Betrayal – is it the worst you can do to someone?
‘Promise me you’ll never ride again.’
I’ll never forget the look in my Dad’s eyes in hospital begging, or maybe telling me, not to ride again. On this day, a decade ago, he witnessed me falling, together, with a galloping racehorse. He pinned me to the ground until the air ambulance arrived, blood pouring from my mouth.
Wanting to keep that promise through loyalty, but in hindsight, unwilling to dismiss personal needs and desires. To ride, to be amongst horses, which had been a lifetime, led to much inner conflict and anxiety. Peace of mind and consideration for another, or for myself? And therein lay blurred lines, confusion and a choice.
After rehabilitation I mounted steads on many occasions. Caring, nurturing and exercising eight horses in rural France for eighteen months. Often I rode bareback by the lakes, through woods and valleys. A magic that made the heart heavy.
With this burden of betrayal together with the ever increasing feeling of vulnerability and exposure astride these beautiful creatures the joy of riding eroded. The feelings of once unadulterated freedom stealing my undivided attention sorely missed.
The need to ride is not as strong as it once was. But every now and again roots are revisited and the itch tickled. RIP Dad.