Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Red Headed Fury

As I reflected today on my time with Sandy, I remembered a little note sent to me by a friend about how God puts people in your life..."People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime," it begins.

Sandy was here for a reason...and a season. How blessed to have two of the three! I learned a lot from him about myself and what I'm capable of. He also gave Darling a good start to becoming quite the young horsewoman. We've been blessed to have him in our lives. But for whatever reason, God had me wondering aloud one day about letting him go...and in stepped Valarie and Dave. And so my season is done, while Dave's reason, season or lifetime is just beginning.


And into Sandy's place steps Tika. The Beautiful Wadatika, who has stood patiently waiting for over a year now for me to step up and give her a reason to be in my life.

Tika was meant to be a TIP horse...one that came, was gentled, and then left with a new adopter. One that wasn't given much thought again, other than mentoring should problems arise in her new home. But by the end of three months it was painfully obvious to me that Tika simply was not a candidate for just any home. She was fiery and fearful and quite aggressive when she felt threatened. Where on earth could this lovely girl go? She simply was not a horse most people would be willing to deal with...and she had at this point captured my heart.

The other day I decided it was time to get serious with Tika. Again. She'd not been handled (again) for a good 2 months. Why is it that I work with her for three or four days, then leave her for 2-3 months? I don't know why...but I do. Something always stops me from moving ahead with this mare, despite her being completely ready for me to take those final steps with her.

Saddled and bridled the other day, I stood next to my red head. And I began to tremble. Fear gripped me. Why? What did I have to be afraid of? It was unreasonable. I took a deep breath and bounced up into the stirrup, my body and weight lifting up above the saddle. I didn't swing my leg over. I don't know why. I just stayed up...then lowered myself down.

Tika stood there quietly, patiently, wondering what the heck I was waiting for, no doubt.

I stepped up again, and again. And finally I lifted my leg across her back and settled myself into the saddle. And I sat there...for 10 seconds at least. Then I was off. Off, trembling, shaking, and crying. I buried my head in her mane, arms wrapped around her neck, tears running down my face.

Why was I crying? What was I afraid of? Tika turned to look at me with those most beautiful eyes of hers. I felt my burdens lifting. How is it she can lift me up? I pulled the saddle from her back, led her to my makeshift mounting block (an upside down water tub), and slipped onto her back. This felt good. It felt right. My butt fits Tika. My legs felt just right laying against her sides. I asked her to move, and she didn't. So I asked again, and got a couple of steps.

Fear was still there. I'm a mind over matter kind of girl, and this had me frustrated. Why was fear not leaving? So I asked Tika to move a few more steps, which she did, hesitantly, and I then slid from her back. I hadn't conquered the fear. But I had gained ground.

I've been told that it's a normal reaction after having been hurt. My toe is still broken, after all, and my right leg has deep tissue bruising...I feel mild pain all up and down my thigh, knee and calf. Self preservation, they tell me, is what has me rattled. I suppose that's true. I've been very protective of my leg, knowing that it's not got it's full strength. Could this be what's slowing me down?

My confidence, it would seem, needs boosting. And for this, I look to Tika, the red headed fury. God doesn't only place people in your life...he places beautiful mustangs with you, too.



Anonymous said...

Those fear things can be really hard to get over - I've had my own issues with that and can certainly understand. Just doing it and not pushing yourself farther than you're comfortable will do the trick - the horse won't mind if you take things slowly.

Linda said...

Wow--well written and honest. I think we can ALL relate. I couldn't get to sleep last night because of anxiety about a water crossing I'm doing today. I agree with Kate--the horse really doesn't mind if you take it slow. Most people wouldn't even be getting up on a green horse with a broken toe!!! You're a great cowgirl and a heck of a lot braver than I am.

wilsonc said...

Wow...do I ever get where your coming from! It sounds like your injuries are fairly fresh. I second what everyone else has said about taking it slowly. The horse won't mind. I have been reading about a technique called EFT (emotional freedom technique). Jane Savoie ( a dressage trainer) advocates this technique. It's interesting and might be of help too. You can google it if your interested.

Lea and her Mustangs said...

You will make it my friend - we had a grand time in Oregon. Not alot of horses in the S Steens but we saw a few up close. Too many hunters bombarding the area. No horses or sign of horses down the OO Rd. We spent the better part of a day there and we could not get in to Paisley. We needed a 4x4 and my pretty Toyota didn't qualify.

Crystal said...

Hmm fear has no reason, thats why we fear it so much. She will be ther for you when you are ready. I agree just take it slow and itll work its way out. You are really brave to work with all those mustangs all the time, I do admire your courage.

phaedra96 said...

I loved this mare's eyes first time I saw a photo of her and I still do. There is something there that just calls. I think she will be the one to help you move forward through your issues. Seems hers are in the past? My husband says you eat an elephant one bite at a time and you crawl back on a horse one inch at a time.

Shirley said...

Trust and fear- one conquers the other, either way you look at it. I'm fearful because I'm old and brittle, and my horses are young- except Beamer- but I have learned to follow my instincts, even if it isn't what I may have accomplished in a training session 20 years ago. I often do less than the horse could use, but when I get off, I'm intact, and both of us are in a good state of mind. Sometimes, that's all I can ask, of myself, or my horse.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Be strong and brave and always careful. There's no hurry anyways.

She's a beauty with soft, intelligent eyes.