It all started when my mother took me to buy her. My new companion for life. My new best friend that no one could take from me. My sister (even though she wasn’t the same species as me). I didn’t know it then, but as she took off with me on her back, my mother knew she was the one. See, you’d think it’d be the opposite… If you sat your 3 year old daughter on top of a random pony that some Mexican ranchers were trying to sell to you, and the pony takes off into a full gallop towards you, you’d freak out trying to do anything to get your daughter off that horse safely. If she
stopped at a screeching halt right in front of your face, I’d imagine you’d get out of there as soon as possible. But my mother didn’t see it that way. My mother decides she’s the one. I (the giggling 3 year old) had no complaints as that was the ride of my life, sending raw joy and exhilaration through me, but I never knew what was ahead, and if that was good or bad.
That story was only the story of the buying of Txiki, my (now) 32 year old pony. My first trail ride had the same feeling coursing through my body. Txiki was a little (just a little) better behaved when we were running through the mountains of Mexico, beaches of California, beautiful, mountainous trails of Colorado and Utah, and (now) the hilly trails of the East Coast of the USA with the most pure, joyous feeling constantly bubbling in my stomach.
After these 10 years of falling off, racing through the woods, rolling in the sand, and many, many more experiences I have endured, have taught me a few things about my horse. Starting with the fact that if you ever try to get her to do something she doesn’t feel like doing, she will not hesitate to throw you off the nicest way possible, like laying down while you are on her back, and either
running away or bending down and licking your face as
you lay on the grass. It’s more like she has trained me, not me training her.
She is the smartest horse I’ve ever seen and she will never give in to you, and that is why I love her. As the years have passed, she has shown me a few of her tricks and I have learned the most important things about life from her, without even needing to speak to her or her speak to me. I have learned to trust her to the point that she trusts me
(which is one of the hardest things you can do with this horse) and she will occasionally allow me, and sometimes a few others entrusted to ride her to ask nicely and do something she doesn’t feel like doing without her bucking us off.
My bond and relationship with Txiki has pushed my life so far, and being the idiotic-inventions-lover that I am, I have made up so many things that attach to Txiki. It is unbelievable. I have attached ropes upon ropes to her to
pull things like sleds, long boards, and carts (all with people on them) without hearing too loud of a complaint from her. On top of that my brother, Alexis, now 19 and, sadly, in college, is also like me and inspired me (when he was 10 and I was 4) to start standing on our horses, trusting them enough to not take off (or move in general) while we are balancing on our feet on their round and narrow backs or ride backwards.
All of these things have allowed me to experience such an immense, monstrous, GIGANTIC, amount of joy. Even the times that sound horrible, like, where my saddle suddenly would decide to loosen and fall off my horse's back with me on it or my grazing horse would lift his head, hit it against and electric fence, and in a split second shoot out the other way towards the road, sending me flying, or I am going through a fence that decides to close mid way, ripping my knee open, resulting in 32 stitches on my knee (on my birthday). They have given me so much joy because over time, they were all spent with Txiki.
Joy is a cycle that always has some aching and suffering to come with it (it being physical or mental), but after time you see all those times and think how amazing they were and how much experience you got from them and (for me) that I got to spend them with the people (or horses) I love. And then, I think of the future, when she will
eventually pass away, and I can’t bear the thought without crying. I think of how much loss and hurt and just plain suffering life will be without her. But even with the big hole that would be left (and never be able to be filled up the same way) in my heart, the amount of joy Txiki and her lasting memories bring, will last lifetimes.
That is what real joy is… The joy that, even with all the pain and suffering, continues to ring out to the world.