Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Age of Mortal Reasoning

After many years of Pony Club, eventing and fox hunting and then a long hiatus from horses, I am literally back in the saddle again! I bought my team last summer and we've done a little riding. Neither of the boys have much schooling under saddle, so it is always an adventure! I have just begun driving and had only a few opportunities to drive the boys before the snow came, as it took some time to plan, locate, finance and order what I wanted in the way of harness and carriage. Currently I have a pretty harness with 'spots' and my 'Amish tractor'! They don't quite match! I'm looking for a carriage and I will eventually get the boys farm harnesses for their forecart. I have already had them pull the drag harrow and plan for them to spread manure with a small manure spreader. Of course, I am making the assumption that the solid white sort of precipitation we keep experiencing will go away!

I've joined a driving club and I've been to a few events without my guys. It is awesome to watch the seasoned drivers and their horses. I love it! That is...I love it until I think about getting behind my boys. Then my chest becomes tight and my hands grow kinda clammy and I realize, despite my "whistling a happy tune"... that I just might be afraid! When, pray tell, did this happen? At some point between galloping hell bent for leather after a pack of hounds, bounding over rock wall fences three abreast and now, my brain has come upon the awful truth. I have reached that age. I have reached the age of mortal reasoning when my brain decrees that I should proceed with caution and take care. My brain knows what I am afraid to admit. My brain knows that I could get killed by doing X (skiing black diamond trails), Y (clinging precariously to the cupola on the top of the barn to put one more coat of stain on it) or Z (driving a team of horses)!

I received the link to this video clip from the listserv. What a beautiful video! But, as you watch, check out the facial expressions on the driver's and navigator's faces. Is that pleasure or is that abject terror?!! Perhaps I'm not alone in having reached the age of mortal reasoning!
Driving Montage from Tim Maloy on Vimeo.

PS: Each time I drive the boys I gain in confidence and lose some of the heart clenching, Haflinger sitting on my chest feeling. But I still find that I don't approach many things with the abandon I did when I was young. Perhaps it's a good thing...self-preservation, if you will!


  1. I'm right there with you. When I was younger jumping on my Arabian bareback with halter and lead rope and ride for hours.

    Now I carefully check all my tack, talk myself into getting up on that 16.5 HH 2000 pound animal I call Rosie.

  2. Wow! Fabulous video. Thanks for sharing it. That is not a sport for the timid, is it? The drivers look very serious and intense. Not much room for error in a sport like that.


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