When I feel let down by friendships, the misunderstandings and absence and one-sidedness, this is where I go.
When I feel like my children are suffocating me—the crying and the neediness and the nappies, this is where I go.
When it’s been a demanding work day, with deadlines and pressure and egos, this is where I go.
When I experience insecurity with my body image or fashion choices or marketing messages I don’t exemplify, this is where I go.
When I am exhausted, sleep-deprived, burnt out and done in, this is where I go.
When I am paranoid about other people’s opinions and criticisms of my choices and lifestyle, this is where I go.
When I am broken and numb, lost in hurt and barely present, this is where I go.
When I feel disappointed in humanity, in the pervasiveness of hate and bigotry and indifference, this is where I go.
When I don’t quite understand why I am going there, riddled with fear and self-loathing and uncertainty, this is where I go.
When I am lit up by all that is breathtaking and spectacular and new, this is where I go.
When I am excited and joyous, overflowing with love and generosity and expectation, this is where I go.
When I have been worshiped by another, invigorated through connection and passion, this is where I go.
When I want to show someone I care about why I go there, what it means to me, how life-changing, compelling, enriching and healing it is, this is where I go.
When I am energized by dreams, chasing downtime and recreation, this is where I go.
When I hear a new song on the radio that takes me to a forgotten place inside my soul and fuels my fire, this is where I go.
I go there to be fully present, because I desire to stay alive.
I go there, and despite being clothed in jodhpurs and boots, I undress. I peel away the layers of life and stand there, exposed.
Where I go, there are hearts beating with their own energy, minds captivated with their own desires.
Where I go, I bring my motivations for going. If I try to hide them, there will always be a teacher who will remind me they are there.
Where I go there are mirrors everywhere, if I choose to see them.
Sometimes where I go, there are other people and subcultures and different opinions to navigate. This will never stop me from going there, although it can take a little longer to get to where I need to go.
It can take a while to get there, or it can take just a moment. The destination is not always the same.
Where I go smells like hay, sweat, soil and manure. When I am not there, I occasionally catch a whiff on my clothes and I can go there again.
I know when I am there because I become part of a rhythm, a synchronization, a connection to something that is bigger, more powerful and more beautiful than I alone. I’m sure some people find this in music, in lovers, in art. There is only one place I can go for this, and this is where I go.
If you’re still reading this, you go there too. You go there to warm noses and gentle nickers and thundering hooves. You go there to silky manes and warm fur and muscles that carry you to places you can’t go alone. This is where we go.
It can be scary, where we go. But when it’s scary, we still go. We go, and we might not reach our destination right away, but just by setting out we move closer. And we embrace all those reasons why we go because sometimes we need a reminder that this is all part of the journey.
Whenever I announce, “I’m going to the horse/to the stables/to the paddock” I’m giving myself the chance to speak my truth.
For it is only on horseback that I have a direct line to my soul.
And this is where I go.
Originally published at confidentrider.com.au
About the Author
Jade Salpietro is a communications specialist and amateur equestrian based in Western Australia. She chronicles her life in the saddle on her blog, Confident Rider, which she started as a resource for nervous equestrians like herself to overcome their fear and anxiety. Fear less, ride more.