When I had to give up my horse Charles I gave up riding at the same time. I’d had enough… it was too devastating for me to keep trying. I had high hopes for that horse, and sacrificed a lot to try to make it work. When he left on that trailer a large part of my heart went with him too. It took me a long time to get it back even if never quite fully. But I knew when the time was right, horses would be there for me again. They would always be there.
As a kid I was obsessed. I spent the time that I wasn’t at the barn wishing I was and that grew into a job, a career and a “life”. I chased the dream and that dream bit back. Some may have been able to keep going but I needed a break. The thing that I loved the most in life I no longer held any love for. Just heartbreak, bitterness and pain. When I gave up horses I had a hard time finding myself so to speak. I had always identified myself as a rider. As a horse person. Then suddenly without that… what was I? I’m not sure I ever figured it out then or even that I know fully now.
Over the years I would ride now and again and did try once to get back into it but the timing wasn’t right. I wasn’t ready and it just didn’t work. Eventually, out of the blue my Dad called me and asked if I wanted to go see Cavalia. A thousand yes’s I said to that and next thing I knew we were en route to Vancouver. A ferry, a skytrain and following the signs that lead to the big top. I could feel it again. That pure, uninhibited love from when I was a kid. Like when I would ask my parents on the way to the lake, “Can we go the horsey way!?” just so I could catch a glimpse of the horses that lived nearby. Something that had withered deep inside of me was stirring again. The anticipation grew as we got inside. I begged my Dad to buy me a tshirt with a horse on it so I could remember this day. We hadn’t even gone to our seats yet but I already knew it was going to be special.
We found our seats and waited. I saw little girls come in with wide eyes and big smiles and saw a little piece of me within them. The show itself was moving, inspiring and beautiful but to me there was one moment that still gives me goosebumps. Right at the opening alongside beautiful vocals and visuals there was a girl. It could have been me. She had a toy horse and while I can’t articulate well what happened on that stage in front of me, inside of me I had instantly found what I had been missing all along. I was moved to tears and immediately knew it was time. It was time to get back into it. I needed horses back in my life. The rest of the show was brilliant and I watched it with such appreciation and awe. It was time. Not long after that show I started riding again, Cavalia spurred me, (no pun intended) to take the leap and find a way back to riding. It’s been about a year and a half and I’m still trying to find my way. But no matter what I know one thing. I’m still that horse crazy girl and always be. I just want horses to be in my life in a way that adds and not detracts. One day I will find that balance and until then I will always keep trying and always keep loving those crazy four legged beasts.