I heard something last night I thought I'd never hear again. I was on the living room floor stretching, and my sister was trying to get a ride to see a show on Friday. My mom was concerned about conflicting times because as she said, "Elizabeth has horseback riding that day." If you missed it, that was it, the words I thought I'd never hear again.
Maybe I should have warned you that what I heard wasn't anything highly unusual, shocking, or grand. Maybe you're disappointed and thinking, "Well that was it?" But maybe if I explain to you why that statement makes my heart race with excitement you would understand and forgive me for getting your hopes up.
One of my other loves in life is horses. I was obsessed with them as a twelve year old girl. I couldn't imagine what it felt like to ride one but I was desperate to find out. I finally got my chance when my mom signed me up for riding lessons at a ranch. That ranch was where I found my state of pure bliss. Just feeling the breath escape from a horse's nostrils and tickle the hair on my arms was enough to satisfy my longing to be connected to these majestic creatures. Whether I was in the saddle or on the ground all I simply needed was to be in the presence of a horse.
After a year of lessons at the ranch my schedule at the ballet school started to demand a greater commitment from me. I was forced to choose, and ballet won out. So I continued my training to be a dancer, never ceasing to miss the freedom that came from riding a galloping horse. When I was fifteen I stopped dancing and suddenly had more time for other activities. I tried to find a new stable but nothing ever worked out. A few years past before I went back to ballet. By then I was too focused on trying to start a career in dance to make plans for riding.
I knew that a serious dancer couldn't have horses in her life. I was too busy and didn't have the money for both riding lessons and ballet classes, so I comforted myself with the knowledge that I could ride horses after I had a long and successful career as a performer. I thought it would be years before I would sit upon a horse again.
That was before I decided I didn't want to be a professional dancer, but once I gave up the goal of performing my life opened up and made room for horses. Now that I'm mostly practicing at home I don't take as many ballet classes, giving me more time and money for riding lessons. I eagerly inspected every stable's website that was in my area and, and I came across the perfect place for me.
I've waited a long time to have this reunion with my favorite animal, so that is why I find it so extraordinary that I should be taking riding lessons. It was said so casually, like it was the most normal thing in the world for me to be out riding horses, but I know better. It is a wonderful gift from God that I cherish and hope to enjoy for a long time.