Saturday, June 4, 2011

Four Legged Lesson in Trust...

Another amazing ride today, my first trail ride, again on the great Snapper (or Snapple as we may now be calling him...LOL). As usual I got there in a horrid mood, not wanting to eat at all today and really stressed out, and the second I started interacting with Snapper it all went away and I was only in that moment (a lesson Snapper reinforced by stepping on my foot to remind me he was supposed to be my sole focus *smile*)

After we saddled the horses up we headed out onto the stellar property at Woodloch Stables, I hadn't been farther than around the barns and arenas so had no clue the beautiful scenery on the property. We rode back to the fields and the stream. The stream ended up being my classroom for the day. This was the first time I rode on anything other than basically flat terrain and I have to admit all my fears came back about riding (or more appropriately falling off) and that was slightly heightened when the instructor's new horse who has never been across a stream decided he wasn't doing this and she sent us across with her watching from the bank (she only later told us she normally doesnt do that). Truth when her horse balked I was happy because I thought she was going to tell me I didnt have to go either, but now I am so glad she made me do it.

On the first trip across I was panicky going down the bank and even more so about crossing the water, I wanted to stop 100 times and chicken out (like I do in the gym when I tell Nick "I'm done"). And I think Snapper knew that, because after we got across and were turning around something really amazing happened, Snapper turned his head just enough to give me a look, and in his eyes I could see exactly what he was trying to tell me "relax, I got this one no problem".

And in that moment I realized why it is called RIDING and NOT DRIVING. That riding a horse isn't about me being perfect or knowing what I am doing all the time, but about learning to trust that the horse knows what they are doing, that they wont do something they are uncertain about (as George showed us) and that while trust is not something I have ever been good at and I am certainly not good at trusting when it means my sense of safety, that that is part of what I am meant to learn through these majestic animals. That they are there to teach my what humans have never gotten through to me on!

That second trip through the stream was a moment I will never forget. I can say without a doubt it is the first time in my life I have ever felt 100% safe and secure putting myself in the care of another living creature!

The rest of the ride was just beautiful, we rode through a huge open field with 5 foot tall grasses, the sun shining, it was so peaceful. I could have stayed out there forever (and Snapper seemed to agree, he thought he had found the buffet line *grin*). We also got a few minutes on the way back just him and I ahead of the other horses just for some quiet time, it was a great ending to the trip.

Although I have to admit I was sad when it ended, I could have stayed on his back for days. I knew my stressors and the noise and all of reality were waiting for me back in my car, but at least for that 90 minutes I had my silence and calm that I seem to only find on horseback.

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