the wind is my friend

During one of the hardest times in my life, when I was a single divorced parent with a young child going to college and working two jobs, I ran 6 days a week – just to get through the stress. I ran through the heat, cold, exhaustion, pain – and yes, the wind. I hated the wind the most. I lived out in the country on a hill (and now live on a different hill, what’s up with that?) the wind would whip so hard some days it felt like I wasn’t even moving. After a while I learned to work it to my advantage. I used it to build strength. During the most difficult times, when the resistance was unreal (and I’m not talking just the wind) I would tell myself over and over again “the wind is my friend”…said to the beat of a runner’s pace. My windy encounters made me stronger physically and mentally. I couldn’t duplicate the resistance the wind added, if I tried. I know turbulent winds can do horrible things to people and places, but that’s not the point.

Just yesterday I found myself riding in strong winds, the kind that whips up sand storms. One of which we drove through while hauling our empty trailer up to Iron Horse. We were given the option to ride inside, or brave the wind outside. All three of us riders opted to give it a whirl (no pun intended) outside.

We started with the usual lunging. Koda listened well, but being his lazy self kept breaking his stride. Patty mentioned he was making me work way too hard. She said a horse like Koda does require more active movement from a person, but showed me a more effective approach holding the whip in a lower pressure position. If he wasn’t listening and I needed to whack him, to do so lower behind his legs where it will only take once. I didn’t see Brad and Nemo start out, but heard things went well.

I’m happy to say the boys were both good listeners even tho the wind whipped us and everything else. It was good desensitizing. They earned repeated praise from Patty. She said she was impressed with them and has old broke horses that wouldn’t listen as well, given the strong wind. Patty also thought it was my best ride yet on Koda, because “he looks like he’s really trying hard to do everything your asking him to do” and I agree. He was more focused on me. While riding with the wind, I was reminded of my running days. There is something about horseback riding that is so thought provoking. Both Brad and I rode the boys over the poles, around cones, all over the arena and even over the practice wooden bridge-type square. It was fun! The wind made for beautiful flowing manes, which switched directions at any given time – and yes, it added resistance and made us all stronger.


fernvalley01 said...

Great Post , adversity can and does twst our mettle and makes us stronger! Sounds like a great ride too~

JeniQ said...

Very thought provoking, and we have something in common (besides horse lovers) I too was a divorced single mom. Man do I get exactly what you are saying.

I'm glad you had a great ride! Sounds like your confidence is gaining as much as Koda's =)

Leah Fry said...

Great post on several levels. I, too, have been opting for bravery and getting out there regardless of the wind. It does us all good.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Good attitude about the wind. I need to adopt that attitude.

Dunappy said...

I grew up in the plains of Southern New Mexico where the wind blew ALL the time. If you didn't ride in the wind, you'd never get to ride. The wind does definately test you all the time. Love the post!

Terri said...

Great post! Makes me feel ashamed of all the times I have used the wind as an excuse not to ride. Guess I better learn to cowgirl up and quit whining.
Thanks for following mystic equus!

Terri said...


aurora said...

Thanks for the great responses! The hardest times can also be the most rewarding. Nice to know others can relate. I try to change my perspective when needed, riding or otherwise, but it's easier said than done. All we can do is keep trying - and when we need help, ask.

Terri, you are signed up as a follower however your profile shows up different than the one you post with. It's not your photo (it's the default shadow) and the supporting information is different, not as complete. Mouse over and then click on them, and you'll see what I mean.