I had to laugh (just a bit) when I brought this photograph up on my computer screen. I thought, you know, this could be me. That is, if I attempted to jump a horse at this stage in my life, which I won't, but that is besides the point. I am sure the rider is in perfect form, so I am not here to critique. Believe me, even owning six horses doesn't make me long to jump any one of them! Now, when I was younger and more pliable, it was a different story. There wasn't any fear then. I mean, who died when they were eight? Riding horses wasn't a fear at that point. I could fall off with the best of them. Mainly, racing up to the jump and the horse stopping. BOOM! Right over the front of the horse, or to the right side, the left side, or hanging upside down under their neck until letting go. I remember that the best falls (so to speak) were the ones where I leaned over their head to try to pick "their" head up off of the ground from the sweet grass they were eating. I would literally end up sliding down the neck of the horse and landing next to their mouth as they kept munching away. No fear there! That was a sliding board as a child!
Now that I am older, somebody, somewhere, somehow, whispered, "you know, they can kill you if they want to." "What?" The last thing I remembered was, "I am galloping!" "I should enjoy this because I am going to die!" "I am galloping!" Another, BOOM! There I laid in my pasture. I realized, I was not dead. Looking up I could see my other horses peering over the fence line making bets that I was in fact dead. When they realized I wasn't, their pity wasn't on me, but the "rider-less horse" standing under the tree. What was in my bruised mind? Beau definitely needed a new name. "Beau" and "Whoa" were just a little bit too close for comfort at a gut throat yell.
More on that later.
Back to the photo! If this was me, I could imagine my horse saying,
"Hey Partner, are you still back there?"
"Yes," I would say, "you first!"
I then would bury my head down into his mane, squeeze my eyes shut, and pray.
So glad we are partners.