I was nervous. I'd never ridden Butler outside the arena, and knew he could be a handful at times. Yet a long held dream called and deep within I felt it . . . the adventure of a desert ride.
He was saddled up and waiting. I was the one hesitating. Nervous and excited all at the same time.
We'd both grown bored riding within the confines of the arena. I knew we were ready, yet standing on the ground ready to mount my fears took hold for a moment.
Butler turned his head to look at me, as if to say "Come on, we're ready. Let's go!"
I smirked a bit as I realized the very things that stifled me (riding only in the arena and the barn area for the past weeks) were trying to keep me "safe" within their walls. The power of a comfort zone, even when your dream is just a few feet outside of it, is powerful. But, I was determined not to fall under it's spell. It was TIME!
In the split second it took me to commit, my dream roared to life. I swung my leg over the saddle and felt the solidness of Butler beneath me. We turned away from the barn and headed towards the desert trails just beyond the open gate. We trotted off to the farewell calls of "Be safe." "Don't take chances." "Don't let him get away from you." Strangely, these fueled my confidence even more.
We trotted to the edge of the property, slowed as we crossed the street and picked up a desert trail. I remember the thrill of being out there, just the two of us. The sun on my skin and a light breeze blowing Butler's mane. We found a steady rhythm in our gait and left a cloud of dust in our wake.
It was a beautiful ride. An adventure that fueled the soul of my younger self who'd been dreaming of this for forty years. Butler's hoofbeats picked up their pace and we broke into a slow lope. I felt free. I felt the magic of a dream fulfilled. And I knew my life had forever changed.
And so I invite you to find the courage to leave the barn, whatever it's form in your life. It will change you forever!
This ride was years ago, but still so fresh in my mind and the lesson greatly valued.