Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Is A Long One....Sorry!!!!

Okay guys...this is the last one! I promise!! And if you want someone to blame for all of this deep, equine induced soul searching, blame Chelsi over at Adventures of A Horse Crazed Mind!! She has been writing some really great stuff on this whole subject. LOL!!
As she has mentioned, there is something very therapeutic about writing down your thoughts and feelings, and I have seriously done a lot of deep thinking on this whole horses and danger thingy. It has been helpful for me to realize where my hesitations and hang-ups come from (beside the fact that I am a cautious person by nature), and I am sorry if this seems mundane to any you. After re-reading what I have written in the last two posts, and also after much thought (LOL!!!), I have come to the conclusion that I am a careful person who likes to think things through before I do them, and most importantly, that I am someone who likes to be in control.
Obviously having had two kidlets, I have learned to control my "control" issues so to speak (I don't ever want to be one of those psycho, boring, controlling mothers!!), but I still like to be in control of my own self, and of my own future. Who doesn't, right???
With this being said, I also like to be in control of my horses when I am on their backs. Something that is not hard to do with the right horse. This may be why I enjoy showing and doing arena work...the horse is on my turf, and under my control, and if I happen to lose that control, oh well...I am in an arena, right???

This is definitely not true when you are out on the trail. You may still be in control, but there is a lot more room for something to go wrong, and there are no walls/gates to protect you. Now I have trail ridden my whole life, but I primarily did so on a horse that could not be trusted while cantering or galloping, and there were many times that I thought my life would end by being thrown helter skelter, 25-30 mph, into a tree, or onto a stump, or over an get the idea!So where does this leave me now?? A 34 year old mother of two, who loves to trail ride, and has a great horse to do so with? Well a year ago when I started riding again after my eight year hiatus, it left me terrified to canter/gallop, and I had a difficult time trusting Bo not to kill me. Bo also had some trust issues after an incident that took place while he was back at his original owners house, and so there we were...two nervous, unsure bodies, looking for something/someone to trust in again.
Because Amber knows Bo so well, and because she knows me so well, she ambushed me into galloping the first time that we madly ran down the trail. This was last May, and I had cantered Bo in the arena (control!!!), but not out on the trail yet. She took off on Waska...without warning...and Bo, who likes to be in front, promptly charged off after him. I remember that at first I was frozen with fear. This was it. I was going to die. And then I remember yelling at Amber to please slow down, because Bo was surely going to try to buck, and that I was a mother with kids, and couldn't afford to be hurt. She just pulled up along side of me, looked over, laughed, and said "Mel, Bo is NOT going to hurt you! I promise. Now quit fighting with him, give him his head, and lets go!!" And off we went.
Now look at me!!! I am a galloping!!! I will admit that sometimes when I am galloping down the trail, leaning forward, with my hands up on Bo's neck, I start thinking of all of the things that could go wrong while we are running freely, but I now stop those thoughts, and don't let them come back in my head. I can't, or I won't gallop. It would be crazy to do so with the thoughts that try to come.

Anyway...Bo and I are really starting to build a trusting relationship with each other. We are finally connecting like I haven't connected with a horse in a long time, and that is because we are trusting each other. It really a nice feeling to have towards a horse, because I haven't ridden a horse that I can trust in years.
And don't get me wrong....Bo is not a beginners horse. He has to have a an experienced rider, because he knows how to pull a lot of crap, but I don't mind. I can handle it as long as he doesn't try to kill me when we are!!!
So thanks Chelsi!!! You have been an inspiration! :)

THE END!!!!!!


Natarojo said...

Aw Mel thank you for sharing! I havea similar fear. Last year at one of our drill team performances Peppy bolted on me and I swore I'd never run drill again for fear of it happening again. But then I stopped and thought about how it was all circumstantial and If I did whatever I could to prevent something like that from happening again, I'd be fine. Now don't get me wrong I am nervous about our first performance this year. The horses are all going to be hot and headstrong. But if I go in knowing I've done all I can do to prevent bolting, I'll be happy. And if it continues to happen, I am strong enough to fess up and say Peppy just sin't meant to run drill. So wish me luck for the summer!

Train Wreck said...

Aw, poor girl. I think it happens to all of us as we get older. I loved the thought of running full out on a horse, bareback. When I was younger. The more spirit the better. There was nothing I wouldn't ride, no fear. Now, well now I am older and wiser. I have a family to think about and pain hurts.he he. It is all about control, now. Good for you to overcome your fear. It will just take time. You are on your way my fearless friend.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Good for you, Mellie!

I was afraid of galloping, too.
And look what happened to me.

My terrible accident happened NOT while I was galloping......NOT while I was cantering...NOT even while I was trotting...and NOT even walking.
My horse and I were basically at a stand still...and something spooked her and she side stepped, jiggied, and teleportated to the right.

You gallop on girlfriend.
An accident can happen at anytime, but we just can't think about the 'Ifs', because then we will never live and enjoy life.

Viva Mellie!!

ova ya,

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

I've always had a cautious mind set when it came to horses. I was never the crazy kid that would try anything even though I got my first horse when I was 11.
I think we just get more cautious with age, your fears are valid and you just have a healthy respect that's good.
I think I've only truly galloped Lester once out on a trail (on purpose that is;-) I like being in control too.

Gail said...

Who said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself?
I'm proud of you!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

The best place to gallop is in an open field with lots of room ahead. I much prefer it to the arena. There is nothing so great as feeling the rush of air and motion as you gallop along. And the best part is that there is room to go until you feel one with the horse. Then the horse will get a little tired and become willing to slow down. It's a win-win situation.
I love running my horses!!!

allhorsestuff said...

I left a fantastically long comment here last night that was sure to incite a riot in you...and IT is NOT here today?? Huh!
I can't believe it! Waaaaa! Oh well,
Love you and will try to re-read your words and get my jive back later tonight!

Melanie said...


I am slowly learning to relax and enjoy that!!!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Take your time and choose a long open area for your canters. Horses do get tired eventually, or at least more willing to slow down. lol.

Also, always run AWAY from the barn, never towards home, unless you KNOW you can CONTROL your horse because then they COULD run all the way home. They are less likely to run away with you when heading away from the barn. This also gives time to cool them down, by always walking the last mile or two, towards home.

That last picture of the dark Arabian, that is what I hope Annie's foal looks like. Please everybody, cross your fingers for me.