with him pretty quickly. I was ready to pick it up to a trot, so I gave Slick a light cue, and ....well... did I mention he was a racehorse? Apparently this model came with only three speeds: stop, walk, and run!! I managed to slow him down to a choppy trot, and was thankful nobody was around to see the look that was probably on my face! I spent the next half hour or so just playing around with him, taking him through the pole bending setup at a slow pace, and just seeing what he was like (He spooked at a vicious looking orange traffic cone sitting next to the ring)

It sucked to have to admit to myself that Slick wasn't exactly the horse for me at the time, because I was so desperate for a horse. I'm sure if I'd bought him, things would have been okay, but there was just a certain chemistry missing, no matter how sweet he was. However, I knew that I'd stepped outside my usual comfort zone, and done something totally by myself, and made a decision that had a big impact on my life. I'm thrilled things worked out the way they did, because if they hadn't I might not have my sweet Ems now.

So, essentially, the song really brought back that time in my life, when I was finding my way for the first time. I dont think there's ever a time when you arent still looking, though. Three years later, I'm still constantly exploring new places, and learning new things. Maybe three years from now in a traffic jam I'll think of "way back when I was 20.." and reminice about how things are now.

"Who doesnt know what I'm talking about?

Who's never left home, who's never struck out?

To find a dream and a life of her own

A place in the sun a foundation of stone

Many preceed and many will follow

A young girl's dreams no longer hollow

It takes the shape of a pace out west

But what it holds for her, she hasnt yet guessed

She needs wide open spaces

Room to make her big mistakes

She needs new faces

She knows the higher stakes..."

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