When I had my little cancer scare a few weeks ago, some surprising things came of it.

I’ve been through this before–suddenly realizing you may not be around for another Christmas, another New England spring, another round of baby bunnies. Maybe there won’t be “plenty of other times” to take the family to a silly movie, or go get ice cream.

It brings you up short, this little calling card from death. It makes you think really, really hard about what is really important. And what you really want to do today. Today.

It’s a great wake-up call.

So it was interesting when in the middle of my first talk with my dear husband, when I had my first panic attack, about what this might mean for us if the news got bad, what popped out was,

“Can I have a horse?”

We both laughed as soon as I said that. I sounded like a kid. It really took me back to my childhood, when I would have given anything to have a horse.

But maybe it’s not so funny.

After my last round of knee surgeries five years ago, I actually promised myself riding lessons as a way of getting me through my long recuperation and physical therapy. I’m been happily riding once a week since then, and loving it.

Recently I’ve been riding Missouri Fox Trotters with a friend of a friend. It’s deliriously fun! Their trot is like a fish wiggle. Trail riding is a wild, exuberant dash up and down our steep New Hampshire trails. I LOVE it!

And of course, an ancient little horse is where it all began for my art.

But actually own a horse? Be responsible for the care of such a large and expensive animal every day, in summer and winter, rain or shine? During black fly season???!!

Well, maybe I’ll lease a horse instead.

But it’s still a thing of wonder. Over the years, I’ve heard incredible stories of women who went looking for their horse, and incredible stories of how their horses found them.

The stories are beautiful and moving and powerful–because horses can be hugely healing and profoundly powerful animals to be around. (A little too huge and profound when one is standing on your foot….)

I know when it’s time for me to have a horse, a horse will appear. And it will seem as magical and wonderful as that sentence sounds.

So here we are, two very busy professional people with kids still at home and aging parents and full personal lives.

Jon is waiting for a dog.

And I am looking for my horse.

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

7 thoughts on “LOOKING FOR A HORSE”

  1. I have ridden since childhood, but 8 years ago I got a horse (my first) a wedding gift from my husband. I got back into riding as an adult because I have MS. I realized that life is short . . . let’s enjoy it now. That horse has been my salvation. So I ended up with a gray horse (I never wanted a gray) and he is a handful! We do some showing (much to my Dr’s chagrin) and I love every minute of it. There is nothing so freeing as being on the back of one of those majestic animals! Check our Willy and me out on my blog: http://www.realitychick.wordpress.com

    Keep riding and keep looking for that horse!


  2. There is something so wonderful about horses. I used to own one when I lived in South Dakota. My friends here in Las Vegas laugh at me when we see a horse and I say…I miss the smell of horses. LOL They just don’t get it. I hope you find your horse.


  3. If you haven’t been responsible for your “own” horse as yet, leasing is an excellent way for you to learn the many things that come with horse care, both timewise and financially. Once you have leased for a reasonable amount of time and have a good feel for *everything* involved in the process, then moving on to horse ownership is the next logical step. Too many people rush the process and buy first, then find out to their dismay just how much else comes with ownership.

    As to horses finding you, that’s pretty much how all mine have come to me. The right horse just “happened” to me when I needed him. You just need to do your homework and learn the ins and outs of “sole proprietorship” or at least sole responsibility, and your own horse will follow.


  4. Yes, Cindy, I LOVE that smell! I’ve learned that not everyone feels the same way about it, though…. Years ago when I worked in a riding stable as a mucker, my roommates would gently ask me, “Um….are you going to SHOWER soon?”

    Judy, thank you for your words of caution. I’ve already heard from others warning me about owning so quickly. You are absolutely right that there’s a lot of work involved, too–and that this may not be the right time to take on that extra work commitment.

    I’ve already noticed that “the more you own, the less you ride.” And right now, I want to RIDE!

    I’m trusting that my horse will show up when it’s the right time. In the meantime, let’s hope he’s available for lease! :^)


  5. I never knew much about horses until we moved to Wyoming. I am fully convinced that a horse SAVED my son’s self esteem. We bought one, and boarded him out for years. Finally, Whit’s interest waned, and I am not a good enough horsewoman to have ridden Pancho – he was a devilish, wild creature – but that was one of the things we loved about him. I miss him. Horses are so like people in their actions and relationships – they can also “save” us from ourselves by giving us pleasure and sweeping the demons from our minds on occasion when we most need it. I do so hope someday you find YOUR horse (a friend of mine recently adopted a horse – did you know you can do such a thing?)

    Happy Trails.



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