A Facebook friend recently posted a photo of a moonlight horseback ride she had with her husband. That and a marathon viewing of the series, Yellowstone, was probably why I dreamt of rounding up a bunch of horses the other night.
I grew up in a farming and ranching family and there was always a horse close at hand. One of my earliest memories is wanting the horse I was on to go faster.
We've not had horses since we sold the farm a few years ago and divested ourselves of the horses as well. I only miss them when I see one.
As I get older my hobbies need to be easy to put away, easy to clean and easy to abandon if I feel the urge to journey out for a few days. Good horsemanship requires a lifestyle adjustment that I'm not sure I am willing to make at this point.
I know a lot of people for whom that lifestyle is a good match. I just don't know if I am that person any longer.
Some close friends and family have been able to make good money roping, running barrels or racing horses. It requires money and time to get to that place. I know very few people who have been able to sustain a lifestyle focused on horses that does not require a well-paying job to support the habit.
Most just do it for leisure. My mom rode with a hard driving group of ladies called the Quadrille de Mujeres. They performed a tight, dangerous drill on horseback at breakneck speed in rodeos across the Southwest. It was like synchronized skydiving on horseback.
They were never paid what it cost them to pull the drill together. They did it all for the thrill and fun of it. They spent hours polishing up their tack, grooming their horses and practicing their routine.
I rode in Gymkhanas when I was younger. We'd load up the horses, head to an arena, do a few races, collect a prize or two, head home, groom the horse, feed the horse and start all over again.
I even roped some as I got older. A practice roping would consist of loading the horse, driving to the arena, doing a few practice runs, sitting around the fire and maybe drinking a few beers.
I've even helped put together a couple of rodeo events. It was a lot of fun and I had a good time doing all those horse related activities.
Those activities may be why I walk a little more stiffly as I age and my bones hurt a little bit more.
So, while I sit here pondering if it is worth the investment of time and money to put a couple of horses on the couple of acres I have here in Tennessee, I'm rounding up horses in my dreams.