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!!!
In an effort to escape my dark, dark mood – I decided to work on acclimating my horses to their upcoming halloween costumes. OK, you may be able to guess the theme, but as you can see, Wildfire was not at all afraid of the sombrero. Horses and dogs and cat and goose, all make great therapist. The journey is still very hard, but they lift me up.
The upcoming solar eclipse is an exciting event – but I cannot help but worry about my horses and outdoor pets. Is that silly? Should I be concerned?
I can keep my house dogs in the house, I will just shut the dog door.
I think Gertie Goose is nearly blind already, so no worries for her. I think Flip Flop Kitty will be OK.
But what about my red mares? I know they are little stinkers, but they are my little stinkers and I love them.
This beautiful Bay is Skipper, but I called him, The Great Himself – TGH. He crossed rainbow bridge several years ago. I just know this great horse was waiting on my son and the two are causing mayhem together on the other side. May I share a precious memory?
One day, my son took TGH on a short trail ride. The two mischief makers were late returning and I was getting worried. Then, in the distance, I saw them trotting up the trail together and all appeared well. As I squinted against the sun, I noticed my son atop TGH with extended arm, carrying the biggest, angriest black snake I have ever seen! It was wriggling and writhing and hissing, but my son had a tight grip and TGH didn’t seem to mind the snake’s tail rapping his side and legs. This was a really, really long snake!!
My son exclaimed the snake was in a dangerous place in the road and he wanted to safely relocated his legless friend in woods. I asked how he managed to catch the snake and remount the horse and he just laughed and said “Oh Mom!! Ol’ Skip didn’t mind. We guys had this under control!”
I wish I could hear “Oh Mom” just once more.
Yes, that is my horse, Tonka, wearing a hula skirt! Isn’t she lovely?
We would do some silly things, but always enjoyed each other – and the GREAT FATHER’s creation. When my life was consumed with grief, I turned away from my horse.
I am slowly trying to turn back – back to horses and outdoors and nature – and GOD. Let me plant a seed with those on this dark journey – PLEASE, hold on to the light, reach out for those things that bring you joy. Find HIM and find your smile. You don’t have to feel guilty for smiling. Don’t let the darkness win.
My red mare has an opinion about everything –