The peaceful, easy feeling you get around horses

I was sitting on my back porch this week, reading all of the crazy news stories going on in the world right now. I think the most important is the Russian buildup of troops on the Ukrainian border and how that will affect the world shortly if Russia invades.

There is a new strand of the virus in India that sounds like it may be something worth watching. The current atmosphere surrounding police and all that’s going on there. I wish sometimes the news would report some uplifting things, but I guess that’s not what people read the news for necessarily.

Either way, it made me also think how grateful I am to live in Amarillo, where life always seems to go on and something good can always happen. I realized five minutes after getting so worried about the world what is really important, and it is right here. 

My daughter walked in the house about the time I finished reading the paper. She had just come back from her horse riding lessons at my sisters.

She had a smile on her face and a glow about her that from experience only comes from a girl who loves horses and just got to live her favorite fantasy of riding one. It takes a few weeks to become comfortable around horses and to know the rules before you can really begin to enjoy riding them.

Little things like what side to mount the horse on, or how to approach a horse, are important to start your journey. Once you go down that path however, I think the love to ride can become an obsession, and as anyone who has horses can attest, don’t add up what it costs per year to own them.

Horses fall into the hobby category with pools and boats. Always have a friend that owns them; never buy them for yourself. Thankfully my sister never learned this lesson, so my daughter gets to learn to ride.

She will, I assume, never be a barrel racer or anything, but she is getting one of the best treats you can here in the Texas Panhandle. Learning to ride these giant gentle beasts who can become one of your best friends. Looking into the eyes of a horse as you feed it a sugar cube, you just know if their mouth could form words, it would talk to you.

Even without being able to, you can tell from the look they make and their snorts what mood they are in. It is also one of the best experiences I can recommend for a parent.

There is nothing more beautiful than seeing your daughter up on a gorgeous horse riding for the first or the one-hundredth time. The sparkle in her eyes from the moment she sees the horse and the continued glow of her smile after is magical.

No matter what they put on an iPad, it will never compete with the love a little girl can feel for a horse.      

David Koen is an Amarillo native who owns Doche Cleaners and is an active member of the Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute. Learn more at dochecleanersamarillo.com