A Green Grass Gallop…

The title was originally stolen from a favorite children’s book of Lex and Hanni. It was an oft requested bedtime story.

Today Night and I took a green grass gallop. I don’t think we have been to the jumping field more than once this year. Early on, perhaps, when it was first set up, we wandered out alone; we did some gallop sprints and a few small rails before agreeing a romp through the woods would be safer. Today we went out and found our stride again,

I’m not twenty any more, in fact I’m almost three times that. Night, however is twenty, which in her world is roughly equal to me. We are past being young and ruthless but haven’t lost the last smidgen of “daring.”  I was horribly unbalanced over the first set of jumps and felt awkward and lost. I knew she was balancing for both of us on the rough terrain and that she was cross with me for not catching the rhythm that we always had.

We were out with a youngster. Julia was riding Night’s little buddy, Blessing for Lauren. Lauren has ridden bareback all summer, comfortably creating a bond with her steed known only to American Indians and the finest true equestrians. (I’m more than a little jealous here.) Blessing figured out her feet after a few extra steps and chips at the same fences I felt left behind. We then realized the distance was really difficult between the two jumps and went on to try other angles and questions of distance.

It felt wonderful to fly again today. To look ahead, feel the foot-falls beneath me, and the gathered strength of launch when we sailed over a jump. Muscle-memory took over and I felt the shock absorbers in my legs kick in and smooth out the strides so her steps became my own. I felt the surge through my whole being as she rose up to me and carried my through the air, landing softly, then gathering strength from her own shock absorbers to spring forward, flying once again…

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I knew this title rang a little too close to my heart. Looking back, it seems I wrote about another “green grass gallop” with my mare Duetz just over a year ago, What a difference a year can make…

18 thoughts on “A Green Grass Gallop…

  1. Love this. Am going to pass this along to my 13-year-old niece who rides and jumps. I’m sure she’ll enjoy as well. GREAT photo Martha! I love how you’ve captured the muscularity of the horse and the movement of its tail. Good job. 🙂

  2. I’ve never ridden a horse but you make it sound amazing. Mini Commando used to ride a horse called Misty up at the barn where he learned martial arts. The first time he rode, he was about ten and he rode bareback but fell off. It didn’t put him off but misty was very old so his riding career was short. I remember feeding her carrots and pepper mints though.

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