Let Loose the Reins

Who shaped you into the person you are today? Who had the most profound influence on your life?  Who are your mentors and teachers?

These are important questions in order to understand who you really are as a human being. Your mentors and teachers influence who you become. They shape your values, your passions and your goals. The key people you meet on your journey through life are essential for the unfolding of your life path.

It is said that a life not reflected upon is a life not lived. I often take time to reflect on the key people in my life and send them a little metaphysical Thank You” in my daily meditations.

I am grateful for incredible teachers and mentors in the different countries I lived, but most importantly I am grateful for my parents who raised me to be fearless and adventurous. Please enjoy the excerpt from my award-winning autobiography Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes – A Spiritual Adventure Into Life’s Labyrinth.

You can find this excerpt at the beginning of Chapter 13, when I visit Jane in Boulder, Colorado. Jane and I first met at 37,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Sitting next to each other on an overnight flight from New York to Amsterdam, we both had been trying to catch some sleep, so it was only one hour before landing that we engaged in a conversation.

Jane was on her way to spend Christmas with her sister in Amsterdam before meeting up with friends in Tanzania, Africa. I was on my way to Germany and then would travel for New Years with my mom to Tenerife, Spain. After I mentioned my upcoming solo motorcycle road trip across the US, Jane immediately invited me for a visit.

Eight months later I arrived in Colorado.

Book Excerpt: Let Loose The Reins

Early the next morning, Jane and I went horseback riding at a local barn. We spent half an hour chasing two horses on foot around a huge pasture, both of them determined to let us get close and then galloping away laughing at us. Finally these two raggedly-trained horses allowed us to catch them. We rode out into the fields, with the Boulder Flatirons, Longs Peak, and the Continental Divide all on the horizon in the West.

I hadn’t been on horseback the last couple of years. Feeling the movement of horse underneath me brought back memories. My mind wandered to my youth when I was fifteen, the same year Silke had died.

It had been the season of fall storms, and one night I startled out of a dreamless sleep and opened my eyes to darkness. The loud, harsh cracking of tree branches screamed through the night. I heard a quick, loud knock on my door. The lights switched on, and my father rushed toward me, his green eyes flickering.

“Dorit, get up, hurry!”

I threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, ran to the entry room, pulled on my rubber boots, grabbed a warm jacket and raced to the barn. As a farm girl, I knew where to head in a storm. I leaned into the wind, fighting the gusts that tossed me sideways. Rain lashed into my face. I heard the heavy branch of a chestnut tree crashing onto the roof. In front of the illuminated entrance to the barn, shingles tumbled to the ground and burst into pieces.

My father, a tall man with black hair, a full beard and broad shoulders, guided my five-year-old silver-grey mare, Estella, out of the stable. His calm hand slid the bridle onto her head. Temperamentally, she pushed her nose forward. He instructed me: “The cows are in danger, and I am afraid they’ll seek shelter beneath the poplars, which will snap like twigs in the storm. We have to find them and bring them home.”

My father’s strong arm lifted me onto the mare’s bare back. “Trust your horse,” he said. “Let the reins loose. Estella will guide you to the cows.” He clapped my horse on the rear and we were off.

I felt the strength of my mare. I pressed my legs into her flanks, urging her forward. Darkness surrounded us. The wind pulled at my hair. Storm clouds raced across the sky. The thunder cracked and echoed over the plains of Germany’s Lower Rhine Valley as I guided my horse toward the levee. Her secure steps on the muddy ground gave me confidence. I had never ridden her at night or in a storm, but I was not afraid. As we reached the top of the earth dam, I sensed the vast meadow that opened up in front of us. Lightning flashed, and for a moment the land around unfolded. The Rhine River, a silver stream, reflected the lightning. The poplars jerked back and forth to my far right. They were too distant to see the cows. Then everything returned to darkness. I heard my father’s words, “Trust your horse. Let the reins loose.”

I pushed my mare forward. I did not direct her where, but allowed her to find her own way. She moved slightly to the right and stepped carefully down the levee. I stroked and caressed her wet mane. Heavy rain poured down on us. I felt the rhythm of my breath synchronize with hers. I was strong and confident amid the fury of the fall season storm. We found the herd at the outermost edge of the meadow huddled underneath the poplars.

I called the cows, pressed Estella into a trot and clapped my hands. Thirty-five animals started moving. I sensed their nervousness. They lowed and moaned loudly. We moved up the levee and I heard tree branches snap. Lighting flashes revealed the silhouette of my father, racing toward us. He caught up, and together we brought the cows back home to safety.

While my father was securing the cows, I guided my horse into the barn, jumped off, and grabbed a towel to dry her fur. Estella turned her head, and I saw my dad enter the barn.

Then my father, a man who rarely showed emotion, looked into my eyes and said: “Good job.”

I felt his love stream into my heart. I nodded, then turned and continued to dry off my horse.

I kept this memory to myself, not sharing it with Jane. I was too moved with emotion and felt grateful for my father, who had shaped me into the woman I had become.

Empowering Women
Horses and motorcycles, my two great passions.

Join the adventure, order Girls Don’t Ride Motorbikes – A Spiritual Adventure into Life’s Labyrinth NOW!

Watch the video clip showing the landscape of Germany’s Lower Rhine Valley close to the Brauer family farm and listen to the book reading.

What Do You read?

View the Roadtrip Pictures from the cross country solo motorcycle adventure.

Schedule an Individual Consultation with Dorit.

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