Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Renewed Faith

A Renewed Faith

In my last post I asked “why we all do it” what intangible element keeps us committed to our equine friends and I can’t tell you how valuable and reassuring I found everyone’s responses. In a world where the simple pleasures are so often lost in the shuffle, I found through your comments that there are many people who, like I, find great merit in the simple company of a horse.

“Enjay” wrote about how the simple act of leaning on a horse and just feeling them breathe, listening to their heart beat and feeling their warmth is part of what brings her joy. How beautiful is that! I can remember when I was a little girl, I fell hopelessly in love with one of my Dad’s fillies that was destined for a racing career. When “Sugar” was just a foal I would sneak out of the house with my pillow and sleep with her in the pasture with her dam watching over us both. And so many years later it is that simple sensation of feeling her breathe that stays with me.

Kate wrote that she feels that horses are more fully alive and aware than we are and being with her horse helps her be more fully present and less in the me, me, me mode. Well Amen to that. God only knows how self absorbed I would be if I didn’t have my horses, dogs and cats to keep it real. There are my equalizers and my equilibrium. Without them my life does lack balance, humility, and that gentle reminder that I am just that little part in a very big picture.

Maryann wrote that just a little sniff from her horse Banjo is all she needs to keep her committed. Boy Am I happy that I am not the only person addicted to horse slobber. Isn’t it amazing that horse goobers makes us content. I know we are a little weird, but what a great kind of weird. On the rare occasion that I travel for something that is not horse related, I start to go through horse smell withdrawals. Years ago when I had an “office type” job I had to travel to New York for a week of meetings. After a couple of days I was going stir crazy and had to ask to pet one of the Central Park carriage horses to ease my homesickness. Finally, my hands smelled like a horse. I didn’t want to wash them all day so I wouldn’t lose the smell and yes, my coworkers thought I was certifiable.

And my good friend Michele Scott wrote that for her it is all about the unconditional love. That her horses are what ground her and fill her life in so many ways. This I know, because I have the pleasure of boarding Michele and her daughter’s horses at my barn. Krissy and Monty know that they are favored children and have boundless personalities as a result. Michele and I have discovered that we have almost a freakish amount of things in common and one of them is our bond with the horses. We can talk for hours about the silly little things that each of the horses do, noticing every nuance and detail like they are golden. It is so nice to have someone in the barn with the same level of connection to the horses as I do. As a trainer I have to deal with every type of personality from parents to kids and some of it is good and some, bluntly, not so good. I have learned to temper myself, be more accepting of various levels of commitment and not to always be so exacting in my standards. But if the horse’s quality of care is compromised, I back away and they lose me as a trainer.
I really loved the comments from “OneDandyHorse” who talked about how the only time in her life without a horse was one of her worst. She now has a young horse and they calm each other and are true partners. She wrote that her horse lessons her burdens and is her joy. Like this writer, I have a horse that was saved from an auction and he has also become one of the greatest joys in my life. I will write more about this horse in the future, but in three years “Hank” has gone from 2 steps away from a rendering plant to being a winning Event Horse and one of the greatest joys of my life. His personality is still emerging from the darkness of abuse and distrust, but he is progressing into a great horse and an even greater friend. I too don’t know if I could live without horses in my life and really hope I never have to find out.

Lastly, Gayle wrote that it was only after getting a horse that she really started to write. Why is that you think. Perhaps it is the grounding, perhaps we write best when we have other fulfillment. My biggest challenge with my writing and my horses and my training career is balancing it all. I have not quite figured out how to not over commit myself and let the hours fly by without getting all of the things accomplished I needed to. I know this may sound trite but there really doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. How do you all do it? How do you keep your writing and riding in balance with each other. Boy could I use some advice.


OneDandyHorse said...

I don't know how I do it! I think that my horses, for me, are my energy, when I am around them, I am replenished instead of drained. My day to day job drains me, but I forget all about it, when I am on my way to the barn. I could spend countless hours hugging my mare, she hugs me right back... when my arms are around her neck and my head pressed against her, she tilts her head and rests it on my shoulder and back, I get the feeling that she loves me a whole lot. I love her to death and I hope she knows it. I would never do anything to hurt her and she saved my bum from risky situations more than once... if I am ever in doubt, I just let her sort it out... since she is the one that is going to put her feet in there, better she chooses where and how. She will go through anything. For writing, well, I'm not a professionnal writer so I don't really incorporate that in my daily life... although I could write about horses all day! I have started a blog on my story with horses from beginning to today and you may visit at:


Promise said...

I have also taken the time to figure out what I spend on Promise every year. It is scary and depressing. I think, sometimes, what I could have or could do if I didn't have her.

And then, I think how miserable I would be without her. I don't see her or get to ride as much as I would like, because life gets in the way while I sit behind a desk. But I know she is always there - and whether she is waiting for me or just being a horse...all that matters is, she is there. She is loved. She is safe. She gets to eat, and play, and exist without a care in the world.

When times are tough, she is the first one I want to see and talk to. She doesn't judge, she doesn't try to solve my problems...she just listens, and plays with my hair while I lean on her. The simple act of her lips moving on top of my head can break any fog, and make me laugh.

When I had to put the dog I grew up with to sleep last fall, Promise was the only presence I wanted near me. I don't know if she appreciated the "human slobber" I left on her neck in tears, as much as I love the horse slobber, but I do know that she held me up better than the people in my life could in that situation.