The sign on the roadside said, “Horse Lover Wanted to Help With Horses”. Quickly, after 45 years of no horse contact, I became a horse-helper at Windmill Meadows.
Lately, I’ve felt compelled to tell several people that I’m not a true horsewoman because I’m not tough. It’s the same compulsion as when I declare to the TSA agent possible weapons in my carry-on to avoid confusion regarding my potential as a terrorist. If they were paying attention, they would recognize that my “Bleeding Heart” metal sculpture could rip right through human flesh if I threw it like a Frisbee. They don’t know I can’t even throw a plastic Frisbee like a Frisbee.
Truth is, I like to sweet talk the horses, lean my head against their necks, and run my hands over their beautiful curves. Real horsewomen like to ride horses. Real horsewomen command, and horses comply because if they don’t, real horsewomen will make them obey.
Whoa! Quit! Back!
Maybe true horsewomen are like motorcycle riders. As my ex-husband once said, “Sooner or later you will get hurt.” He accepted that risk, and I had the pleasure of receiving the inevitable call from the emergency room and helping his busted body up the stairs to our apartment. He rode again as soon as his ribs healed.
In explaining my imposter horsewoman status to my 86-year-old friend, Gwendolyn, she said, "you give the horses love, and they give back grace."
Through grace, I am a horsewoman.