Breaking Trail

Posted by Deb on January 27th, 2012 at 08:00am

Breaking TrailWe had our first major snow fall in the state I call home. It was a sudden dumping of about a foot of beautiful fluffy white powder. The air was so cold and dry that the snow stayed like loose sugar. It covered the hills surrounding the ranch where I keep my mare, leaving only blonde tufts of grass poking their delicate frosty heads above the snow. The sage brush was dressed in white as well, bowed down by the weight. It was a glorious, sparkly, diamond kind of day, beautiful and bright. The sky was an impossible blue, not a cloud in sight. It was a perfect winter day.

My cowgirl friend on her mustang, me on my girl and a third party decided to catch a ride. We headed up the ravine behind the ranch. Our horses were proud and frisky, blowing clouds of white from their nostrils, necks arched, slogging through the foot deep snow. We cut loose up the trail, letting our horses blow off some of their pent up energy. We paused at the top, and then traveled along the side of the gentle sloping hill, to the base of a nice long stretch of open ground.

We took off again up that hill, no trail this time, going at a good gallop. A buckskin, a black and a bay. A blonde, a grey and a brunette. Yahoo!! Snow flying from hooves, manes and tails flying, glorious freedom, joy-filled hearts. Our cheeks were stinging from the cold. Our horses loved every moment of it, their hoof beats muffled by the snow as we charged up to the top of that iridescent hill, breaking through the snow, blazing our own trail.

That was the first time I had the opportunity to ride in snow like that. I could not see the ground, there was no trail to mark my way. I was a little anxious at first. Pesky “what if” questions kept rolling into my mind. What if she slips and falls? What if we stumble on something under the snow? Yikes, I can’t see the trail!

I was trying something new. It seemed a little risky to me. I could not see my way. We were breaking trail through the snow, but I was breaking trail through my fear of the unknown. It probably seems a small thing to some, but to me it was another one of those quiet sweet lessons taught to me by my mare. We were never in any danger. The footing was sure, our horses were agile, and there was nothing to trip over on the hill I had galloped up many times when it was bare in the summer. All I had to do was trust in my riding ability, the wisdom of my friend leading the charge, and my solid little mare taking me on yet another glorious adventure; one I would have missed if I had let my fear rule me on that day.

I would have missed a chance to experience the joy I felt at the top of that rise, a joy that still brings a smile to my face as I think back on it. So, I have decided to continue to break trail in other areas of my life. Some of those areas may seem large, and some will be small and quiet. I want more of that joy that came with overcoming my fear and going for it.

Happy Trails,



(photo: jpellgen)

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