No, I didn’t get a new bed covering. I’ve just gotten so much comfort from this semi-tubby, big-hearted paint horse. Today, this guy left me feeling 100% better after yet another day of surprises and confusion.
I hadn’t been riding too much in the past couple of weeks, because I really don’t think it’s a good idea to climb up on a thousand-pound animal when you’re having anxiety attacks, even if it’s your friend.
I have been hanging out with the horses a lot, though, and they’ve all acted like they cared about me, with lots of rubs and hanging out. But Apache has been so sweet. He’s always looking for me. Today, when I went to get him to ride, because I was feeling better, both he and Drew galloped up, while the others hardly noticed. Sure, they probably wanted food. But it made me feel good.
But it’s today’s ride that brought me the most comfort. It was the kind of ride I’d dreamed of my whole life. My horse and I were trusting each other, paying attention, and having fun while working on new things. Wow.
He was paying attention to me, even when he wasn’t doing what I asked. That meant it was easy to correct things and start again. We trotted and walked and made our circles. We went into the dry lot I use as a mini-arena and we did all sorts of things. He started to do what he wanted as we headed toward the pens, but I was able to get his attention and have him do circles until he was doing better. I did real ones, which I hadn’t managed before.
We then went all over the parts of the front field where he used to go wild and eat grass constantly. None of that happened. We just rode where I aimed him.
But what truly comforted me and warmed my heart was what he did before and after the ride. Before starting, I had to shew both Granny and Fiona out of the round pen, and rather than start to graze or wander off, he patiently stood where I left him. And after I got off, he waited again while I messed with my helmet and stuff, then leaned his sweaty neck against me, like he was saying he had fun, too.
I’ve got such a true and patient friend in Apache. He’s kindly waited for me to develop the confidence and skills to become partners and learn together. And I was patient while I waited for him to heal from his laminitis and hoof abscess. He’s paying me back!
Yeah. Being able to find comfort and stability even amid tough changes, an endless pandemic, and divisiveness around every corner…that’s a treasure.