Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is Important

The view from the back of my horse today is what is important. In the worst of circumstances, the power to see the positive side of any situation.

My friend Shannon tied a horse to a gate, the horse spooked, dragging the gate and injuring himself and Shannon in the process. Shan has a broken back and pelvic bone, the horse had a few staples . Tying horses to moveable objects is never a great idea but what is important is that neither of them were killed.

As my 50th birthday approaches, I must admit that it bothers me because I really wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. Time and finances won't allow me to go on a cruise or have a big blowout party but I have a husband who tries to make me happy with smaller gestures and what is important is that I almost lost him once and the good Lord let me keep him on this earth a little bit longer and that is what is important. That he loves me enough to want to celebrate my birthday and he is here.

In training our gelding, Hootie, I have worked in the round pen for quite some time getting him over his fear of basically everything that frightens him. I was frustrated beyond belief because I have waited three years to be able to ride this horse that I have raised from the day he was born. Everytime I tried to put my foot in the stirrup, he would bolt. I grew tired and took a break but never left the round pen because I didn't want to end the session on a bad note. I sat on a barrel in the middle of the pen and something wonderful happened.

As I sat there, I looked around at a day that was perfect. It is Indian Summer here in Ohio and the temperatures are high and the sky was blue and leaves continue to fall creating a blanket of reds and yellows and oranges and it occurred to me that what was important here was that I have the ability to get this horse past this hump after years of working with horses. What is most important is that if I stop rushing the process and allow him to figure it out on his own time, I will have created a horse that I will enjoy for years to come.

As I sat there in my frustration admiring the beauty around me, he walked over to me as if to say "be patient, I am frightened and I need your guidance." I traced the lines around his eyes with my fingertips and stroked his beautiful black mane and just "visited"with him. Once I calmed down, he calmed down and the lesson continued. NO, today was not the day that I would take my first ride on his back but what was important was that it reminded me of why I love horses in the first place. I was reminded how fortunate I am to have them in my life and that the day will come when he is ready for this big step and I don't want to rush him. Something tells me that there may be six inches of snow on the ground before he comfortably accepts me as his rider and these frustrating days will have been forgotten but what is important now is patience.

In the darkest, most frustrating times, we have to remember what is important in life and cling to it. I sent Shannon a care package of halloween candy, magazines and other things and as the days of indian summer come to an end I will continue to patiently work with this horse as often as time allows and just enjoy it for what it is and remember what is important.


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