Running with Horses on the Beach.

Running with Horses on the Beach.

Running with Horses on the Beach.

Running with Horses on the Beach.My daughter, Holly, her two closest friends and I, spent a pleasingly mild winter’s afternoon riding horses on the beach in Suffolk on Sunday.

The three girls are all confident around horses.
Me, not so. As in, not at all.
It was such a treat for me though, to watch the girl’s joy and excitement around these amazing creatures.

Running with Horses on the Beach.The last time I was on a horse (a few months ago), I literally had to stop the tears of fear from streaming down my face.
Horses are huge! Sitting on the back of my enormous (and supposedly docile) horse, I saw my life flash before me.
“This is it, this is the moment I die, crushed to death on a muddy field, under the hooves of a great beast”.
I’m not kidding, I was terrified. I think my horse knew it too, as he kept trying to buck me off!
Apparently, I kept ‘my seat’ when my old horse got spooked (by a scratchy tree-branch!) and reared up. It was more blind-fear and a death grip on the reins to be fair.
I tell everyone that ‘my seat was good’, even though I have no idea what that actually means. It sounds horse-clever and smart.
I can’t ride to save myself, but my ‘seat’, well that’s worthy of praise.
My family, I have an inkling, are sick of hearing about my near-death experience. There is a lot of sighing and eye rolling when I bring the subject up. Apparently, I bring it up a lot, which I find a tad harsh. I mean, I nearly died that day!

Following the girl’s, with the greatest of respect (my eye’s peeled on their ‘seat skills’), we meandered through the busy town and ended up on a large stretch of beach. Amongst the seagulls, children playing at the water’s edge, with beanies and jackets and fishing boats snoozing over the winter, we watched the girl’s ride their horses along the water’s edge.
Running with Horses on the Beach.
For Holly, it was a momentous moment. Actually, a bucket list moment.
A huge big tick for cantering along the ocean. Made possible through the support and friendship of her squad, her friends and allies.
By no means was today’s ride a small thing.

It showed me, again, the gritty resilience that is my girl, despite her being temporarily paralysed by the illness, Bi-polar.
Even though today took a week’s worth of building up energy to set foot outside her home and a tonne of adrenaline to kick start her tired mind, she did it. She did it!

Holly taught me something today, that even if you are low or remarkably unwell with a mental illness, there is hope.
There is a bright light on your agenda.
It can happen. For you.
Running with Horses on the Beach.
I was so proud to see both the girls flying like the wind, on the back of these glorious animals.
The feeling of being in control of such an enchanting creature, I can only imagine, is a most extraordinary experience.
One, I am content to appreciate from the safety of the water’s edge!

Life can be so cruel. In the midst of suffering and hardship, it’s not every day you can give a huge tick against your bucket list.
I was so fortunate to be a part of that experience.

Obviously I have Holly’s permission to write about her Bi-polar disorder here on this blog. I am proud of her in ways she will never know or even understand.
Her honesty in her weakness shows immense courage.
It affirms our common humanity. We all suffer at times in our lives, however, Holly today, did not hide behind fear of being judged or criticised.
Her vulnerability has deepened her friendships and produced a new sort of strength and determination.
There is much I have to learn from my warrior first-born. She inspires me every day.

Next time, maybe, just maybe, it will be me riding a horse. With my exceptional ‘seat skills’, I might be in with a chance.
Even manage a little trot. On a very old, gentle, kind, geriatric, three-legged, one-eyed, slow horse.
But a horse nonetheless. Who appreciates my manoeuvres when bucking occurs.

It might even tick my bucket list.
Running with Horses on the Beach.

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