Posted by: Judy | April 12, 2018

Odd Bit…

…about me, sort of. Anne Leueen, over at Horse Addict, rides dressage:

I chose to share this particular post as she explained riding under the lights.

While I was working with my second counselor, I was gifted with an 18-year-old gelding. He was three-quarters Arabian and one-quarter Appaloosa. He was a gray, which meant he was white with brown speckles, also known as flea-bitten gray. He may have been a gelding, but he frequently acted like a stallion, flirting with all the mares. He had a bad back and a tendency to colic.

He’d had a rough first five years, abuse. His next owner did amazing things with him. She gave him to me for a song and a buck because she didn’t have the time to give him that he needed. She saw the connection he and I had.

We had an unforgettable relationship. When he came into my life I quit counseling. I liked my counselor, but I felt better working with my horse. I called him “my 1,000 pounds of therapy every day.” “When you start the day shoveling sh*t nothing worse can happen the rest of the day.” For five years, I drove out to where I stabled him and grained and groomed him. I did some riding but not a lot. I discovered the wonder of sharing my life with such an independent thinker.

I also called him my sassy baggage. To this day, I miss hearing him talk to me, low sounds in his throat and chest. I miss the way he’d try to sweet talk me for a treat.

He came into my life rather unexpectedly and yet… maybe not. I’d told the Lord that I knew what to do with an angel child as my dog was sweet as the day was long. I wondered if I could handle a problem child. God sent me my horse. My dog appreciated that the horse didn’t live with us. She preferred being an only child.

Why did all this come up in my head? I read Anne Leueen’s post and remembered that my horse was trained to second level dressage. I knew this when I took over his care, but it didn’t connect in my brain. The poor guy was always in trouble for drifting left. I corrected him and corrected him and corrected him… it was not fun, for either of us. One day, a few years into our relationship, I remembered something a number of horse trainers have said. The most recent I’d heard was Monty Roberts: “People don’t have horse problems; horses have people problems.” I finally asked, “What am I doing wrong?” I’d torn all the ligaments in my right ankle the summer after high school. The parents refused to take me to a doctor. By the time I took myself, more than a month later, my doctor shook his head and said, “I’m sorry, but you’re going to have trouble for the rest of your life. There’s nothing I can do to help you now.” The ankle healed, with my foot twisted out. It finally dawned on me that because of the awkward way my ankle healed, I was constantly putting pressure on my horse’s right side, so he drifted left. Yep, it was all my fault. I struggled to straighten my foot the best I could. I never corrected him for drifting left again. I worked to change what I did.

The frustrating part of the whole thing? Several years after he passed away, I saw a physical therapist who gave me a simple exercise to straighten out my foot. I did it less than a half dozen times; my foot has been straight ever since. Knowing ten years earlier would have saved us both a lot of grief and frustration.

Why didn’t God reveal this sooner? I don’t know. God could have kept me blind to the information. I don’t believe for a moment He wants me to live in regret. What did I learn? To examine myself for the source of the problem, not in the way my abusers did where everything was my fault but as a flawed  human being with plenty of room for improvement.

Sorry, I have no pictures of my horse on my computer.

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