Some things just go together…like peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers or cookies and milk. That’s how I felt about my horse, Gitano, the first time I rode him at the Rancho. I wouldn’t call it love at first site. That’s not who I am. But we did have an understanding – a connection that’s hard to explain to those who don’t ride.
Gitano is a lot like me. He’s quiet and sticks to himself. He just wants to do his job; no fuss or fawning needed lest he flick his ears back and give you a look that says “None of that nonsense, please”. He loves to hang in the back of the pack because he has nothing to prove. In fact, he’s a bit lazy and loves to see just how lazy he can be under my command.
So as we walked slowly through the peaceful countryside, we fed off each other’s energy. I began to release the stress of the city, my job and the pressures of everyday life. Each step we took brought me further away from the world and closer to my horse. Gitano absorbed my burdens and generated power with them.
We picked up the pace. A slow canter warmed our muscles. I began to concentrate only on my chariot and the path in front of us. I gulped the fresh country air deep into my lungs, thinking I could never get enough. I absorbed the beautiful landscape with my eyes and felt it penetrate through my skin into my soul. I began to come alive as Gitano’s steps grew stronger.
I could feel the easiness of Gitano’s stride. He was waiting for my command to let loose. With a kick and a kiss he took off in a gallop, easily passing every other horse in our group. My heart raced with pure exhilaration; Gitano heard it scream with joy and pushed on through the open fields as I surrendered to the moment. When we came to a stop, he turned his head and looked at me as if to say, All better?
“Yes, Gitano,” I told him. “Everything is just fine now.”
— written by Rancho guest, Maureen from Atlanta, Georgia USA