Last weekend I watched old pictures and memories of the happiest days in my life came to my mind.
I have a few passions in my life. It’s dogs, horses, belly dance and poetry. But horses and dogs are the biggest ones.
I started taking horseback riding lessons when I was 11 years old. And since then I adore the smell of horses, I adore sitting on them, I adore the feeling of elation and of freedom when you gallop through a field.
When I was 14 years old I could ride pretty well, I did horseback jumping and was, in general, a skilled rider. Well, that’s how I saw myself and how my parents saw me. So they bought me a 14 days trip to an archaeological site Arkaim. There was a group of riders that were supposed to move from one city to another on horses, sleep in tents, cook the meal on fire and then come back – on horses of course.
It seemed easy to me. I could jump on horses, I knew how to make a horse change leading legs on gallop and a whole lot of other things that – I found out later – were of no use when you are on a horse’s back in the midst of a field.
To me, it was like finding myself on high seas after training in a swimming pool. We had to climb real mountants on horses, cross rivers on them and actually ride 10 hours a day when it’s up to +40. Of course no helmets or even cell phones. Just us, horses, tents and food that we could carry on ourselves.
I remember one day when we were crossing a steppe. Suddenly heat changed in a heavy cloudy day. And then suddenly started a rain with thunder and flashes of lightning. In one minute we got all wet.
In another minute I realized someone who was leading the way decided to gallop to the trees that we could see away from us. The next second I felt my horse started galloping too and she was increasing and increasing her speed trying to catch up with others. I could see almost nothing because of the wall of rain, so I just laid on her neck and prayed there were no gophers’ dens on our way to make a horse fall. Adrenaline made me make her move forward faster and when we finally got under the trees I was feeling so great!
After that experience, I have a habit of holding reins with only one hand, holding it with two hands makes me feel like I have less control.
I believe it’s with the horseback riding that all my strongest emotions I ever had are tied with.