Saturday, April 12, 2014


I suppose it is like riding a bicycle. At least that is what I thought as Merlin exploded into a canter uphill. My ass set firmly into the saddle, my right hand gathered the reins, my left hung free in the air like a wing stretched into the breeze. Some thought of Eustace Conway flickered in my brain, a man who could understand this form of riding. I ride Merlin the way you sit down to a glass of wine with friends. It is alert, coy, casual, yet sharp. I know him well enough now. I can tell what he is thinking, what his body wants. He kens the same from me. And even though we have been separated by an angry winter, months from touching, he knows me. Just a week into riding and we are back again. This is the horse I know the way you know what a nickel feels like in the dark. If I handed you a dozen pennies, dimes, quarters and one nickel you could find it. Maybe not gracefully. Maybe not quickly. But given enough touch and time you would know a nickel in that lot. You could feel it, roll it over your fingers, bet your life that what you held was Jefferson and hope. That familiar feeling is EXACTLY what coming home to riding Merlin has felt like.

I know some of you have horses. I know some of you ride. And I know many of you know the fear and uncertainty of a spring ride. What it feels like to sit a horse you have not known by touch or whisper in months. What a cold winter of distance, time and ice can do to you. I know it to. Ather my first winter off Merlin it was thick as brandy. But it has only taken a week of regular riding to feel comfortable again. So I think of the bikes of my childhood. How I would dust them off in March and ride them again in the longer daylight. Merlin was like that now. Either our relationship or my time as a rider has blossomed into familiarity. I'll take it either way.

Way I mean to share tonight is I was not afraid. And that is not small merit. I was afraid of him last spring. I was afraid of horses all my life. But the force and stubbornness of three years was all it took to jump a horse in April and not cower. That is something of note. I rode Merlin over creek and field, up mountain pass and calm trail. But I rode him in confidence, and in peace. I sang out loud. I sang in english, and gaelic, and I sang him the Reins of Castemere. That last is the song of the Lannisters. The song of the most hated household in American Fiction these days. But Lannister is my house. I adore Jaime and Tyrion. I adore their horrible pasts. If I was in that world of mr Martin's I would want to be a Lannister.For those who know me and know Westeros, that may be a shock. I know I should be a Stark. But I have a very soft spot for horrible men. For better or for worse, a Lannister I would be.

So I sang to my horse in upstate New York.


Blogger Nastasha Nelle' said...

Jamie and tyrion aren't so horrible...the rest of the bunch personal favs arya and daenerys

April 12, 2014 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Tyrion is, hands down, one of the best characters. If not the best. Morality has little do with with opinion on this matter. Though Bron is also a household favorite.

April 13, 2014 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

There's a sturdy mare in my pasture who hasn't been sat on in three years, during which she had two foals. She has a date with my saddle this weekend. Wish me luck and soft ground should I meet it unexpectedly!

April 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM  

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