I have barely seen Rocky all week due to workload, rain, freezing, and my own lazytude. Today the sun broke through for a couple hours and I put him on the 22-foot-line and we moseyed to the grass where I – gasp – let go of the line and did a few asanas that didn’t involve lying down or sitting in the mud.
When I got the idea to let go of the rope, I caught my breath and felt the world sway. Then for the first few seconds it felt anxious, like sitting in a car without a seatbelt. But this entire property is fenced, and in the extremely unlikely event that Rocky bolted away, he’d head toward the Back 40 anyway. Much more likely that in the event of an emergency he’d pop his head up and teleport 10 or 15 feet, then look at me for direction.
And of course what really happened was Rocky grazed, I sought balance and flow, and Jedi retrieved his ball and dropped it where I could easily kick it. Rocky had one mini-eek when the rope got around his pastern and I flinched but quickly recovered. He glanced at me a bit wide-eyed an I shrugged and went back to what I was doing, and then he figured out how to free himself.
He stepped on the rope a few times but never brought his head up at the same time, so I don’t know what kind of panic he’d get into (yes, we’re still working on this one) if he stepped on it so close to his chin and trapped himself so low. Probably fall over to his side and have a heart attack. Which is one less monthly bill for me to pay, right? Bright side!
More and more I find I have let go of habits of preventing things from happening — not just to keep the horse comfortable but to keep myself comfortable, because I was nervous about handling a “situation.” I would keep the rope out of the way or not flap a parka around or not address that he didn’t stand still for grooming.
It’s a subtle triumph but a huge one. I really have progressed from defaulting to something a lot stronger than “oh no” to a nice neutral “oh boy” and “hrm, how interesting.”