It’s a foggy Sunday morning when I turn into 11631 San Mateo Road, at the bottom of Hwy. 92, and slow down to quickly punch in the gate code, then wait for the cast iron black gate to swing open. At 10:30 in the morning, my paradise begins when that gate opens. Nestled in Canyon Creek EquestrianCenter, upon a small hill, is where my heart and passion live, and where I’m my happiest. As I drive in, I see familiar horses in turn out, and of course, Lola the barn dog comes to greet me, tail and body wiggling, along with her sloppy grin and big brown eyes staring me straight in the face. I rush up the hill, as I am already a few minutes late. My trainer is there tacking up Django, our naughtiest but cutest pony, for the morning lesson, which she asks me to assist her with. On Sunday mornings, a young woman comes to the barn to ride. she has severe medical conditions and is about the size of asmall child, which means Joell needs to ride with her. I needed to lead Django as sometimes he can be a handful and tends to get a little antsy. As we were walking around, I tended to daydream and think about my life, and I got to thinking about the past few weeks. Schools been insanely tough and I’ve been dealing with an exorbitant amount of stress lately, but then I just thought about how lucky I am. I hav ethe best friends in the world, a wonderful support system, and I have already found the thing that makes me undeniably happy: being at the barn.
Some people wait their entire lives to find their passion and still never find it, while me, being a 16 year old teenager, can drive 15mins and have all of this in front of me. Even in the worst mood, just seeing my awkward but totally lovable boy can make me crack a smile because, c’mon, it’s Fran. Our barn family always makes me laugh too because we’re just spontaneously crazy sometimes, which takes me away from my usually very scheduled and organized life. But most of all, teaching and helping the kids always gets to me, because about 8 years ago, that was me, and I realize how much everything has changed and how much I’ve matured and learned. NowI’m the one that rides five horses a day, gallops up hills bareback, ponys horses, and is jumping courses.I’m the one that’s there four and five days a week over summer, helping with everything all the time.
I just realize that even though pretty much everything is changing, and my life is completely different, and that sometimes it’s insanely tough, I really love it, because it’s wonderful. Django stops, and I realizethat the ride is over. The young woman gets off and I help her feed Django about a whole small bag of carrots which makes me laugh. We walk up the hill, giggling about what a moocher Django is, and get ready tomake a plan for the day.
I really am lucky.