So OK. So I’ve wanted a horse since I was nine years old. Off and on. So now I’ve got one and guess what ?
I’m scared. I’m really, really scared because I’m scared that I’ve done a very stupid thing. Matter of fact, I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve done stupider things, WAY stupider (to which a sister-in-law says “Haven’t we all?” which makes me love her even more — I am lucky in in-laws, tell you what!) than buy a very nice horse.
Dennis, Leah’s husband, helped me with my most recent melt-down. I do that far more than I’d like and I don’t really understand why I dissolve into tears so much. Isn’t it a sign of weakness and what-not? Shouldn’t I display sang-froid at all times? Shouldn’t I fell sang-froid at all times? Don’t you love that phrase? My friend Margaret taught it to me many years ago, when we were kids, when we both wanted to be masters of sang-froid. I should speak for myself. I wanted to be a master of it (I was what, eleven?). Didn’t work then. Doesn’t work now.
Yesterday, I went to visit Gabby and to lunge/longe/whatever her. I got her into the cross ties, groomed her, put on her brand-new splint boots, headed towards the indoor arena . . .and felt myself going downhill. I think the worst thing that happens is that I feel like a fraud, like I don’t know what I’m doing in the slightest, that the horse knows, that anyone within a half a mile of me knows, that I have no business at all being a horse owner and that I’d just better give Gabby away as quickly as possible and content myself with toys, no more lessons, just toy horses. Times like that, I feel as thought the sky is pressing down on me and I’m nothing more than the kid who doesn’t get it. I brought Gabby back to the cross-ties and that’s when Dennis came in and I said, “I can’t do this.”
“Yes you can,” he said, “She’s a very nice horse. She’s good. She’s a really good horse. Come on. I’ll help.” And so we got Gabby’s halter on her and we walked to the arena. Dennis found a long whip for me (oh crap, I didn’t put it back, I just left it in the sand! Darn but it’s easy to leave stuff lying about!) and talked me through it. I got her going, walk, trot and canter. She dropped her head and went, went easier the other way even, and Dennis made sure it was OK for him to get back to work.
I was reminded — again — that whatever my feelings are, they are OK. That I need to talk to the barn owners about them (the feelings) and not be shy about it.
So I worked Gabby a little more then took her back, brushed her, painted her hooves with hoof-stuff, put her new blanket on her (and left the old one on the floor or something –dang it again! Jeez!), wrote her name with a Sharpie on all 4 of her splint boots, her lead, her brushes,her everything, got her back in her stall, gave her some treats, and thought I would collapse. My goodness but I was tired.