I had a crash course in determination and facing fear today thanks to my lovely equine.
When I got Drishti the girl told me that he was super easy to catch and that he was at the bottom of the pecking order in his field. Well he used to be super easy to catch, but lately he has decided to make it a bit more of a challenge for me. The other day he ran away from me, and when I went to the head of the herd (Jackson) to catch him, Drishti came at him and head butted him until he also ran away. I eventually caught Jackson and immediately Drishti got so jealous he couldn’t stand it and let me catch him.
Today when I went out the same thing happened, he ran away, except this time he changed things up when I went to catch Jackson. I was just about to put on the halter and Drishti came charging up and pushed at Jackson with his chest until Jackson finally gave up and moved away. Interestingly Drishti never had his ears pinned or looked annoyed, it was like he thought he was playing a really un-fun-for-mom game. Finally I did the same thing as before- caught Jackson, had Drishti get all jealous, and caught him.
I really missed my grandma’s old dog who would chase the horses into the corral saving me hours of running up and down the field trying to catch stubborn ponies in my childhood (*cough* Pirate *cough*).
He was a jerk, I had to lunge him for a good 15 minutes to get him to calm down then I saddled him up and took him out in the field. He felt a little spooky (he never spooks) and suddenly the other horses galloped by in the next field. Drishti curled into a little ball of stress and had a momentary freak out that fortunately didn’t turn into a bucking fest.
I pulled him back to a walk, got us both under control and had to think for a few seconds about what I wanted to do. Part of me wanted to just bail, he was not his usual chill self and I didn’t feel like getting hurt. The part of me that wants to get stronger and heal knew that if I gave up I would be scared again. So, I made him do work – we did circles, we worked on bending, we did some transitions. He was tired when we were done, and I felt happy. Happy I had faced a fear, happy because when I am riding my spirit sings.
It’s an interesting space we are in right now, this between time as we wait for my lawyer and the US system to force Mr. X to start making his court ordered payments again. It baffles me the lack of conscience this man has, but it’s been a good reminder that he just doesn’t care. At all. About anything. And along with the fear, there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from knowing that I must give up any expectations of him ever doing the right thing for his kids. It’s a painful lesson, and one I seem to have had to learn over and over, but I think I’ve got it now.