Adventures In Learning

Sunday, June 16, 2019

My friend Julie–a long-time athletic-horse owner and dedicated rider, who also encourages my driving activities–loaned me this book. Over the years, its author, Bernice Ende, has made many trips, partially and fully across the United States, on horseback, finally logging some 30,000 miles. From her home in Montana, she travels alone, accompanied by her loyal dog (rescued when Ende stumbled on a puppy, forsaken and dying in a snowstorm).

I’m not far into Ende’s story, yet feel involved with her struggles while traveling alone with minimal equipment, on unfamiliar trails, in unpredictable weather. My perspective is of one who only recently learned to ride, and often went alone with my dogs, in the challenging Oregon outdoors. I’ve been in unexpected situations, without adequate equipment, like medications, maps, communication devices, and shelter in inclement weather. Each stressful situation taught me more how to prepare and what to carry. Every outing added new wisdom, more than I could have anticipated–about my horses, dogs, and most of all, myself.

Ende carries a diary and writes in detail about her experiences, struggles, conflicts, and learnings. Although she’s a lifelong horseback rider, those long rides taught her more about horses. She writes about people she met along the way and the kindnesses they offered. I’m too early into the book to speak adequately about her adventures, but do identify greatly with her early learning experiences, on that initial long ride from Montana to New Mexico.

Ende carries a diary, writes in detail about her experiences, struggles, conflicts, and learnings. Although she’s a lifelong horseback rider, those long rides have taught her more about horses; and she writes about people she’s met along the way and the kindnesses they’ve offered. I’m too early into the book to speak enough about her adventures, but do identify greatly with her experiences, on an initial long ride from Montana to New Mexico.

Recently, I’ve been struck by the Facebook page of a savvy and adventurous young woman, Emma Massengale, who’s posted her travels by bicycle, through Europe while pulling a special wagon built by her boyfriend. It carries her two newest ponies and has an overhead compartment for her dog. She photographed and videoed images of the trip that include many folks who greeted and assisted her.

My own perspective draws on the excitement, anxiety, and satisfaction that I’ve felt while learning to drive my two very different horses. One with a calm, easy manner, and the other anxious and worried. Yet, both are superb in their own ways, and forcing me to learn how to accommodate their differences.

Dear Readers, perhaps living is much about taking risks and learning well. Diana

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