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  • Writer's picturejshannon727

Insert Horse's Name Here

When I was in my forties, I ran marathons. For companionship and moral support, I trained with a running group. What made the two-hour Sunday runs tolerable was listening to, commiserating with, and sharing stories with other runners.

At last, training ended, and the marathon would be run. I remember returning to the office after the Niagara Marathon. A coworker stopped me. “We’re glad that’s over. Can’t wait to talk about something other than ice baths, blackened toenails, knee braces and protein gels.”

When I traded running for horseback riding ten years later, I made a conscious effort not to monopolize conversations with my newfound passion. Unless a genuine opportunity presents itself, I don’t venture into horse talk. Here are a couple of reasonable exceptions:

My mom calls to find out what’s new. My response: “Captain and I had a fantastic ride on Saturday. Sunday, I washed his saddle pad.”

My husband suggests we plan a getaway in May. My response: “It’s the start of horse showing season for Captain and me. Wait until September.”

A friend’s daughter is celebrating her twentieth birthday. My response. “Captain also turned twenty this year.”

My sister texts to say she is at the hairdresser. My response: “Captain had his mane pulled last week.”

Maybe my passions have a way of spilling into every nook and cranny. Today, videos of Captain take up all my storage. In 2006, after the Chicago Marathon, my Asics shoes hung on a coat hook in my office. It was a daily reminder of my great accomplishment. They stayed there until I one day I found someone had attached a sticky note, which read: Take me home.

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