I have a good enough voice to be singing in public. But this doesn’t really matter — I do not actually need to have a good singing voice for some occasions.

Like the day I remembered hearing that singing is good for calming and cadence when riding a horse. I remembered this while astride Rusty on our first trail ride of the spring season. We had left our riding buddies a few miles down the road, and we were headed home “alone” — just Rusty and me. And Rusty was neither calm nor proceeding with a regular cadence.

Not before I started singing, that is.

I’ve been working on the railroad, all my live long days…

Huh? Where did that come from?

Someone’s in the kitchen with Di-nah.
Someone’s in the kitchen, I know-o-o-o…

Ah, yes. I’m starting to understand. I can easily sing these songs in tempo with Rusty’s walking stride. And when I slow down my singing a little? He slows his walk a little. I am not going to test this too much. I don’t want to lose the good thing we got going.

Then “Jingle Bells” comes bouncing out of my mouth. Lively song! Lively Rusty! Oh, no! Quick! Change the tune!

How about a lullaby? Let me think …

Lullaby, and good night, la lala laaaa, la la laaaa.

That was effective. 

Then back to Dinah in the Kitchen because I like singing the Fee-fi-fiddley-yi-o parts.

I am truly amazed how singing affected our ride. Past the snapping white wire tape near the strawberry fields. Rusty yawning and sighing. Past the kids playing ball and the bright yellow mailbox that has always been cause to stop and gape. Ho-hum. Okay, I exaggerate about the mailbox, but he did keep walking without any completely freezey moments, just lost track of our musical harmony for a few strides.

I may never perform again at a New Year’s Eve festival. I may never again join a group of women singing acapella African chants and four part gospel harmonies. I may never again write a musical score adapting The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for a summer camp performance. But I do have a musical future. One that will make a difference where it really counts. It will make a difference to my horses.

Just Say Yes! — to singing with your horses.

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