The full circle of emotions: a sinking feeling, Hakuna Matata, heartbreak, and bliss…
Who the heck knows, I’m crawling out of my skin. I’m counting the days one second at a time.
15 years ago on 11/11 a very little, very old red trailer struggled up a hillside in Boulder Colorado. Inside was a very big, very dirty, very ugly, completely unbroke horse, MY NEW HORSE.
Off he came, head straight up in the air, standing there with a large hunk of dead tree tangled in his dreadlock of a tail. He didn’t give a damn. Tears ran down my face, half the barn had showed up to see the new arrival it took less than a blink for all to determine I gone crazy.
What is it??
“It” came from a high level jump farm to an Arabian breeding barn. Less than three years old, raw as they come. Friends whispered, the farm hands shook their heads, the barn owner smiled as my trainer and I lead him to his new digs.
I had had my heart set on a gray warmblood schoolmaster, after looking at countless horses in 5 states I came home with a black draft cross. Half Percheron Half Andalusian totally unbroke.
My son was young and he was not impressed in his mother’s choice.
That beast of an animal, challenged me, put me on my ass, left me in the dirt, keep me on my toes and made me fight like I never knew I could. And the first time we entered at a trot at A, and halted at X, jaws dropped.
As a mom, choices need to be made and I made mine without any thought, but followed by years of quiet pain, to let my son “use” my horse.
First it was for my son’s high school equestrian team; his horse old finally passed on. My son convinced it was wrong to ride anything again until a super cute girl told him they “needed” him to ride for the team. (THANK YOU Hanna!!) With no time to find a new horse, my mouth said “Ok, use mine,” before my heart caught on. Then one thing lead to another, off they both went to the College Equestrian team, then my son needed his best buddy (my horse) on his big new job as a barn manager. I resigned that I was never going to get my horse back.
I’m coming off a bad injury, broken ankle and a severed Achilles tendon just waiting for the OK to ride, knowing when it comes I’ll only be good for about 10 minutes of walk at a time to start. My mare cannot handle that – she wants to rock and roll. She’s used to working four or more times a week, and the down time is rattling her. My trainer is working the mare once or twice a week and is slowly getting amazing results but she is so busy I feel awful asking her to do this much and could never ask her to commit that much more time.
Then the call came.
Mid afternoon, I’m at work, my cell begins to dance across my desk. When your kid rides other people’s horses for a living your heart sinks when your phone goes off mid-day.
‘Hey Mom, want to trade horses for the winter? The big guy could use a relaxed winter and I could use a challenge…’
…shocked…. my heart soared. I honestly never expected to hear those words.
I love my mare, she’s a great horse but right now she has more energy than I can handle. The big guy, Twister, is like those old favorite jeans, comfortable. He has always taken care of me. I can mount him from the right if I can convince my body how to do that.
So here I am just a few days away from the “big switch.” Crazy excited, yet feeling bad.
I keep telling myself this will be great I can heal, get my confidence and strength back and come back to the mare once I’ve completely recovered, but part of me feels like an epic failure, like I’ve given up on the mare. I’ve irritated the injury and had major setbacks several times because I’m pressuring myself to get back on her NOW. Will having her far away relive the pressure?
The closer the day comes to the switch the more I think this is going to be a tough journey. I’m looking forward to reestablishing my relationship with a best friend yet I feel like I’m exiling another.