There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
My grandmother was a strong and classy woman, she always held herself with grace and although I know she had seen more of the world and its trials then many, she never seemed to push her thoughts on anyone. She had stood by my grandfather as he chased his dreams of horses and cattle and watched her children grow up on their backs. I am sure that she knew more than most, being the one to patch the bruises to body, ego and heart, how hard, yet rewarding I life with horses could be.
I am reminded recently of a conversation I had as a child with my grandmother. I was horse crazy from the get go and decided very early that my life would always be with this magnificent creatures. My grandmother, being very wise and sensible started a discussion with me about the perhaps imprudent plans I had for my future.
“ I understand you love horses Allison but how will you make a living with them?”
In my young idealistic way I looked at her like she was asking a question with an obvious answer …. “ I will ride them and train them and teach others to do the same Grandma”
“ But riding is dangerous Allison what if you get hurt and can’t ride anymore? You won’t have anything to fall back on… what will you do then?”
I did not miss a beat “ I will learn to drive a cart”
At this point realising that her message was not getting through to her young granddaughter she tried a stronger approach…. “What if you lose your sight or the use of your legs?”
I was not to be thwarted though “ I will do what I can, teach my horse to be my eyes or legs, or get someone to drive for me! But my life will always be with horses Grandma”
I am reminded of this conversation that happened over 25 years ago now because it seems, I am learning to drive. This change in my personal relationship with horses does not just have to do with ability and such but more to do with the evolution of our lives with horses. Can I ride still? Yes, but it seems at least for now I need to safe guard my ability to do other physical things in my life and business and a fall from my “crazy horse” would interfere with that greatly. SOOOO ….. what do I do? Hand her over to someone else to train and love? I DON’T THINK SO!! I continue with the plan I always had, to create the strongest bond I could with my horsey soul mate. I roll with the punches and think outside the box. I teach tricks and have her pull tires and harrows in hopes that a sled will soon be in our future. Will I rider her again??? I sure hope so but if not I will try not to mourn the evolution of our relationship.
You see, this time it is me that has hit a road block, perhaps next time it will be her. Things will always change, rejig and evolve. When we make the choice to be with horses it means that I have to be open to these new chapters and changes. We will mourn when we need to and then find a new way to share these wonderful animals’ lives.
So is a life with horses.
My horse’s feet are as swift as rolling thunder
He carries me away from all my fears
And when the world threatens to fall asunder
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.