Saturday, February 12, 2011
So, about that horse...
While riding today, I tried to make a little list of things to write about my horse. Before owning a horse of my own, I never realized how much time it takes to get to know a horse...like really KNOW him. I was and am very fortunate to board my horse at a private facility...the owner of the place built an indoor with a few stalls and her sister runs a small training business out of the barn. They are selective about who boards there...and there are only a few folks lucky enough to make the cut :) Anyway, everyone there is absolutely the best. No drama, no crap...everyone just loves her horse and wants to have fun and support friends. For me personally, I could not have ended up in a better situation.
I bought my horse 3 weeks before my husband was killed in an accident. The economy was tanking, H was not working much, we were low on money, and of course I had found the absolutely, no questions asked, most perfect boy. It was a bad scene here at the house...lots of CONVINCING and PROMISING and OMGHEISTHEBESTBOYEVERSOPLEEEEEZEEE! I should have been a lawyer. At any rate, I got a great deal on a very nice horse. I was thrilled and ready to prepare for the Olympics.
If you are a horse person or even an animal person, you certainly know how animals have such a keen sense of what is going on around them. Horses, especially, since they are animals of prey. Anything and everything that is different is suspect. So, imagine if you will, my poor boy arriving at a new barn with a super-excited girl all ready to bond and ride and have such a blast. YAY!! Life will be sooooo much fun!!! WOOP! ***Then, the Big Event happens.*** Life is thrown into a huge mess, super-excited girl is suddenly Girl Who Carries Around a Ton of Shit and Emotion. Whoa, what the hell happened?
Honestly, I would go to the barn all ready to spillmygutstoflickabondwithmybestfriend...all of that bullshit you read and see in the movies. My poor 3-weeks new horse was all, WTFHUHWAITTHEREISSOMETHINGNOTRIGHTHERE. It was nuts. I was nuts. It wasn't at all like the movies and he had no interest in bonding with a freak like me. It was really just awful and frustrating and so hard on my horse...who was just an innocent part of the whole scenario.
After one particularly awful day, I emailed my trainer. I told her how I was thinking this would not work and I probably needed to just put the horse in training or something because there was no way I could make it work. I was all, "I know I can get this solved if I do A., B., and C."
You know, sometimes you need someone to sort of kick you in the pants and tell you how it is. My friend and trainer did just that. Her words were something like, "he is only reacting to you. Let him get to know you as you work through this traumatic event that has just happened to you. It will come, just give it time. He will let you know when he doesn't feel confident around you. And you will let him know, in time, that you are the leader he needs and wants to follow."
So, when I want to make a list of things to share about my horse, I like to think about the progression that has gone on in the last year and a half. I like to note that I can walk out to the pasture and see him look up and know who I am...and sometimes even walk to me (if there isn't much grass to eat!), I like to think that when he spooks or looks around a bit from some outside noise he is learning to also look to me and know he is ok. It isn't perfect and I still carry a shitload of baggage to him at times. But he indeed lets me know. And thankfully, I am at a place where I can recognize it and learn if my reaction is one that keeps us moving forward.