Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Week After Finny is Gone Day 1 and 2

Finny died Saturday, Oct 10, 2009 at 5 pm, after a fantastic CTR at Indian Caves.

Day 1. Sunday October 11. I had cried hard last night. Tom rubbed my back as I sat in bed and bawled. I couldn’t lay down as my head was all stuffed up. I got up to get a drink, laid down, and slept. I woke up at 5:30 with a headache, took a Tylenol, ate some oatmeal, and went back to bed until 8:30. I tried to read what my friends wrote to me, but I couldn’t. I processed what happened. I shut the computer off and existed until noon. Tom and I went to town. I needed to get away from here. I didn’t do morning chores and I didn’t want to see my other horses. When we got home, I did grain the horses, but did not spend any extra time with them. I had the dogs out for a few minutes, but I didn’t even want to play with them. I came back to the computer and read what everyone wrote. I didn’t cry as much. My pain wasn’t so great, or so I thought. I went to bed late, after 11 pm.

Day 2. Monday. I slept solid until 7 am. The phone woke me up. My sister called from PA. My dad was life lined to Pittsburgh due to an obstruction in his urinary tract. He was in pain and his blood pressure was dangerously high. Our small town emergency room could not get him cauterized, and they didn’t think he could tolerate the 2 hour trip to Pittsburgh. He was flown to the hospital in Pittsburgh at 1 am. My sister took my mom home to wait. By 7 am, he was safe to travel back home. My brother drove to pick him up this morning and he should be home by noon.

I thought I was better this morning. After I got off the phone, I opened my bedroom drapes. The sun was out even though it is still cold out. I thought I should ride, then realized that Finny wasn’t here to ride. The heavy sadness is coming back. This morning, before going to feed dogs, it started to snow. I thought of tears from heaven, but they must be heavy tears, since they were of snow and not rain. I wonder if Finny is as sad as I am. I wonder if he is crying. I was to meet my daughter-in-law and grandson in town. I called her to cancel. I just couldn’t. I hate not seeing my grandson, but I just couldn‘t feel happy about seeing him. I would probably just cry. I called the vet. They would take care of Finny today. I cut off his tail to bring home, but I asked the vet clinic if they would cut his mane braids. I don’t know why I didn’t do that. But I think it will be nice to have the braids. I asked my friend Virginia to stop by the clinic and pick them up for me. I don’t want to go there today. She also is bringing me my CTR cards from Saturday. I will have my last memories of my last ride with Finny.

I made a big pot of soup with whatever I could find. Beef stew meat, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, carrots, and then zucchini chunks. Tom is not going to be happy when he realizes there is zucchini in the crock pot. That thought gives me a little smile. I thought that I better eat healthy today and get some veggies into me. And I need to drink more water. My head is starting to hurt. Probably too much caffeine.

I have read a few more friend’s notes this morning. And I started crying all over again. The finality is hitting hard. Finny isn’t here any longer. I can’t look out the kitchen window and see him with the other horses. I can’t go to the fields and ride him. There is a lot I can’t do anymore. My heart is heavy and there is a big lump in my throat. Tears are streaming down my cheeks. How do I get over the pain of loss? Of guilt? Of emptiness?

Today I am home from the store. No Mondays at the store since I’ll be open on Saturdays. But the weather is crappy. Cooler temps and a dampness is in the air. I’ll have to go outside. I’ll have to see the other horses. They need their grain and their water tank filled. The dogs need to be left out to run. My other animals will make me go outside when I really don’t want to. I cleaned the toilets. I played around on my computer, saving pictures from my camera. I have no desire to do much more than that.

I feel better tonight. Virginia brought me Finny’s mane braids and my CTR cards from Saturday. She brought me a wonderful card and a letter filled with very wonderful thoughts from my fellow riders from the CTR. We shared some coffee and some memories. We talked about the reasons why. We talked about the CTR day on Saturday. We talked about how Finny looked when I got back to camp and how his condition grew worse so quickly. I talked about how this is so hard to believe that it happened so quickly. I talked about being sad, being angry, feeling guilt. We talked about what we would have done differently. And we talked about what we have learned from this. We shared some thoughts of what we might change because of going through this colic ordeal. We talked about what we will educate ourselves about before our next big rides. And Virginia told me that I will be ready to move on when it is time. Take the time to mourn, then get back to horses!

The healing has started. I’m not quite so sad. I know Finny won’t be on my next rides and I will always miss him. I’m not quite so upset about the whys. I will always wonder if I could have done things differently - that’s just part of life. What I have learned is to start doing now what I would have done differently.

But it’s hard to think about going on the next ride. It will be hard to know that I won’t be pulling Finny out of the lot to ride.

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