By Dana Mase –
I slide open the door to Emanon’s stall, step inside and lean up against the slotted wooden beams. I just finished my last lesson of the day. I had already walked through the barn and checked each horse to make sure everyone was safe and sound for the night. All of the riding lessons I taught went well, but it was definitely a long day and I was in a hurry to leave.
Emanon turns his head in my direction and slowly ambles over to see me. He locks into my blue eyes with his huge, earthy brown ones and I feel like he could tell that I was tired and in a hurry. He pushes his soft nose through my hair, then rests it in the corner of my neck. He stays like that. He is in no rush to go anywhere. Emanon just surrenders his heavy head into the crook of my neck, inhaling and exhaling his slow, deep horse breaths. I am sure he is telling me to stop moving. Slow it down. Take your time. He holds me still by resting his velvety nose in the dip between my neck and shoulder. When he does this, I feel my whole body unwind and let go. He knows what I need and gives me the gentle gift of comfort. Why am I always rushing? I don’t understand. Where am I going so fast?
Earlier today I was giving a riding lesson to Lisa. She is 8 years old and made of sweet smiles surrounded by curly sun-washed hair. At one point during the lesson, we stopped and started talking. As she petted her pony, Lisa said, “I wish I had a time machine.” I asked her why. She answered, “If I did, I would turn it back four years.” I thought this was an interesting concept for an 8-year-old to come up with, so I asked her why she needed a time machine. She said, “Because my grandma would be alive and I would be able to see her again.” Then she told me how much she used to love to spend time with her Grandma. Once, when she was 4, she put on her grandma’s makeup. She applied black mascara to her lips and pink lipstick on her eyes. When her grandma saw her, she laughed so hard. Then together they washed Lisa’s face and helped her clean up. When Lisa was telling me the story she lit up with happy memories that were stored inside. So again, my question to myself, why hurry through anything?
Instead of leaving, I take my favorite horse Emanon out of his stall and walk up the hill with him as the sun settles down for the night. While he munches on soft spring grass, I raise my eyes and notice that the evening sky is streaking with butterfly-wing blues and golds.
Isn’t it funny how sunsets look just like sunrises? How endings look a lot like beginnings?
It doesn’t make a difference how fast we run, how slow we drag our feet, how hard we try to hold on to a moment or how hard we try to push it away. Everything comes at the right time. Everything goes at the right time. That’s just the way it is. So, relax and take all the time you need. There is no hurry. The rhythm is already perfect.
Dana Mase is the founder and executive director of Ride Kind Therapeutic Riding, and equestrian director for The Ranch at Bethel, a therapeutic boarding school for girls. Dana’s column, called “Horse Time,” teaches inspirational life lessons learned from working with horses and people.“Horse Time” is featured in numerous worldwide publications. Dana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 845-356-1464.