WildFire just loves her good night smooches
Look at that sweet face!!! Today, the farrier was here to trim horse and mule hooves. Hector was such a very good boy today. He was sweet and friendly and stood so quietly for the farrier. He was even happy to enjoy a few scratches and hugs – but don’t ever touch those ears!!
Despite the six degree temperatures, the horses and Hector the Mule had to get some family love. There is nothing like a good pony smooch to warm you up on a cold day. And pony smooches are easy to come by if you have apples in your hands and granola bars in your pocket.
I have been letting Hector the mule into the pasture with the mares for a few hours every day. I was so excited to see them all peacefully munching hay together!! OK, I know they are not best friends yet, but they are bonding!
WildFire is NOT happy with Hector the Mule. So I created a small paddock for Hecter. He can see the mares and they can “chat” across the fence. But he is safely out of range of teeth and hooves. He also has his very own run in shed and hay bale! Hopefully, after a couple of weeks, this Bratty Boss Mare will let Hector join her herd.
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.