I used to cry before I got on her. Every single time. The fear would snake through me, freezing my feet to the ground. My heart would start hammering so persistently in my throat that I had to choke it down. It was a struggle between something that I wanted so so badly and yet was so afraid to do.
She is a clever and canny girl. The type that stands stoically still while you brush and saddle her. And waits, ever so patiently, for you to place your foot in the stirrup. Ever so patiently for that last possible second, the very second your weight was solely reliant on that foot, and she would side step, or move forward, so you would be hopping along with her.
I never was that agile. I changed tactics, tried to pull her up to the deck and jump on. And wouldn`t you know it, she would do the same damn thing. I either landed on her ass or on my own. The whole thing was so bloody frustrating that I was in tears most of the time. Every stumble was a kick in my teeth, in my dream of becoming a horse rider.
“Confidence is key,” they said,”when you are dealing with a horse.”
Pretty hard to build confidence when you can`t even get on.
I received a lot of bad advice in those days. I just couldn`t see how smacking a horse, and making them submissive, would work. I never even tried it. I couldn`t. It`s a special relationship between horse and rider, one built on trust, not fear.
We hashed it out one weekend, her and I. It was a battle of the wills, a battle of patience and persistence. I kept asking her to stand still, kept bringing her back to the same spot whenever she moved. The first time it took two hours, repeating the same steps over and over and over before she would politely allow me to get on. I would ride in her a circle, dismount and repeat the process all over again. The next day I switched it up, took her to the edge of the deck, the fence, the bumper on the truck. and repeated the whole process over and over and over again.
We grew a lot closer that weekend. We grew a lot of trust in what we could expect from one another, a lot of faith that in what we could accomplish, together. I don`t recall her pulling that trick on me since then. But if you come over, and would like to go for a ride, don`t expect her to give you the same courtesy.
NaBloPoMo Day 2:When was the last time you did something brave? What happened?