Page 21 - WCM 2019 Winter
P. 21

 was in the right place until I’d parked my car and hol- lered a friendly “hello?” (Perhaps a blessing in disguise that I’d left Dadda and the kiddos behind.)
Proprietor DiAnne Ward has a distinctive voice, and I knew she was the same person I’d spoken to on the phone as soon as she opened her mouth. Initially abrupt, you learn quickly that she’s just not that into the fluff of life -- pleasantries, small talk, and mind- less banter are lost on her. She saves her airtime for the trail ride, where the majestic scenery and her insight- ful metaphors are perfectly matched.
We tacked for a bit in the modest barn, as DiAnne told me about her favorite riders and animals over the years. “Often, the horses find me,” she said, which was the case with Flicka, the spotted draft she rode, originally from hundreds of miles away in St. Agatha. She was bought sight unseen, with payment made at a farm store parking lot on the side of a highway, at a time when she and her husband had sworn off mares (Flicka is a mare). “Just meant to be,” she said.
Alongside DiAnne and Flicka, I rode Cash, a red dun, who was calm and steady, and thankfully, knew the routine so well that, even when I inadvertently gave him the wrong signal, he stayed the course. We started out on a typical Western Maine dirt road, where many of the hunting camps and old homes are
mysteriously hidden, with a pane of glass missing here and there, and front doors that have never seen a snow shovel. But as we rounded the first corner, I under- stood; the expansive views of the Mahoosuc Moun- tain Range totally transformed the entire experience.
As I craned my neck to see the fine details in the moun- tains, I must have slid off center in the English saddle a bit, maybe by only a centimeter or two. DiAnne noticed it in my shoulders, and after she helped me re-adjust, she really opened up. “Horseback riding is all about balance. That’s why I like it so much,” she said with a knowing glow in her eyes. “It’s just like life. All you have to do is find your balance, and you’ll be all set.”
DiAnne knew I was a mom of two little kids, and shared with me perspective on motherhood. “I tell everyone to do it,” she says. “There are so many experi- ences and so much growth you miss out on if you don’t become a parent,” she reminded me. “I never wanted to raise the next president of the United States. You just have to make sure they are good people who are happy and steady, and the rest works itself out.”
Gosh. So simple. Seeing this advice written out here doesn’t quite do it justice. But, coming from the gregari- ous but quiet horse lady, in the middle of the woods, spoken as casually as conversation about the weather or afternoon plans -- I was finding enlightenment.
Cash and Flicka carried us to this northwest view of the Mahoosuc Range toward the White Mountain National Forest. Deepwood Farm’s network of owned and borrowed trails feature geographic and historic curiosities regardless of the season.
 Kelsey Goldsmith

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