Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dreams, Soul Searching and Tears.

I had a dream once.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching.
And with that comes a lot of tears.

Yes my dream was to have a horse ever since I could remember.
And on.....
April 14th, 2006
I realized that dream when I got Sissy.

But lately I have been doing a lot of soul searching too.
Because it has been over 3 years,
and I am not to the place I thought I would be at.

I keep telling myself that "Patience" is a virtue and that I will be rewarded.
At this point I can not see it.

It is me....
It is NOT my horse.

I have done a lot with Sissy.
From the GROUND!

She listens to me.
She will follow my lead.
Why, I can even get her to TIPPY TOE!
Yes, if we ever had to sneak into some place, Sissy could do it!

A year ago,
I got another horse to help to build my riding confidence.
That confidence was really shot down in the past week.

I took Sadie and Sissy to an obstical trail challenge.
I had no intention of riding Sissy through,
my goal was to walk her through it.

 Expose her to different things.
 She snorted at all the new smells.
 Sissy is making it look easy, and the photos do not show
her acting up because in the background Sadie is Whinnying!
As well as she was.
She was being an unruly child!

See....3 feet from each other!
But yet, I can find one on each end of the pasture at different times.

A very good friend and prior owner of Sadie Rode her through the challenge.

It was not a good experience.
Sissy and Sadie are so buddy sour they could not get
10 feet from each other.
Whinny and carry on they did.
Neither of us had the soul attention of our horses.

I feel like I have ruined Sadie, because she never use to be like that.
Although, I AM ONE that DOES SPEND TIME with her horses!
I groom them!
Bathe them!
Give them good scratches!
Talk to them!
Walk with them!

At times I feel that maybe I should just ignore them,
Don't pay any attention to them!
Never groom them!
Don't teach them any manners!
Never handle them!
Just sit and watch them play in the field, and run as a wild herd!

Because I can tell you, that is exactly what my neighbors philosophy is
and ONCE a year, THEY RIDE! And there is not even a rodeo!

Then a couple days later on a beautiful day,
I thought I would take Sadie for a walk down to the river.
(Because my goal is to be able to ride along the river.)
She did very well, with Sissy whinnying in the back ground till we were out of ear shot,
and on the sand.

When we got to the sand, something struck Sadie,
weather it was the smell of the water,
or the realization that Sissy was not around,
I am not sure.

 Doing some back ups.
Totally alert, looking for something!

But run all over me she did.
I made her do circles,
lots of backing up.
30-40 minutes we worked on the sand.
Finally I did get her to calm down enough to be able to leave the beach.
I was tired, but it was a good tired.


No way would I of been able to ride her through that.
My riding skills are beginner level.

I do happen to be the only one in my neighborhood to
take my horses for a

My goal at this time in my life, was to be able to go out,
toss my saddle on my horse,
and take a short spin around the pasture.
I am not even looking at trail riding at this point!

JUST the pasture, and I would be happy!

I have a chance to take lessons with my favorite instructor,
but they are on Thursdays at 6 PM. 
You know what the means?
IT IS DARK outside.
Go catch my horse in the dark.
Put other horse in round pen in the dark.

Load my horse in the dark.
Unload my horse in the dark.
I am not totally comfortable with that. 

I am doing a lot of soul searching to see if I can see myself even riding my horse.
If not, then I need to find a home for her.
and this is where the tears come in.
I can not even fathom the idea of Sissy living anywhere else.
It tears my heart and guts up inside.
But her being a pasture pet, is totally out of the question.

So what do you with a horse, 
because of your own self confidence level
you are not comfortable riding?

Am I selfish keeping her?
I don't know.
Can I find her a forever home?
I doubt it. (Nothing is guaranteed forever!)

Do I enjoy spending time with her?
Yes, very much so.
 Can I have a second horse?
No, because Sissy corrupts them immediately.

With the winter coming on, and hay in the barn, 
I think I will hibernate on it.
Maybe the spring time will bring a renewed
joy in my heart and courage that I will 
need to work on my confidence level.


lifein3dee said...

Tough one. Horses are big animals, and have the ability to hurt a person badly.I got my 1st horse at 6, and grew up on a Quarter horse ranch, so I can't really remember having to overcome the fears/nerves (in general). Naturally there were some horses that had bad dispositions that I didn't want to be around.

It sounds like you are smart enough to know you are a "beginner" (which is a good thing!), and the horse has figured out she can get a bit bossy with you.

IMO,geldings generally are more even tempered and make better pleasure horses than mares.But all horses will push the envelope and get away with whatever they are allowed to.Much like children.

All horses are prone to the herd instinct.When they are in with others, they can quite easily become buddy sour. So don't feel bad about that.The trick is, to not let them get away with the "I just want to go back to my pal" behavior.

Maybe this horse isn't a good match for you.Even though I have ridden countless horses, there are some who are beyond my comfort level.And I won't ride them.

As for a pasture pet...if it is something you can afford and enjoy, there is nothing wrong with that. My dad has 7 and only one is really ridden.Others were rescues, etc. He also was injured and can't ride, but he likes looking out his window and seeing them.

I think hibernating on it is a good idea.If you decide to sell her, okay. If you decide to continue working her, okay. And if you decide she makes a great companion, that's okay too!

Gail said...

Sleep on it.

Think about having the horse trained away from the buddy.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your words made me cry....they could have been written by me.
30+ years of desiring, with all my heart, my own horse. And all of that dashed with my first horse.

I may ride again, but I doubt it will be on my mare. She's always been a handful with her spooks and her barn sourness, and she doesn't even have a buddy. She's just lazy, spoiled and independant.

Some tell me to send her a way with a trainer, but she's 16 years old almost 17 yrs old. How much of her behavior is training issues and how much is behavior...and can her behavior be changed that much? She's a mare! And I know it's not fair to label, but we all know how mares can be.

My focus was to have a horse I could ride, so it's been quite a challenge to change my expectations to just having a pasture pet. But I do remember that my love is also just being around horses, seeing horses, smelling horses and listening to them munch hay. I've come to realize that the joy isn't just in riding, but also in the owning of a horse.
I think my lesson from this is to not just look at the horse as something to be used, but as something that can also just be enjoyed for what it different than a dog or a cat....or a beautiful, expensive piece of art.

All that being said, I wish my mare was more dog-like and wanted to be more affectionate. That would make it much easier to welcome her as a pasture pet. I'd be better off just adopting one of the older, lame horses from the Horse Rescue that just wanted to be loved on, if so.

Anyway, I've rambled enough. I think it's wise to just hibernate and do some soul searching until Spring. Consider it a journey and maybe the answers will be revealed to you along the way.

(((Gentle Hugs)))


Tammy said...

Oh, Mrs. C. I could have written what you wrote. Finally got my dream & didn't plan on the fear. It's been almost 10 yrs and although the fear is still there, it's not with me every moment. Went thru a few horses before I found "my dream horse" - which was nothing what I was looking for, but like your Sissy, we worked for it.

What helped me the most was a great circle of friends. I found my horse did a lot better away from our other horses. So I would trailer off and meet friends. That helped build my confidence. I can now ride her away from our barn & other horses without incident.

Lessons is a great idea and I totally understand about loading in the dark, etc. I hate that, too & find I hardly go anywhere in the winter. Is there a chance you could find a trainer to work with you on weekends?

Anxious to see more posts about your challenges and hope I can at least lend an ear. I want to tell you not to give up - hang in there - but ultimately, you have to make that choice.

Again, I was there and made it! I hope you do, too.

allhorsestuff said...

Hello there,
Jsut popped on over to find you soul searching.
Tough. You have made so much headway with her I see and also, these things are very common...ans she is teaching you so much about yourself. Fear is good really, whn it makes you move a different direction for a safer outcome. I know, I have had my share with my mare.
I love all you do with your mare and hope you give it a long hard and she deserve that.
Me, I am deciding to lower my demands for myself+ mare and enjoy each time for what it brings. It has gotten even better, since that decision.
Kacy K w/ Washashe mare~

Holly said...

Been there, done that, have the t-shirt.

I had horse from the time I was 16 till 1995. In 1995 I came off my mare and got hurt. Badly hurt. Sold her, sold all the tack and went to dogs instead. Never looked back till I bought Xenia for Courtney. After Court made the decision to move in with me and away from her dad I had been riding Xee for a bit and was comfortable on her so I knew one horse for 2 of us would not be enough. I started to look for a horse for me and had strict criteria. Had to be a mare, had to be registered, had to be less than 15H and had to have marketable bloodlines (and I had to think she was cute), and the price had to be right. Enter my mare. She had been led'n'fed which meant she had little to no respect for people. I spent a year civilizing her before I got on the first time and if I had not had my barn owner, my friend and my fearless daughter to help me...I would have sold her. She scared me. So what I did was learned how to discipline her, not just back her up but discipline her(and honestly...she is a teeny tiny bit afraid of me). Then I took the riding in baby steps with Cyndi, Laurie or Court leading her while I rode. Then to a lunge line, then to no line but someone walking beside me and now I'm comfortable with her.

I think if you hibernate all winter you are just putting off a decision. If you have nobody to help you...sell the mare. If you have someone to work up a plan and help implement it AND you think you can work through your fears, try it. But first have a plan and then decide on a time limit to get it started. You might not make the progress you think you will or it might go better and faster than you think it will but start with a plan.

Best of luck to you!

You might be interested in this blog too...

Holly said...

Mrs. email is

Reluctant Cowboy said...

Enjoy your pictures.....I used to visit my grandmother there until they raised the river and she was Ione of all places.

Hibernation is fine as long as you don't let fear and doubt grow. When you are ready there are a lot of things you can do. Just ask your friends here and I'm sure you'll get more hints and help than you imangined possible.

If it helps we've all had that pit of the stomach wake up and pay attention moments. Sometimes they grow and sometimes they are just passing moments.

manker said...

do a "gut check'.. or what i've dubbed a "g-d instinct".. if you feel in your heart of hearts that you can do it... go for it.

such was the case with my first horse an OTTB mare 4 years ago.. Couple of trainers said.. get another horse to learn on but I felt.. I could do it with this mare... Long story short.. lotsa training, work, play et c... she's my equine soulmate