A Horse May Throw You, But He’ll Never Dump You

Bounty, the horse that traveled to Virginia and taught me patience.

There’s a saying among riders that a horse may throw you but he’ll never dump you, and yet I’ve been dumped numerous times by various horses. Unceremoniously dumped to the ground over the horse’s neck or flat on my butt when my pony took off and left me behind. Yet in some ways the saying is true, no horse has ever broken my heart.

It’s true that I’ve fought with my horse, gotten the silent treatment from my horse, been bucked off by another, fallen down with mine, dragged and stepped on by my pony, but at the end of the day they have never left me. Currently I have two horses and if anything I’ve left them, run off to college and then grad school in another country, gone for months at a time. It broke my heart to leave them, but that wasn’t their doing, and both my boys still waited for me. Their only complaint these days, now that I am home, is that I’m late with their dinner. In many ways they’re the perfect men. Tall, dark, and handsome. Athletic, playful, strong, and muscular, and they never complain about what I give them for dinner as long as they get it.

The only picture of Jessie and I together, the horse I inherited when my sister went to college.

The human variation of man has broken my heart, led me on, walked all over me, made me cry, hurt my feelings, and numerous other things that we’ve all experienced and don’t warrant any more mention. Whenever I am hurt by a man I am dating I am reminded of these words that my friends and I would comfort ourselves with in high school, and yet there are so many things that a man can give me that my horse can’t. Like an apology when he steps on my foot, and some one to cuddle with on the couch late at night when I just need to be held, and perhaps occasionally he can give me the breakfast in bed and the back rubs that I give my horses on a weekly basis. Though my horse may throw me but never dump me, I won’t forget those heartbreaks are one of the things that have made me the strong woman I am today, and the champion of love I loudly hide from the world.

At the end of the day though I’ll remember that it was my horses who held me up through those heartbreaks and though one’s dumped me to the ground a few too many times he’s never broken my heart. I’ll remember that the next time they beg me for just one more treat. Seems to me they deserve it.

Charlie, a horse that touched my heart in a way few others have. I got one summer with him, before I went back to school, and once again left behind another horse.

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