Ride a pony

The last couple of weeks, I’ve switched it up from riding the gentle giant thoroughbred to a cute little grey pony. His colouring reminds me so much of my old horse Rolex, but his size and the fact that he’s half Welsh reminds me of Pirate the wonder pony. It’s so weird to be on a pony who reminds me so much of two of my great past horse loves.

Being on him I can remember how I felt on Pirate, they were probably some of the most free moments I’ve ever had in my life. We were invincible together and still when I look back at some of the crazy things we did and the jumps we cleared, I am in awe of our bond and our combined courage.

At this stage of my life, it’s really good to be reminded of how I felt when I was brave and courageous. I actually don’t think I ever stopped being brave, it just got clouded by anxiety and insecurity (and abuse). Every time I go for a ride, I feel like a more whole, complete version of myself.

Every girl should know the love of a horse

Current Grey Pony

(Reluctantly) embracing change

Today I was informed I was to ride a different horse in my lesson. Even when I rode all the time and was young and brave, I was hesitant to ride new horses. I’ve always been part badass brave and part chicken shit, but my confidence isn’t what it used to be. However I’m finding the more I’m riding the braver I’m getting – in the saddle and in life.

This new horse is huge! And he’s my instructors horse so he’s very well trained. After I got over my fear of heights I discovered I was really enjoying myself. It’s a constant challenge, these lessons, and I am always learning new things I can work on.

I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with my program lately, going back to school at this stage of life has not been easy. Riding helps me stay brave in all areas of my life


Out of my comfort zone

I had my riding lesson today – which really is my therapy session.

It’s coming, but I feel like as soon as I get my hands where they need to be, and my elbows at my sides, my knees move, or I lose my balance, or I’m posting on the wrong diagonal (happened today, I was embarrassed).

My horse was farting around and I didn’t get after him for it, so my instructor got after me. Then she said she was working hard to push me out of my comfort zone, because I was so resistant to it.


That’s the story of my life lately. For years I’ve prayed to be home, grounded, safe, happy. And for years there has been a crisis or trauma of some sort.

So I’m tired. I’m happy to sit quietly in my comfort zone and not make waves. I enjoy being invisible and just taking a few breaths.

But that isn’t life, and it certainly isn’t the way to grow and heal. And I need to continue with my growth and my healing.

Which means I need to be pushed out of my comfort zone.

Not suddenly, not dramatically, but quietly and lovingly. It doesn’t have to be leaps and bounds, but rather consistent, steady steps towards my goals.

It’s the best therapy I could ask for.


Back in the saddle

I had a riding lesson today. I’ve been having big breakthroughs, and massive meltdowns as I’ve been going along – last time was a bit of both and today was mostly breakthrough.

I finally told my instructor why I quit riding more than 20 years ago and how some of those fears (or all of those fears) were still there. She changed how we were doing things to enable me to feel more confident and secure, and therefore better able to communicate with my horse.

At the end of the lesson she got very emotional with me and said she knew how hard it was to get back on when I had been scared so badly (both in the past and more recently) and how most people would just give up riding forever.

I said how horses have always been my greatest healer and that we were not just healing my riding fears, but clearing so many of my life blocks as well.

I feel so grateful that I’ve got this instructor who gets me and understands how I need to be both pushed and held to feel safe.

It’s healing every part of my life.


Bonds of trust

I’ve always learned my best life lessons via my horse. Right now what I seek to be struggling with is trust – trust in myself, trust in others, trust in God (and apparently trust in my horse).

I also need to be trustworthy. Drishti needs to trust me as much as I trust him or we will never work. I need to be dependable, reliable, and predictable with him so he knows he can count on me.

Slowly, and with help, we are rebuilding. I’ve always believed that once trust is broken it’s shattered forever. But maybe, with intentional healing it’s possible that we will end up with an even deeper bond than we had before.


A year of pain – a year of growth

This has by far been the most difficult year of my life. If you had asked me a year ago what I thought was coming in the year ahead,  I would have said there was no way after the last few years that so much intense pain could be ahead of me, but there you have it.

A year ago today I took my unplanned dismount off my horse and shattered my shoulder, broke my helmet, and scared the crap out of myself. I spent almost 2 months barely able to move after that, needing help from my kids to do the most basic things for myself, and needing them to step up and help with care for my mom. It was truly humbling to have to ask for help to do up my bra and get dressed.  They both were pretty fantastic about everything, and we had unbelievable love and support from friends and family during that first little while which was the only way we made it through. We need our tribe.

Three days after I got the all clear from the doctor that my bone had healed properly and I could begin to strengthen and gain mobility, mom started chemo. Everything seemed so intense and time seemed to move at a slower pace, but in reality things went downhill for her very quickly after that. She was in the hospital for 5 weeks with pneumonia after her first few weeks of treatment and never fully regained her strength after that.

She came home for a couple of weeks at Christmas time which was a huge blessing, and we were able to celebrate the holiday and enjoy precious time with her then. Another dark cloud appeared during this time as the kids’ other grandma (Mr X’s mom) cut off contact with them and that relationship has never been repaired.

Mom went back into hospital not too long after New Years, and passed away January 18th.

As I was still trying to absorb that loss and mourn, my daughter became critically ill and the next few months were spent caring for and supporting her.

To add to my sorrow, I was betrayed by someone I loved and trusted which caused me incredible pain, and somehow Mr. X was allowed to fall through the cracks of the system and become almost $50,000 behind in his payments which has put a huge financial strain on my family.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my relationships and weeding out the ones that aren’t healthy for me. Sadly I’ve come to the conclusion that my most important relationship, my most loved one, after God and my children also isn’t one that I am able to continue and I’ve decided to sell my beloved horse. I will be getting a new one, but I’ve tried and tried and although I love him with all my heart it just isn’t meant to be.

Today I get to close the chapter on this year of pain. It doesn’t mean I get to leave all those emotions behind me, it just means that I intend to move ahead and continue to seek happiness and peace.

In reality, all I want to do is go to bed for 2 weeks and cry. We went and saw the second Mama Mia last night, and had I had any idea the storyline I would have chosen anything else. But it was ABBA, how could it be painful to watch right? It’s made me realize I haven’t even begun my grieving process and that I probably do need to stop and sit and cry for a little while.

So much has happened I don’t even know how to begin to absorb it.

One thing I do know is a lesson I learned from the person who deeply hurt me. I refuse to live the rest of my life being a victim of Mr. X, a victim of circumstance, a victim of low self worth, a victim of others. If the kids and I have walked through all we have been through in the last few years we are survivors, we are warriors, we have strength I never would have imagined possible.

I’ve been really struggling with my happiness journey lately. I’ve not wanted to blog or reflect on anything that has been going on. But today I feel that it’s time to move ahead, to let things go, to feel what needs to be felt. And there’s a certain amount of happiness in that release.


Old friends, good times

I had a visit with a friend I haven’t seen in over 20 years tonight. We both lived crazy, unexpected lives in those years, but at the core of it all we are the same people. I love getting together with someone after ages and it takes no time at all to get back to the same comfort as the friendship of the past.

We know where each other’s bodies are buried – we have to stay friends.

Our teen years and early 20s were spent together riding our horses and getting into trouble. So now we talk about horses and how we used to get into trouble. But mostly horses and our kids and our dreams for how our lives are now. We both are pretty grateful for the lives we have and that makes catching up so much easier.

I am so thankful I have made such great friends in my lifetime. My relationships are the most important thing in my life and it’s awesome that I am surrounded by such good people. It’s soul happiness.


Trust in him

Trust is essential and as I’m learning to trust myself again  I know that self trust is only one piece of the pie. I need to trust in myself, trust in my Higher Power, trust in others, and trust in the process of life.

Trust in others has often been difficult for me – partly because I didn’t trust myself enough not to put my faith in those who aren’t trustworthy- but trust is something I did learn to do as a small child, out in a field, on the back of my horse.

In order to make the horse/rider relationship work the way I like it to, we both have to trust each other with our lives. And I have to do this all the while knowing that either one of us could make a mistake that could cause injury or worse. Yet we trust and we go. We have to. Of course, you need a horse who is safe and sane and a rider who is the same.

Thank God for Drishti, he’s helping me rebuild my trust and faith in myself and I’m learning to trust him as well (even when he’s a turd).

I wish this process was more unicorns and rainbows, it feels like it should be more unicorns and rainbows. Instead it’s a lot of tears and pushing through fear and praying nonstop that I’ll make it through to the other side. But the other option was to stay where I was before, and that would have destroyed me. If you’re going through hell, keep on going.

I remember when I got Rolex years ago and he was (also) a total turd. When I would go to get on and put my foot in the stirrup, he used to bend his head around and bite my butt. Then as I was hauling myself up into the saddle, he used to bolt across the arena bucking. This was what I did for fun y’all.  But it also kind of feels like life – I held on and learned to make him listen to me, and once we got each other sorted out we were an amazing team. I used to jump him over 5 foot oxers with my arms straight out at my sides, his head completely free, me praying like mad that I’d survive. We trusted each other. Trust is an essential step on the road to happiness. I need to trust again.


Focus on my Drishti

I need to spend more time with my horse, he is my Drishti in every sense of the word. He is what balances me, connects me to the Divine, brings me peace and joy, and reminds me that miracles are possible.

In yoga when you focus on your Drishti, the chaos and noise of the world vanish and through your pose you are able to connect to the Source of all that is love. That focus is what brought me to him, that is what he does for me now.

I’m trying to sort out what I want for my life – how do I want it to be? Who do I want to be? It needs to be very intentional moving forward. I feel like I’ve made most of my life decisions based on what will make other people happy. Now I need to figure out what makes me happy and live life that way.

Nothing is permanent, nothing is guaranteed, but I am determined to fill my life with people and moments that bring me joy. If this very second isn’t the moment to experience bliss then when is the time? What if tomorrow doesn’t come? I can’t put off my own happiness, and I won’t do that to my kids – they need to learn how to embrace life too, they’re watching me.


Never seen you so happy

Keeping with my commitment to look after myself, I got up early this morning and did my morning pages and meditated before the kids got up. For the last few months instead of getting up and doing my morning routine I’ve been lying in bed for an extra hour thinking about how tired I am.

It left me feeling really good and I had a very productive morning which felt amazing. I treated myself after by spending time with my boy

I feel like we are putting the pieces back together and hopefully in the next few days I’m riding again.

When I picked up the kids from school the girl looked at me and said

You know mom, I’ve never seen you so happy as you’ve been since you got Drishti.

I’ve realized this is the first time they’ve seen me like this. I’m not living the dream of someone else – I’m following my dharma, using the gifts that God gave me, doing things that make my soul sing.

I’ve made big changes in my life and the kids have supported me every step of the way. The happier I am, the more I give to myself, the more I have to give them and everyone else. And that’s the point of this happiness journey after all.