Monday, November 23, 2009
... what significance the photo of a seemingly innocuous moment might one day have. Both sides of this child's family are riders. At the moment a child reaches to touch a horse for the first time, maybe each generation wondered to themselves if they should show their new baby a tennis racket instead.
But the benevolence in those eyes reaches for us as a people.
I learned yesterday that for parents who know what it will mean, this is the moment - when that hand reaches out - that you decide whether you are all in or not for your child's equine pursuits. When that tiny hand made contact, I bit my lip and felt my shoulders tense.
I can't pick her road for her, or spare her any part of mine. Horse sports are a good ride, but not without hurt and disappointment. What is? This is going to hurt like hell, I thought. I don't truly know what that means, it is just something behind my waking thoughts when it comes to riding: Pain is the heart of the sport. If it doesn't hurt, it doesn't work, trainers always say.
Without nostalgia it seemed like every ride of my own passed before me once. Every conversation with my Dad. Can old saddle sores and rein blisters throb anew? I swear mine did.
But knowing what I do - that she might suffer, that I'd relive it all with first-hand fears - for her and myself, my mind was clear: Okay. Do what you're going to do.
We're not here to stop our children, only to steward, past danger and our ourselves, I figure.