The weekend is almost here and it looks like the weather is going to be nearly perfect. Blue skies, warm breezes, 80 something, and perfect for a summer ride. The best way to spend your weekend is on the back of the most beautiful animal God has blessed us with. When you are in the saddle you can forget the world around you, you can feel the mountains surround you, and you can get lost in the beauty of a sweet summer day. We love to get the horse out and ready to follow the trail wherever it leads. We look for treasures along the way. We might find some old antlers a deer lost some time ago, we may come across a crystal clear stream we have never seen before, we might happen on a raspberry bush full to the sweetest raspberries you have ever tasted. We never know what we are going to find as we ride but we always now what we will bring home.
We always come home with a smile, a feeling of contentment, and the enjoyable serenity that only a summer ride in the mountains can bring.
We are ready to kick up our heels and spend some time getting immersed in our western roots. We’re looking forward to some breathtaking bull riding on Friday night, an event that is sponsored by Pine Country Feed. Bull riding is all about the thrill, which is right up our alley. There is nothing quite like the cool mountain air, stars in the sky, hang on until the buzzer goes evening that you can only find at the Evergreen Rodeo. Come early and stop by the Pine Country booth where you’ll find the sassy style you have come to expect from our store. The Evergreen Rodeo is the official beginning of the western summer, so put on your hat, pull on your boots and get your fist around a turkey leg – it’s rodeo time!
There is something about horses and kids that make for a great marriage. It is a lovely picture, the mammoth being, meekly deferring to the tiny one, the one that could be swept away with one aggressive snort. Yet they stand together, nose to nose, one in deference to the other, because the horse, in its four legged splendor seems to understand that this smaller than average two legged creature is precious in some way, a treasure of some kind, and their keeping is a tremendous responsibility. It is the gentle and wise heart of the horse and innocent nature of the child that makes the mixture ideal, even magical. See them together and you will feel a smile spread across your lips, a lift of happiness in your step. Their gift is the perfect combination of generosity and delight and they are meant to be together.
The recently released film, War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg and adapted from a children’s novel written in 1982 by Michael Morpurgo, tells the story of a horse loved and raised by a boy in England prior to and during World War I. There is always a fear in animal movies that the film will endear a creature to the audience then snatch it away in a poignant ending scene. There is a tendency in film makers and some writers to believe that children need to face the harshness of life by dealing with the death of a pet. This hopelessly shortsighted philosophy has ruined many a novel or movie over the years for those of us whose hearts are shredded most easily by the suffering of an animal. It is our pleasure however, to inform the hesitant movie going public, that though the story of the War Horse named Joey, does take the gallant creature through seemingly endless difficulties, facing the full onslaught of a devastating war, the audience is rewarded with a victorious ending, which makes it worth the price of admission. There is nothing more gratifying than beating the odds, and Joey’s story lets us beat them soundly.
Horses are often called upon for a variety of therapeutic reasons, and one of the most inspiring is the Excelsior Youth Center in Aurora, Colorado that uses Equine therapy for girls who have suffered great rejection and abuse in their young lives. It hasn’t been defined scientifically, but there seems to be something in the horse that makes them know when they are dealing with a fragile damaged being who needs their gentle assurance. The horses develop relationships with their riders, making the girls feel worthwhile and yes, even loved. As the director puts it, having this great beast waiting for you, happy to have you back, acknowledging that they know you, gives these girls whose young lives have offered little security a chance to trust again. The teachers and counselors at the center are continually amazed at the healing that the work with the horses encourages in the girls, and the girls make it clear they have found a place with their four legged friend where they are safe. The Excelsior Youth Center houses and educates over 100 girls currently and their equine program is in jeopardy for lack of funds. There are those who can help. If you are one, we invite you to visit http://www.excelsioryc.org/ and invest in something that counts.
There’s a reason I’m a cowgirl, actually a few reasons. It’s about the horses which sometimes are more human than people, and about that relationship of trust with an animal that speaks to your soul. There’s an independence in riding and thinking and being part of the sky and the trail and knowing that you belong where it’s just a little bit wild. I like the feel of jeans that are saddle worn and boots that can haul during the day and dance after dark, and I like being part of a great sorority of women who have stood for family and hard work and knowing when to let their hair down. It does my heart good to know that I live in a country that was settled by people with spirit, men and women who valued the cost of freedom and who believed in making their own way. Cowgirls are so much more than the blingy belts and the sassy hats and the jeans that are made for curves, but all those things say that we are who we are and we’re proud of it. Give me my horse and my home, and a man who can keep up with my dreams, and I’ve pretty much got heaven on earth.