Editor's Postcard

On Living Aloha

On Living Aloha
Catherine Madera

Hawaiian Adventures on Horseback

by Catherine Madera

Me and the notably named Lady Gaga.

Me and the notably named Lady Gaga.

It’s January and the climate outside is less than friendly toward horse activities. While I want to ride, the thought of wrangling a filthy, extra frisky 1,000 pound beast isn’t always appealing. I’d prefer a book by the fire and the chance to reflect on warmer days. Days, shall we say, full of aloha. Allow me to share such a day.

Those who have traveled to Hawaii are familiar with the “spirit of aloha.” In Hawaiian culture the word is used often: as a greeting, a farewell and a general expression of love and good will. The word sounds so nice I encourage you to use it—liberally on the mainland!  In November I traveled to the island of Maui and, for the first time, enjoyed horseback riding aloha style. Of course it was a trail ride tailored to tourists—no galloping off into those pastel sunsets, but I still enjoyed it tremendously. My mount, Lady Gaga (true story, there was a Justin Bieber as well), carried me faithfully through the lush island topography and along a ridge where we got lost in expansive views of the Pacific.

“This isn’t hard to take,” I thought to myself, plucking a ripe guava from the saddle and inhaling the intoxicating fragrance. Surely such intense moments of bliss would help me endure another cold, wet Pacific Northwest winter.

While Hawaii is nice (sublime actually) and one of my favorite places, I’m glad I don’t live there. Why? Well, horses are too darn expensive! Three words: $40 a bale. And my horses, most days, are major ambassadors of aloha in my life. I don’t have to live in a gorgeous island culture to enjoy the wellbeing I experience in the company of horses.

This month we welcome a brand new year and I encourage you to plan for the upcoming riding season. One of the best ways to do this is to attend the Washington State Horse Expo in Ridgefield, WA. Read all about it on page 6. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your tales of horse-related aloha. Email me at editor@nwhorsesource.com

Ride on, in aloha!

 

Published in January 2015 Issue

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Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

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