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The Magnificent Seven

July 25, 2010

Amy Waynar, Kelly Dombrowski, Tammy Weaver, April Moore, Ann Vaden, Joanne Ponton

A friend, Amy Waynar, arrived here in Idaho to visit.  She drove all the way from Santa Cruz, California in one day.  We didn’t really know each other very well because she is the wife of one of my husband’s outrigger canoe team members.  Coincidently, a woman I know here called me , said she was gathering women together for a ride in the backcountry.  I knew that Amy wanted to ride, so I accepted for both of us.  After a night’s sleep, Amy and I loaded the horses and met the other women out at the North Fork of the Big Lost.  Introductions were made all around, it was easy to notice that we all felt a bit formal .  We saddled up and began our ride over a rise of sagebrush, moving cross-country until we came to the road that would take us up the mountain. 

The horses were also new acquaintances and we quickly got separated into a few groups.  After joining up at a gate, we began to climb the mountain.  The horses worked and we talked, learing a bit more about each other when we had the chance to ride close enough to chat.  We brought out lunches after searching for the right place to stop, each person adding a tidbit of what comprised a good location, a meadow, some wind to battle the bugs, a log to sit on, etc.  We sat in the shade, our horses tied to various trees around us and then went around the group finding out about what brought us to that moment in the Idaho backcountry.  When it came to my turn, I had the opportunity to tell the story of the passing of my beloved Utah.  It was such a healing moment for me, to be able to describe that day, to six horse women who knew without question, exactly how I felt and what the experience meant to me on a core level.  

I had not been able to bond so well with my borrowed horse Fancy.  I like her, we are a good team, but my heart has been withheld.  When I returned to her, untied her from the tree, I felt different, we felt different, like she heard my story too, knew what was going on with me and understood.  Our bond deepened.

It was not only the bond with my horse that deepened.  As our group rode the final mile to the trailers, we again went off-road to ride over the rises of sage.  We spread out in a line ,shoulder to shoulder, trotting up the hill a group of friends with a common source of fulfillment.  We parted that day with hugs, knowing that new friends were made and that we had made a true connection by stepping outside, accepting inital awkward feelings, and being open to the gifts brought by each of the magnificent women we rode beside.

Joanne, Kelly, Tammy, Ann, Amy, Julie, April

9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2010 5:15 am

    it was the firsts time I’ve riden in over 20 some years and it felt so easy with these women and with Jack, my borrowed horse…It was truly a wonderful experience.. thanks Julie for making it happen..

    • July 26, 2010 3:20 am

      Amy, You have been such a beautiful addition to this summer.

      • Amy Waynar permalink
        July 28, 2010 4:06 am

        Thank you – you two are the best hosts!

  2. Carolyn permalink
    July 25, 2010 12:38 pm

    Julie, I am so happy such a great group of women got together and you had such a wonderful time. As a mother, I worry sometimes about you being alone in the back country. I love it when you and Tim are together or your with a wonderful group. Love, m

  3. Marin Tennefoss permalink
    July 25, 2010 8:11 pm

    Julie: Your “blogs” could be a great mini series for a number of magazines including any horse specialty mags, veteranerian, etc., but forget Vogue! Love, Marvin

  4. July 26, 2010 3:18 am

    What a great idea Marvin!

  5. Tricia permalink
    July 26, 2010 12:46 pm

    I love reading your blogs. THANK YOU!

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