It’s been be summer for strong, amazing women.
Earlier this summer I wrote Wonder Woman in honor of my daughter. Today I am writing about another woman’s daughter.
I met a real life Wonder Woman today. A warrior. A genuine bad a$$.
Has the ability to fly. Check.
Single minded, determined and dedicated. Check
Able to lift heavy objects. Check
Able to tame beast twice her size. Check
“Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore,” I thought as I whipped my little be-beep-hi car down the gravel lane. Trailers and trucks lined the road. Horses taller then my car ambled roadside.
I took one look at my surroundings and suddenly understood the phrase rolling green hills and majestic peaks.
The majesty of the moment was only spoiled by my desperate need to find and use the porta-potty. Hey…you can take a girl to amazingly cultured places but you can’t make her belong there!
From the bowls of the porta potty we went straight to what I can only describe as serene. A real writer could do it justice. I am just hoping I can capture enough to paint a tiny picture.
It was 8:30 in the morning. Dew still glistened on the greenest grass I’ve ever seen. The sun was out. The softest of breezes wafted almost carefully. Trees dotted literal rolling hills. Behind us 50+ horses were stalled. Rinks of riders in white pants and Dapper black jackets were excercising the most regal horses I’ve ever seen. Each one was different. Each one had its own character-it’s own persona. Dogs were in leashes and people milled about.
Despite all of this is was quiet and still…hushed. It was like even the beasts knew the beauty of the place.
And there, at the bottom of the hill, Surrounded by pristine white fences was a stage. And in that stage Magic was happening.
It’s called dressage. A dance, like any other, of partners showing trust and restraint and skill and control—ballet vs tango. Only the only music–the only sound was the tinkling of tact and the thunder of hooves. And it was breathtaking.
My Wonder Woman road on an a tall, dark steed. He was brawn and she was grace. They moved together on a pre-choreographed routine so precise and exact that it made me catch my breath. It was poetry.
But she wasn’t done. Grace gave way to strength as she took to a cross county course. 2 miles of Elaborate obstacles designed to test horse and rider. Up hill, downhill, through water and brush they went. She flew! Up and over and down and around she went. I didn’t want to breath. I didn’t want to blink.
The air was still and quiet except for the snort of the horse as he gave it all and the shouts of the rider as she encouraged and praised and urged and pushed. She asked him for a little bit more and he gave it to her.
He trusted her to guide and lead. He’d never seen the course. She had. She asked him to keep her safe and protect her. And he did. This beast and this girl were partners–each trusting the other explicitly.
The hours of work, the love of a sport and the trust of two partners were visible as they circled round the course.
For 5:58 I watched in awe and fear as this wonderful Wonder Woman conquered fear and fright and height and danger. I was terrified and proud and amazed and scared.
To my sons embarrassment- I cried. It was that awesome. I was that proud. I was touched to have witnessed seeing someone do what they were meant to do.
And she did it. Riders after her fell, seasoned veterans had horses balk at jumps. But not the 15 year old Wonder Woman. She finished clean.
But it doesn’t end there. That was the show. Back at this stall the hard work was just beginning. It was a while before we made it back. She’d already walked and cooled him down. She was covered in sweat, dirty and had to be exhausted. But she didn’t notice. Her focus was on her partner, still breathing hard and weary. She iced legs, checked tendons, mucked stalls, tended wounds—praising her mount all the while. He’d done a good job and she told him. He’d protected her on a jump where she’d lost her stride. She told him. She trusted him to save her on a jump that didn’t start as planned. She told him. He understood. It was intimate and tender this bond they shared.
It was hours before she tended to her own needs to cool off, eat and rest.
I saw all those today in a 15 year old girl and her 17 year old horse.