Thursday, January 12, 2012

No, of course I'm not considering applying for a summer job on a dude ranch...

No, of course I'm not considering applying for a summer job on a dude ranch... Well, actually that's not true.

I got the idea several years ago from one of my sorority sisters. (Yes, I was in a sorority... but that's a story for another day!)  She worked as a summer rangler on a dude ranch--a retreat center of sorts.  She taught riding, played with kids, led trail rides, and cared for horses.  Sounds great, right?  I've wanted to do the horse thing out West for years, but I never felt like I was supposed to move long-term, and before now, my schedule never allowed it.  In late May I move out of my current apartment and have no idea where I'm going, and currently I have no job commitment for June-September... This could actually work!

I've found a several beautiful ranches.  And I'm kind of starting to fall in love with one... it's a Jesus ranch. (Have you ever heard me talk about how much I love mixing Horses and Ministry??   ...Probably not, but feel free to ask me about it!)  Honestly, one of my biggest concerns about working on a ranch was the faith aspect.  I've worked with camp staff that didn't love Jesus; it's a hard environment.  And then there is no guarantee that I would be able to attend a church/ interact with other Jesus-people.  I don't actually know what that would be like for a whole summer; maybe it's something I should just get over and do, but then again, maybe it's wisdom.  But this place!!  They want ranglers that deal Jesus.  I really like this idea...

PS:  They got major points from me on the application.. They require summer staff to sign a form saying they won't date other staffers while working on the ranch!  Maybe it's weird, but I like the idea of not having to deal with romantic pursuits while chasing my romantic wild west Jesus dream! 

I think I could deal with a view like that.
But there are just two problems... 1- Being a grown up.  When I get back (that is if I go),  I have to be sufficiently employed.  Meaning I have to have a grown-up job here in Virginia.  Job hunting 3 months in advance could be difficult, so could job hunting from the other side of the country.  2- I have to submit the application by Sunday!  Via snail mail... which means ASAP!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I miss flying.

My head is throbbing as I sit here at my computer... maybe I've been on Facebook for too long, maybe I'm holding down emotions, maybe both.  But I miss it.  I miss riding.  I don't think I even care about the competitions anymore... I have more ribbons than I could ever dream of counting, and certainly more than I care to display.  I don't really want to be the best rider.  I don't think I even care about taking lessons and improving.  I just want to ride. 

Have you ever really ridden a horse?  Not just a pony ride or a guided trail?  Have you ever sat atop a 17H warmblood as it thunders over earth?  Do you know the moment, the question, when it waits on your permission to explode?  Have you ever felt a horse explode?   Have you ever flown?  ...then it's only you, the horse, the wind, and God.  Everything goes to silence; it seems like the world stops turning on its axis.  Just me, the horse, the wind, and God.  I miss the dance.  I miss the strength and power and grace.  I miss flying.  I think it's infused into my bones.  When I see a horse and rider going, my muscles still quiver with excitement and they start to talk.  A million movements at once--hold, turn, rotate, look, sit, rise, lean, tickle, pull, nudge, follow, squeeze, release--the dance.  I miss the take off--the moment where the horse has to decide to trust me and I have to trust him too...  Never a question of will we make it, but rather will we try?  Will we try to fly; will my steed be trusty and so shall I?  Will we simultaneously decide to leave the earth and head towards sky? After learning to fly, it's no wonder being grounded is a punishment..  Sometimes flat work felt like punishment, but right now I'm pretty sure it'd be so good  I'd cry.  I can still feel the movements beneath me; I haven't ridden since July.  The rock of the walk.  The sweep of the trot.  The canter.. the indescribable way we float.  I miss the smell of horse.  I miss the smell of hot leather in my car.  I miss the way the dirt settles on top of my hands while I'm grooming for a ride.  The creaking of leather as I mount and settle in.. shifting my weight from side-to-side, testing to see if the girth is tight enough. ...

I miss flying. And I don't really know how to begin again. Trust, trust, trust, trust... hope.