That One Perfect Place

What is your favorite place on Earth?

My one place of contentment, in all of time and space, actually is a place where I am constantly moving. Literally. That one perfect, happy place for me is sitting atop the saddle of a horse. Although a saddle is not the most comfortable thing in the world, it is the place that makes me calm and focused. For as long as I can remember, I have loved horses and when I was eight, my grandpa brought me up to his ranch and I learned how to ride them. Now every summer I go up to Spokane, Washington, to visit the Flaherty Ranch. Two summers ago was when I realized that riding a horse was my absolute favorite place to be. The smooth, but fast rhythm of the horse’s movements when lopping makes me feel powerful. This is where I am stronger and faster than at any other time.

When riding, I am both lulled and energized not only by the motion of the creature, but also by the smells around me. Most people turn their noses away from ranches, where hints of manure and dirt fill the air, but I can ignore the unpleasant few odors and pick out the ones I love. The scents of hay, grain, and old wood saturate the air inside the barn. Outside I can hear a mix of horse whinnies, dog yips, and the lull of the Little Spokane River flowing behind the...

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