I stood in the field holding Chloe by the reins, feeling like I haven’t felt in years. I was the kind of pissed that makes me want to throw something. My teeth were clenched and my heart was pounding. But something inside of me told me to stop. So I did, and I stood breathing until I calmed down. Then I asked myself, why are you doing this?
Our ride today had its ups and downs. Chloe wasn’t happy when I put the bridal or saddle on her. But we worked it out and had a great ride in the side pasture. I felt connected to her in a way I hadn’t before as we trotted up and down the fence line. It was in the flow of our movement together, but I also had the feeling she was enjoying it as much as I was.
Then, instead of going back to the barn and ending the ride on a high note, I took her out to the place where she always gives me a hard time and wants to go back to the barn. So, why do I do this? I’m not completely sure, but I think because I want to know that I can. But by now, we have this pattern of always having the same problem. It’s not something that’s just going to change because I want it too. It’s something we’re going to have to work on. I have to think about it differently and not leave it as something we do at the end of our ride. I have to break the pattern.
Something else happened today and this was different. I felt it at the end of our ride. After brushing Chloe I stood there with her. She didn’t run off and roll like she usually does. She stayed with me for a while. And I had the realization that what Chloe experiences when we ride is so different from what I’m experiencing. Except maybe when we’re in sync, like when we were riding earlier. I also got the feeling that I’m trying to hard. That I want it to be too perfect too soon. For the first time I truly understood that my relationship with Chloe is going to be a long one, that will change and evolve the years. And that what we’re doing now, is just the beginning. I also felt a trust that was mutual. Like we both know I would no more intentionally hurt her than she would me.
Then Chloe went off to roll in the dirt and graze. Living her horse life separate from me. Another good thing for me to remember.