Horses Can Show Us How to Live if We Let Them
“I’m gonna soak up the sun, I’m gonna tell everyone to lighten up…”– Sheryl Crow
We Northwesterners endure late fall, winter, and early spring waiting for good summer weather and the chance to do all the things. When those warm, dry days arrive we emerge from our shelters and take part in a whirlwind of activities like trail rides, gardening, backpacking, camping, horse shows, clinics, and so on.
And of course, there’s also all the upkeep on the homestead to take care of in summer. This year I hope to paint everything around my farm. Fixing fences, roofs, and adding gravel to the paddocks and driveway are on the agenda too. There’s always so much to do in our short summers; it’s hard to choose what to focus on. Summer is glorious, but busy. I always try and pack so many activities and projects into the season that I often feel panicked and frantic. How can I possibly get everything done?
But sometimes I wonder if I’m trying to cram too much into these perfect days; perhaps it would be better to slow down and just enjoy summer. My beloved gelding, Exodus, knows how to appreciate life regardless of the season. Imported from Brazil, he loves warm weather and has never really adjusted to our climate. He dislikes the cold and damp but refuses to wear a blanket in the winter (rips them to shreds). He stands out in the rain and snow (though he always has shelter available) and looks out into his field to the south. It’s as though he’s trying to tell me, “Let’s go!”
But on those first few days of warm sunshine, after his grazing time is over, he can be found lounging for hours in the warm sun, flat on his side, under the singing birds, without a care in his heart. His black hide gets hot to the touch as he snores away. I love seeing him sleeping so contentedly, enjoying life. He always makes me smile, and the example he sets reminds me to slow down and just soak up the sun.
Enjoy your summer!
Kim Roe grew up riding on the family ranch and competed in Western rail classes, trail horse, reining, working cow, and hunter/jumper. She trained her first horse for money at 12 years old, starting a pony for a neighbor.
Kim has been a professional dressage instructor in Washington state for over 30 years, training hundreds of horses and students through the levels. In recent years Kim has become involved in Working Equitation and is a small ‘r’ Working Equitation judge with WE United.
Kim is the editor of the Northwest Horse Source Magazine, and also a writer, photographer, and poet. She owns and manages Blue Gate Farm in Deming, Washington where she continues to be passionate about helping horses and riders in many disciplines.