To be specific, I miss riding a rational Limerick.
I feel that riding her will help my calf recover more thoroughly. I don't know why; I just feel it. But most of all, I simply miss my presence atop her high-withered back. Every time I lift myself aboard, I am back within my soul.
The last time I had a truly good ride on her--one completely free of nerves on both our parts--was January 1st. That's almost four months. One-third of a year. Crazy, isn't it?
Sometimes I worry that I will forget how she feels beneath me. How any horse feels beneath me. I know it's impossible. When you've been riding for almost 23 years, you just don't forget. When you've been riding that long, every single time you climb into a saddle or onto an equine back, the muscles alive beneath the sleek hide, you feel deep within the bones of your legs and hips and lower back that that horses--with all their wild beauty--were truly made to be ridden by us fortunate, grateful humans. You feel like you are home.
Every time you climb aboard, an ancient part of your soul remembers...
Among our first conscious signs of ourselves, in the limestone caves of Spain and France, they are already there, prancing, stampeding, and evidence suggests that we had already begun to see them as something more than themselves...There is what looks like an altar to the horse in the south of France, in a cave at a place called Landes, dating back fifteen thousand years, a "kneeling sandstone figure" of a mare amid skulls and horsehead figurines. Our awe in their presence--who has not felt it, just standing across the fence from one?--is as old as anything we can call ours.
-John Jeremiah Sullivan