So much happened when I stayed at Blue Star Equiculture last week. I think it will be a very long time before it all makes itself known to me in my work and in my writing.
One of the things that really affected me was an incident that happened during the Driving Class with one of the horses, Mario. The students had been driving the horses on a path through the fields. At one point, Mario, a gorgeous black Percheron, got spooked. Nothing happened that anyone could see. But when he got to a certain spot on the path he didn’t want to go any further. What Pamela did next seemed to me like the kindest and smartest thing a person could do. The student had already turned Mario around and drove him to the place where they started. Once there, Pamela had Mario stop and she brought over his brother Remix, who was also in the class. She had them just stand together for a while till Mario calmed down. Then she took both Mario and Remix and walked them together back to the place where Mario was uncomfortable. Once there, she had them both stand there for a while so Mario could see there was nothing to be afraid of. Pamela reassured Mario that there was no danger. After a while they went back to the barn.
What I loved about this was that it was so caring and loving. Pamela wasn’t dismissive of Mario’s fear and she didn’t try to blindly push him past it. She took the time to surround him with a horse and people he trusted and slowly and gently walked him through his fear.
The next day, a similar thing happened with Loretta and Piper. It was a windy day and Piper is afraid of the wind. So Loretta, who works with Piper a lot and who Piper trusts, took Piper for a walk around the pasture to show her she didn’t have to be afraid of the wind. She asked me to come with them, as support for Piper.
We walked around the field, I didn’t do much, I actually wasn’t sure what to do. But half way through, we met Pamela. She walked on the other side of Piper talking softly to her while Loretta calmed her as she led her. At one point, near some woods, a huge gust of wind blew rattling the dead leaves on the pin oaks and Piper became agitated. She started walking fast, but Loretta kept up with her, leading her gently and soothing her as they walked back to the barn.
For me, Piper facing the wind, became a symbol of me dealing with my own fears. When ever I started to feel one of the small panics that visited me sporadically during the trip and made me want to run for the safety of home, I thought of Piper and the wind. Of how Loretta and Pamela were there for her to help her through. Of how she walked through the wind and came back unharmed and less afraid. So when I felt the panic surge in me, I remembered not to give into it. That instead of stopping at the wall of fear in front of me I just kept moving through it. Till the fear was gone. And it worked. Every day the panic I felt was less and less. And, but the time I left on Sunday, when it did come up, without even having to think about it, a picture of Piper in the wind would pop into my head and the panic would vanish.
The words for my wallhanging Piper in the Wind came to me as I was stitching the tree. I still have to finish the edge around this piece, but when I do, it will be for sale. It’s $150 + 10 shipping. If you’re interested in it you can email me here at [email protected].