Riding Without Fences

I am not a trail ride kind of girl. I enjoy the confines of a ring.  I like the feeling that the fence is there to, in a sense, protect me.  Sound silly?  Perhaps.  But when I am in the ring I feel safe and secure.

So, when a trail ride was being planned, I came up with several excuses why I wouldn’t be able to go.  Feeding time, volunteers, stuff to do….anything I could think of.  But Shirley was relentless.  She said “You have to do this”.  Shirley is VERY persuasive…. :  )

So off we go.  I’m looking around for fences, feeling kind of exposed.  Wondering when the next car will just knock us all off the road.  Then we finally make it to the fields.  Someone asks how I am doing.  My response is “I don’t see any fences!”.

Well, obviously we all made it back safe and sound.  But the picture above tells the tale.  Check out the white knuckled grip I have on the reins.  They aren’t getting away from me!  And the less than relaxed posture…..and don’t even mention the crooked helmet.  So you get a good idea of how I was feeling.

But it made me think.  In life, how many of us ride without fences?  How many of us are brave enough to take our horses out of the ring?  Sure, we all have to start in the ring.  We get the basics taught to us and we practice and practice.  Then one day, the gate is opened.  Do we go through?  Out to the open, with no fences?  Do we dare???

Every week CATRA has riders with varying degrees of ability riding their horses in the ring.  Learning and doing the basics.  At the end of each lesson, every rider has a mini trail ride up to the goat pen.  After the trotting portion, it seems to be the highlight of the lesson.  They aren’t afraid.  They are excited.  Excited to get out of the ring and away from the fence.  Out into the open.

We should all live our lives like that.  Understanding that the fence is there for you but that there is so much more beyond.  We should ride without fences more often.

PS…..Thank you Shirley for being relentless.