The last twenty four hours has found me busy experiencing and experimenting with life through horses, people, computers, and internet dating sites. The first experience begins with my student of last night, who has been slowly, intricately finding how to separate each part of her anatomy. Fascinated as she discovers the dance of the horse so thoroughly mimicking her moves, finding as she separates her heel’s movement, from her knee, thigh or hip of the softness of feel and response given back to her from her mount. So intrigued with how much the horse offers as with what seemed like resistance, now becoming flowing steps as she carefully moves each separate part of her legs, arms or torso. To be so rewarded from this mammal so many take to be just an animal to ride.
As I am watching her almost oblivious to me mounted just yards away. I suddenly find myself on a very agitated animal, as he suddenly begins mouthing the bit, then fidgeting first one foot, then two. I become aware of his motions as they quickly show the signs of something amiss that I can feel, just not see or find. As I allow him the benefit of the doubt, he starts walking in small, tight and extremely unusual circles. His heartbeat increasing as I sense something unusual about to happen with this steed who had experienced so much trauma before ending up here. About the time I go to step off, he suddenly stops, lets out this huge sigh of “oh well” then begins to relieve himself, as I try very hard not to laugh at what I now understand was his problem. Though he is 10, and has been ridden for almost a year and a half, he has never had to work through this type of situation. His whole list of actions were in an attempt to not allow a human near as he had to fully relax to do his business. Which finally got the best of him as peeing became more important than having to maintain his stance of constant brace.
Once resolved, he yawned and yawned and yawned as his whole mental image of “I am supposed to stay tense when humans are near” suddenly no longer made sense. Much like the last two days of answering, reading, replying and deleting emails on the dating sights, as men from my past were the first to reply when my profile posted. Several very nice, curious as to what I was up to, if there might be still a chance, and the one who started out sounding nice, then proceeded to try to commit me to why I was wrong for ending it. That’s where I found the true joy in the delete button, and the effectiveness of the blocking tab this afternoon.
Later after indulging in this feeling of freedom of choice I went to get my mount of yesterday to play with, see where we are currently both at. Watching him as I proceeded across the pasture, having to brush aside my personal horses, who were just curious in the desire of a quick scratch or two. While he tried to play me for hide and seek amongst them, just a much shorter than yesterday version, a definite change in how he perceives my leadership. Showing once haltered, a lower head set, with a softer follow and feel back to the saddling area. More breathing, relaxed watch, give and movement while I groomed, checked feet and saddled.
The groundwork was much less tense, he still struggling with the belief that “should a human touch the rope on the left side of my body, I should fling my head completely to the right and brace for the inevitable”.( He carries a large hole in the center of his forehead from meeting with some object before he came here) I am in such a place of wonder of my own personal change in reacting to others I figure this is the perfect time to help him through this.
So for the next hour, I ask in small, well defined feels of exactly where I want his nose to get to before I release it. Knowing just how much slack will be in the line for him to reach and touch his nose to my skin, actually physically asking “is this what you want?” The first time on the left took 20 minutes, the right about 30 seconds. The dance of ask, reply and release continues till I feel him start to actually look at me and begin yawning. Allowing all this old fear to bubble up, come out, and dissipate in the cooler evening skies. All the while I am comparing his fears, trepidations, and concerns which so match the way I use to, months ago, view and deal with so many things of my own. Amazed at the coincidence of sorting through each scenario in my mind, and his asking occurring about the same time.
Once done, he walked back almost sauntering, different, comfortable, much like me. I now know I am okay, I can say no, I can change my mind, I can ask, I can be turned down, turned on, found and left alone, and I absolutely completely love and approve of myself anyway. Without requiring anything from the peanut gallery, as my choices on the buffet table of life… Are all my choices, the ones that matter to me!