All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he’ll listen to me any day ~ Old Saw
Suddenly overcome with the sadness (it doesn’t matter why), I sank down to a cavaletti before I fell down. We had been just hanging out in the arena, getting reacquainted after my intense workweek, playing a few Liberty games here and there.
I was curled tight down into myself, already checked out, and then this velvet softness brushed against my head. I grunted but couldn’t move and then he did it again, lips busily inspecting my hair. I looked up and smiled at him, through tears, and told him he was an awesome horse, which of course set me off again. Sob sniffle sob sob sniffle.
He flicked an ear at me, then walked around me, stepping daintily over the cavaletti. For a horse who does not seem to know where his feet are — who had been trapped twice already with his foot between the two pedestals — he lifted them high and set them down gently.
I whispered “good job” but was unable to stop crying, so I put my face back down in my arms where he wouldn’t see.
Nudge. He pushed his nose against my back, hard enough that I swayed forward, but not enough to hurt. Nudge. NUDGE.
Yup. He kept nudging, not hard but insistent, with rhythm (hrm, how interesting!), until I actually got to my feet and stood all the way up. Then he stepped forward, put me at his left shoulder, blew gently out his nose, and gave me the “let’s do something fun” eye.
Who am I to blow against the wind?
I squared my shoulders and smiled and said okay, and we played in a relaxed and libertyesque manner, and it was good.
My horse’s feet are as swift as rolling thunder
He carries me away from all my fears
And when the world threatens to fall asunder
His mane is there to wipe away my tears.
At the very end, I put a halter and rein on him just for my own psychological need and climbed up onto his furry warm naked bony back, and sat there, trying to relax everything and just fluidly move with him across the arena to lick rails on the other side. I breathed deeply and pushed my weight back to balance as I leaned forward and hugged him.