As my car gains speed leaving the confines of Condon, Oregon each morning, I scan the landscape and realize - I really live in The West. Wide vistas of wheat and treeless land, big sky, wind turbines and horses unfold in front of me. The West with its ubiquitous symbol of the horse and rider - Native, Latin, or European. I live here.
The Rietmann - Cook family had us out to their ranch several weekends ago. Jessica and Frances “fancied” a horseback ride, and with great hospitality and care, Tom, Katie and Benjamin offered to host the event. They have a number of horses, each with distinct personality traits and behaviors. Our Portland women were given horses that were manageable and willing. Tom, mounted on his own beast, led Jess and Frances from field to field as Katie, Tim and I followed them on foot in a general sort of way.
Such vistas from their ranch. What a sight to see my girls riding horses, already looking comfortable and confident. Having grown up around horses - neighbors and friends had stables - I love the equus caballus. My adoration, unfortunately, does not extend to a proficiency in riding, but I was always willing to “mount up” in my younger days. Sitting on a horse gives one an even more expansive view of the world. There is indeed something to the idea of the power of horse beneath you and melding your own body and energy into it. The excursion to the ranch was a grand success topped off with an expansive repast and delightful conversation.
So this is how it is for me. Every morning, during the first hour of my hour-forty-five minute drive, I race past The Rietmann ranch, other wheat fields, turbines, cattle, and horses. Great beautiful beasts grazing, running, and looking curiously at the funny person who has stopped to take their photograph.
The morning commute was never like this in the city.
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