I bonded with a horse named Arrow today. Arrow is a handsome Chestnut with a bright white blaze, soulful brown eyes, and four white socks that give him the appearance of a tap-dancer when he impatiently prances in place.
Arrow and I spent a few hours meandering the trails of the rugged Williams Fork Valley; and when I closed my eyes I was 10 years old again, joyfully spending long, Colorado summer days at Many Ponies. At 10 I dreamt of becoming a cowgirl, a wrangler, a rough and tough girl of the Wild West. Pecos, Shadow, Ricochet, and Patches were my faithful steeds, and my compatriots consisted of Mimi and Papa and Paul and Lisa. I was going to runaway to Telluride after the summer ended, and help Paul and Lisa move Many Ponies, and their many ponies, to Norwood Ranch for the winter. I was going to sleep under the stars among the herd and learn to lasso a wild mustang. The sweet, earthy scent of the sagebrush, the twinkle of the Aspens quaking in the wind, the hot sun beating down on my skin—these were the things of dreams.
Dreams that 16 years later, haven’t left me. The only thing that has changed is that I finally let those dreams pull me out to the Wild West. And living out here, among the majestic snow-capped peaks, the jewel-tone of the late afternoon sun, and ink black nights smattered with endless stars, makes it just a little bit easier to let that cowgirl out to ride away into the sunset on her faithful steed.