As I blogged in the past, there are many casualties of grief. Horseback riding was one – for me. In the last months, I have tried to get my saddle time. While it has been good to be back on a horse – we weren’t a team – not connecting. My mare would hollow out, jig, toss her head – not good. My ride last weekend jarred my back – and seriously had me thinking about giving it all away. I have been riding for nearly 50 years – I can’t quit like this.
So, I prayed. “God, please – I don’t know what to do. Help me. What is wrong with this hateful red, mare.”
The only word that kept popping in my thoughts – Listen
Well, God, I am listening – that’s why I am praying – tell me!!
OK, thanks to my loving Spirit Sister, we changed the tack – maybe the saddle was pinching?
Still, nagging voice – Listen.
This morning, after a sleepless night – I hauled my horse to the near by park. That voice was hounding me – Listen!!
AAARHHHGGH!! The anger, the frustration – what does that mean????
I just broke down, hanging on my horse’s neck – sobbing. I hugged her head and pleaded, “Tonka, I am so broken-hearted. Please, Tonka, I need you.”
This time, I understood the voice – Listen to the horse. I looked into her eyes and knew that I put too much in the saddle. I don’t mean just my extra chubby butt. I mean I took all my pain, grief, sadness, darkness, rage, and frustration riding with me – I piled all that onto Tonka’s back. As I clung to her neck, I asked her to forgive me. I promised her today, it would be just my chubby butt (again, I apologized for the chubby part). No more emotional junk. I felt her lean into me and sigh.
Today, was the best ride in 31 months! Today, Tonka and I connected. When a horse and rider connect, it is beautiful, powerful – it is spiritual.
I believe the Great Spirit blew HIS breath into the nostrils of the horse – he gave them life so they could held guide us. In the woods today, surrounded by creation and truly connected with my beloved mare – I know GOD was there and my prayers were heard. I am so thankful.
After a 3 hour ride, I smothered Tonka with kisses and scratches and stuffed her full of apples. She was so relaxed, I could feel her relief. Finally – I listened!!!