Yeehaw & Namaste: does that come in a bottle?

As I may have mentioned, it’s time to switch my skis for my saddle. Despite the fact that just 2 days ago, it looked like the middle of winter here, with a big snowstorm dumping a fresh foot or so…today, it is sunny and almost 60 degrees, aforementioned snow mostly melted. This kind of thing doesn’t surprise me anymore; I call it MT weather drama and it always keeps things exciting. I got a fascination with weather from my mother, and wonder if we both missed a calling there…anyhow, ski season officially ended this past weekend, so it’s time to giddy up and get ready for Cowgirl Yoga season.

Morgane and I went riding this morning. I’m amazed at the difference a year can make in so many things; today I was saddling my own horse – as in MY OWN HORSE – and Morgane wasn’t making my heart jump into my throat every 30 seconds by racing up behind some horse’s bum, throwing a stick in the air to spook another, standing so close that one wrong move of a hoof might mean a flattened little foot, etc. Luckily I have Janice, mother of 3 girls now grown, master of all things horses, and good at being in charge. Of both of us, and all the horses too. After a few lessons in March, she felt that Morgane was ready to do more. I surrendered to that and made that whiny worried voice in my head promise to be quiet for at least a little while. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I grew up fearing injury from almost everything, and it’s taken most of my adult life to bust out of that. I want my daughter to trust herself and her teachers when learning things I didn’t as a child. This is supposed to be my gift to her.

We warmed up and rode out into the field, surrounded by the mountains and big sky. Janice had Morgane and her horse by a lead rope, while she rode Tango. My horse, Dude Boy, has a faster gait than either horse, so I ended up in front of them a lot. I had to stop turning around to see them and focus on what he and I were doing. I heard Janice telling Morgane to ask Starlight to trot and that whiny worried voice starting saying very loudly OMG TROT WHAT IF SHE FALLS OFF WHAT WILL WE DO IS SHE READY TO TROT BY HERSELF when it was interrupted by the loudest, most deeply joyful giggling I’ve ever heard from my daughter. And all around the field it continued, with Morgane asking, May we trot again please? Faster? And laughing like I’ve never heard her laugh every time they did.

As I watched her, my anxiety dissolved when I saw how utterly relaxed she was in the saddle, letting the movement of the horse move her, completely absorbed in the moment and the full, juicy experience it was giving her. And I would start to laugh too, while the whiny worried voice was squelched to a whimper. I think I might give almost anything to capture that moment for myself as an adult, bottle it and open as needed: the lack of fear, the being fully present in the moment, the joyful open heart. And I was reminded of how close yoga can come to providing this feeling that my daughter was enjoying. It’s all good: yoga, horses, Montana. We are lucky girls. Yeehaw & Namaste.