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Back on the Horse

Our farrier showed up last weekend and set new shoes on the ponies, which means one less excuse for not saddling up. It seems like a lot of my time is spent getting ready to go riding but, when it comes to the actual riding, I fall short. There’s always some fence to repair or some other excuse. This year, I’m determined to change that—this is going to be the year of the horse.

With that goal set (and with a few days off work before Easter), we planned to go riding. The horses are a little fat and a little spoiled, so it wasn’t going to be a marathon; just a few miles on public ground behind our house. There was one problem, though: we’ve got three horses and only two riders.

Enter Randy, our wizened old cowboy neighbor. After his old gelding passed away this winter, he’s horseless. When I called and asked him to join us, his voice lit up. And during the ride, whenever he crested a hill or spoke quietly to his borrowed mount, Red, Randy’s eyes shone a little more brightly. By the end of our couple-hour sojourn, you’d have thought the horse and rider were longtime buddies.

A good horse, a good dog, and plenty of open country.

It was good to get out and return with wet saddle blankets, and it was nice to spend time with my wife and my neighbor. But the best part of this ride was the obvious joy it brought to Randy. When that sort of happiness is the reward, it makes saddling up that much easier.

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