First off, thank you all for the sweet and supportive comments on my last post. The kind words mean so much to me.
Yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life. I was depressed, stressed, so much on my mind. So many regrets. So much guilt. I felt like laying around in a dark room all day, but that’s impossible with my life. So I threw all of my problems on everyone else and it caused so much friction. I went to bed knowing that today had to be different, and I knew what I needed.
I had planned to start him out in the arena and take him to the hayfield, but I knew this; number 1, if I went to the arena first, I’d somehow create nerves out of nothing and end up not riding in the field. Number 2, arena work typically creates more stress for me if I’m in a weird mood because I equate arena with training. So does Red. And I didn’t want to put any expectations on this ride, didn’t care how he looked, or how I looked, I needed to ride and forget about everything that was stressing me. So I threw on my helmet and tack, and walked him up to the field. Maybe he sensed my weird mood, but he let me mount right up, made a few laps in the field while I kept my reins too tight and my body was defensive because we haven’t really ridden in a field in so long, and when I do, it’s after hard work in the arena and I defensively force him into a walk. Walking, however, wasn’t what I wanted to do. I warmed him up, got comfortable, and gradually felt a little better. We made a few laps, and I let him start to trot up the hills and we trotted through the field and explored and ran around and I let him go whatever speed he wanted.
I haven’t trotted this horse in a field in forever without fear crippling me and stopping him before he got too fast. I haven’t done hill work in over a year because of my fears, and hill work used to be my favorite thing ever. Running up them and having Red enjoy himself and not worrying about things used to be my happy place. But my stress ruined that for me, and I needed to take that happy place back.
I asked him to lope, and he did. Didn’t have a beat of an issue. Despite him being terribly out of shape from not cantering; I didn’t push him much, but he did lope all the way up one hill and was dripping sweat from that so I let him trot the rest of the time. Guess we need more hill work, lol.
We rode for over an hour, and it was the best ride we’ve had in forever. Feeling like I have my old horse back, and I’m starting to get my old self back.
Someone apparently called my mother when I was gone to ask how I was coping, and she told them I was riding. According to her, she planned on forcing me on a horse this evening regardless. Thankful to have a mother who understands. She’s been through lots of hard times. She’s lost her father. And every time life got hard, she’d get on her horse and ride. Funny how similar our lives turned out.
So, I rode. I rode fast. In a field. I didn’t die. Or cry. Or melt down. I shook off my fears and I managed to shake off the sadness for a few hours, thanks to horses.
How do normal people cope with things without having the ability to ride a horse..?