Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Week After: Day 6

Thursday, I was to ride at Turkey Creek with friends for 4 days with Finny. Ii didn't go on Thursday. Today, Friday, I am going to Turkey Creek, but without Finny. Yesterday, I wasn’t sure I could go. Yesterday, I wasn’t sure I could take another horse. I wasn’t sure I could load another horse into the horse trailer. This early Friday morning, I had decided I could take Chick, as she doesn’t need, nor want, extra attention. Until I saw how muddy she was. I emailed Brenda at TC to ask if I could just ride her horses, and that was fine with Brenda. I didn’t need to load a horse into the horse trailer. I’m glad, as I knew if I had to load a horse, it wouldn’t be Finny.

Turkey Creek is 3 hours away, near Newcastle, Nebraska. I don’t know what happened to the first hour. My thoughts were everywhere, from horses, to the store, to parents, to the future. The next thing I knew, I was north of Fremont and had driven an hour.

I called my parents. My dad was sick late Sunday night, the day after Finny died. He was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital with an a very elevated blood pressure, due to prostrate and urinary tract problems. Luckily, they were able to treat him, and his blood pressure returned to normal. He came home Monday morning, and saw more doctors that day and on Wednesday. He is still having problems and will return to the doctors on this coming Monday. My mother has slight dementia, but seems to be doing very well this week. I think that when she gets very tired, she sleeps very well for a week, and that week that she sleeps well, she has wonderful memory. My parents are aging. What does the future hold for them?

I called my friend Dianna. She had shoulder surgery on Monday and I wanted to see who she was doing. Her father is also sick. We talked about horses, and she shared a story with me about her special horse who had died, a beautiful palomino. She dreams of her horse, seeing her loping in a field, with her flaxen mane blowing in the wind.

As I drove north, there were 2 horses in a field. One Palomino. One Black. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, less than a ½ hour after I talked to Dianna. Chills went up and down my arms. The 2 horses were standing head to tail, caressing each other’s withers. I couldn’t believe that I had just got done talking with Dianna, and less than a ½ hour, I saw these 2 horses, standing in their pasture next to the highway. Is that a sign? Are those 2 horses now in heaven, comforting each other? Were they showing their owners that they are fine? And that we should be fine?

I continued to think of the future. I am distracted. At times, I remember that Finny isn’t with me and I am sad. At times, I think of CTR, and that I had been thinking of getting a gaited horse, and I am sad. Am I being disloyal? Is it time to think of another horse already? I have talked and emailed many friends this week. Everyone had been wonderful and understanding. When I think of getting another horse, it will make it seem like Finny is gone forever. Am I ready for that?

As I drove, I came to the conclusion that I could love again. I shouldn’t be afraid to give my heart away. A good friend lost her dog, but loved the breed so much that she got another one. She showed me that to love again is special. She is very sad for the puppy that she had to say goodbye to, but she has brought another special dog into her life. I could do the same with a horse. Just because I have another horse to love doesn’t mean that I love Finny any less. It means I could share more love with another special friend. And I shouldn’t be afraid to love another horse. I shouldn’t be afraid to share that special bond with another horse. It may not be the same type of love and bond, but it will be special for that horse, and that horse only.

I realized that each horse is special. I realized that each horse brings a specific love to our life. But more importantly, I realized that I can go on and share more love. There are so many horses out there that need us, just as much as we need them. I can find that horse that I can share a special bond with, just as my friend found her dog. Our next special friend helps us with our pain of losing our other friend. I lost a very special dog, Aggie, a long time ago. I still think of this special pet to this day, sometimes with tears in my eyes. She was my dog, a well mannered Springer Spaniel, who I had through my last year of college, early marriage, and with young children. To this day, I miss the connection that I had with her. I am ready to have another dog and have that same connection. Then I realized that is the same with Finny. I will miss him deeply, and forever. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have another horse that means to me what he means to me. Finny will always mean something special to me. I am just realizing how much he meant to me. Isn’t it a shame that we realize things like this when they are gone? And that makes me sad all over again. When will this sadness and the sense that I didn’t do enough leave me? Or will it make be a better person for the next horse and dog that I love?

God says that he won’t give us any more than we can handle. I don’t know how He could think that I could handle losing Finny. My heart was breaking, and I couldn’t breathe. I sobbed in agony. How did He think I was handling that? The messages that I received from friends helped immensely. Maybe losing Finny showed me how much friends should really mean to us. Maybe losing Finny will help me with someone who loses their riding partner. Maybe losing Finny has a meaning that I have yet to discover.

I don’t know how I could have handled anything more than this. Finny’s sudden death tore my heart apart. I need to think that Finny was needed somewhere else. I need to think that someone needed Finny more than me, and my heart breaks for them, as I know how much I need Finny. I pray that the angels are having a glorious time riding him.

I believe I am healing. I rode Brenda, from Turkey Creek, Tennessee Walking horses today. And I smiled and had a good time. The horses took me on a good ride. I looked at the hills, felt the movement of the horses, and realized that I was meant to be here. I rode ahead, pushing the young mare into her gait. I needed to feel, and to sense, that this was right. Jess’s horse, Tucker, wanted to walk out. We rode side by side for a lot of the ride. She is struggling with a sickness in the family. I think our horse feel our struggles, and help us. I pray that Jess, and her family, find strength and peace in the knowledge that they have many friends around them.

As I go to bed tonight, there are still many doubts. I still wonder and question what I could have done differently. I will always feel that I didn’t do enough for Finny. But I feel differently now. I am sad, but I am learning. And what I learn will hopefully prevent the next case of colic.

As I go to bed tonight, I am starting to have wonderful memories of Finny. I am seeing the future. When I wake up, that may be the start of a tomorrow. Tomorrow is coming. I just am not sure how I feel about that

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