Monday, March 29, 2010

The Saddle Sore-ority

"Age is a box people put you in. And, no good ever comes from living life like that." ~ K. Miller
This is Pam. My new mentor. 73 years old and the happiest cowgirl I've ever met! She rode farther, faster and held up better on our 5-day trail ride than me. We'd be well-served to follow her lead.

I survived my dream vacation! The Caballos del Sol 5-day trail ride, in northern Arizona. I've never been so cold, so tired, so sore... or, so happy. The Doc said not to go but what does he know? Releasing my inner cowgirl was good medicine!

Me and Meg. My beloved little mare had the time of her life. (Me, too!)
PS: This cowgirl get-up was NOT my idea.

During this long, grey winter I felt a little 'stuck.' Nothing working quite right. Illness. Boredom. As we inch ever closer to the 5th decade, I find myself surrounded by age-obsessed people. Turning 50. So very old. (Seriously?)

And, of course, that rubbed off on me. Even the bright blossoms of a re-blooming Orchid was hard-pressed to boost my spirits.
New friends, Nancy and Larry. Cowpokes extraordinaire.

But then I went on vacation with the horse. Met people, most older than me, who give new meaning to a life well-lived.

Which got me wondering why such things matter. What is age anyway? Other than one slightly inaccurate measure of all we've done and all the grand things left to do.

If we didn't know our real age, then I s'pose we'd guess our age at how old we feel. Like Pam (top photo) who, in many ways, is considerably younger than me.
More new friends: Earl (the horse,) Dacodah, Janet and Mike. Come September, we're meeting up in New Mexico to do this all over again.

After releasing my inner cowgirl, I'm way younger than I used to be. Way healthier. Happier. And, so tired I can barely type. :D
Coolest. Horse. Ever.

* It was just not possible to ride my bouncy little mare and take pics at that same time. But, I do have some gorgeous wildflower photos to share once I muster up the energy to unpack the camera.

21 comments:

Snowcatcher said...

Darn! I can't see the photos (stupid computer!!!). But you've made me visualize your horsey ride. Can't wait to see the wildflowers!

When I first saw Saddle Sore-ority, I thought bicycles... :)

OmegaMom said...

I'm glad you had a good time--I expected you would! Blogger is having issues with the picture server, so I can't see all your pics. :-( Hopefully they'll fix it soon!

Kate said...

Hi, Snowcatcher -- I'd probably be MORE worn out if it was on a bicycle. I like the fact that the horse does all the hard work. :D

Kate said...

Hi, Omega;
Yes great fun -- in spite of it being the hardest trip I've ever taken. An RV could have solved that problem. Camping in 20 degree weather is not my idea of a good time!

Anyhoo. Please pass along to Granny that I toured her lovely little town of Prescott and I now know why she chose such a grand place to retire. :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Yay, Kate, so glad to hear you had a good time. there's an older woman I know (in her 80s?) who just beats me walking up stairs no questions asked, LOL!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Hi Kate: So glad you had a wonderful time and although tired feel much better.That is the strangest mark horse.LOL!

Noelle said...

Hello Kate,

I am so glad that you had such a wonderful time. You picked a good week for it as Northern AZ is expecting much cooler weather and lots of snow. I can't wait to see photos of your New Mexico trip later this year :-)

Kate said...

Hi, Monica!
Yes, I know the feeling! It's humbling to have people decades older than me putting me in my place. :) And, also inspirational to be a rider for many, many decades to come.

Kate said...

Thx, Lona;
I feel like a million bucks. It's fun to challenge yourself now and then. Glad you loved that polka dot horse. He's the coolest steed I've ever seen! :D

Kate said...

Brrrr.... Noelle! I would never have guessed it would be THAT cold in AZ in March. (I packed lots of tank tops and paid a fortune for a winter jacket when I realized the error of my ways.) Happy to hear we missed the snow. :D

As a hiker I imagine you've explored that area? The views are simply breathtaking!

KC said...

Looks like great fun!!! Glad you're both home in great shape.
Age Obsessed.....moi? I prefer to call it being new at being un-young. I'm waiting for the acceptance and grace to kick in. Bare with me.

jan said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Glad you are back, safe and sound, if tired and sore!

Rose said...

Kate, So glad to hear that you had such a great time! Sometimes I get so tired of hearing that saying that age is just a state of mine, and then I read about someone who is much older than I who has jumped out of an airplane for the first time or published their first book. The lesson learned is that if you want to do something, go for it, no matter your age! Your new friend Pam sounds like the perfect role model. And 50 definitely isn't old:)

Your trip sounds like such an exciting experience; looking forward to seeing your wildflowers.

gloria bonde said...

Hi Kate - I'm so glad you had a great time! It sounds like as they say in SD "a good time was had by all" -

Kate said...

KC, my dear, you are aging very gracefully. And, I'm still taking afternoon naps to get over this one!

Hey, Jan! It was loads of fun and now I'm back in the high mountains with snow on the ground! Boo hoo. You're lucky to live in a warm, sunny climate.

Kate said...

Hi, Rose;
Yes, I think that's precisely the 'lesson learned.' I got into horses just a few years ago and everyone called it my midlife crisis. That bothered me a lot. Then I met Pam who bought her 1st horse at 50 and her reasons were just like mine. It was simply time to try something brand new. I hope I'm still happily riding 25 years from now. :))

Kate said...

Thanks, Gloria! I didn't meet a grumpy person the whole time we were out there (and the weather could have inspired a whole lotta complaining.) Great fun to connect with so many people who share the same passion.

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Kate~~

I am so impressed with your taking this trip, releasing your inner cowgirl. Very cool! Pretty horse too!

Kate said...

Thx, Grace -- It was loads of fun, but lessons learned! I have needed a full week to recover from my week on the horse. I think this might have been the hardest trip I've ever done... That said, I'm already signed up to do it again next year. :)

sweet bay said...

The Appy is the coolest horse ever! Sounds like a wonderful trip -- I'm glad you had a good time!

Jeannie @ Pine Cottage Books said...

Fun Fun Fun! It's good to let loose and go for it :) I LOVE that appaloosa! What a horse!

As someone who is approaching the 6-0 in the not too distant future I will tell you that I'm not done with having fun yet. Look out and get out of my way!! LOL

Do what you want to do until the day you drop--that's my motto.