Do you remember the songwriter Cole Porter? Or perhaps, the song, Don’t Fence Me In, sung by artists such as Frankie Laine, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Willie Nelson, and Leon?Russell? The lyrics in each recording pretty much remained the same, even though there was some occasional artistic tweaking, depending on the vocalist or group. What was consistent in each version were the words, “Don’t fence me in.”
The song expresses an interest in land; lots of land, under the starry skies above. A longing to ride through the greatly loved, wide open country, as well, and all of it is heralded by the rhythm of music. The songwriter?is comfortable with “being by myself” in the evening breeze, listening to the murmur of the cottonwood trees. Plus, this rider’s “saddle that is straddled” makes for a moment that is refreshing and invigorating in this completely open space. “Don’t fence me in” is what is consistent.
Consistency is on the “top ten” list of developing a safe, fun, and growing partnership with your horse. Each of these singers had their own voice and personal style. That is how it is with horse people. This is one of the many beauties of being with horses: an awakening to “one’s true self.”?My grandson, Evan, made a comment that I will never forget. He had awakened before his mom on a particular day, and he came into his mom’s bedroom and said, “Mom. It’s a beautiful day to wake up!” When you combine the beauty of spring with the freedom of riding in spaces without fences, truly every day is a beautiful day to wake up.
I had the blessing of being an eye-witness of two teenage friends as they found the beauty, courage, and awareness “to?wake up” while being on the back of their horses. These teens had progressed from riding in a round pen, to a corral, to the moment of a true trail ride. We had our lunches packed in our saddle bags, and off we went into 200 acres of trails that were perfect for the girls’ first trail ride. We came into the coolness provided by a knoll of trees, listening as the wind blew through the leaves. As we sat on our horses facing each other, we became engulfed in a cloud of butterflies! They swarmed around our faces and encircled the three of us and our horses. It was as though God Himself brought to each of us the beauty of transformation in that “wake up” moment” while we were outside the fence. I must say, for these young gals, that day, and the unforgettable experience with the butterflies has not left their memory, nor mine. Just as important for them and for me was the sense of direction it brought into our lives.
As spring opens gates from the round pen and corrals to wide open land beyond the fences, relax, enjoy, listen, and breathe deeply as your horse carries you to both discovery and awe. “Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle underneath the southern skies.”?
By: Deb Kitchenmaster
‘A church of great heart’
Animal B.E.S.T. practitioner