In which Murphy and his mom are very brave:
Ravelers know me as murphysmom; the Murphy in question is my beloved horse, whom I have known for about 14 years, and whom I have been privileged to call my own for about 6 years. When I was a little girl, I had the typical little-girl obsession with ponies, which resulted in many pretend epics involving me and numerous intrepid steeds, but I was never able to fulfill that dream.
Until I had a little girl of my own, that is. We began riding lessons when Rose was 4; now, at 23, she is quite the accomplished horsewoman. I, on the other hand, am still just an intermediate rider, an ok, so-so, kind of equestrian, because when there was only so much money for lessons, it went to Rose, of course. But Murphy came into my life at a crucial point, when I was despairing of ever really being a rider, and he made my dream come true. He is the kind of horse who knows when his rider is uncertain, and rather than cruelly taking advantage of your ignorance, instead kindly makes sure you are safe, and teaches you something into the bargain.
So I owe pretty much all of my skill to Murphy (and to my coach, Cheryl, and to Rose as well, for her lessons). But over the last month or so, I got to teach him something, and learned that maybe I'm a better rider than I gave myself credit for. The barn where Murphy boards has access to a network of trails, which is something I always wanted to do, but Murphy would never go beyond the first field onto the country road that led tot he actual trail. He would stop, and spin around, and flat out refuse to go forward. So for many years, I just didn't try - it was too scary.
Today, we made it!! All the way down the road to the trail in the woods, for a whole hour, and, while not completely relaxed, Murphy was calm and willing, and went in the forward direction! A beautiful day in the woods, on my horse, with my daughter for company. Murphy learned that there are no equinivorous beasts on the trail, and I learned that I can so ride, I can ride for realz.