Every time I start lecturing myself with “you’ve been on an all-Parelli ranch for 3 years and you haven’t taken lessons consistently, what’s wrong with you, aren’t horses important?” I remind myself that I have been progressing this entire time the way I was meant to. In 3 years, I have developed confidence, enthusiasm about riding, a better understanding of myself and my horsemanship, and a good attitude about what it means to be provocative and progressive — but not necessarily “fast.”
What I’ve realized recently, and perhaps have realized it before but have really for realsies realized it recently, is that in this time, I have developed feel. Almost without noticing. Not just for my own horses but for others too, although it is strongest with Rocky, and getting stronger with River.
Today, walking back to my office from the arena, I passed Rocky at his breakfast. And he raised his head out of his bin and watched me go and I filled with so much love I almost cried. I couldn’t tell, though, if it was my love for him or his love for me or a combination of the two. As I had that thought, a deep feeling washed through me, that it is no longer distinguishable. It’s “our love for each other” and neither one of us owns it or feels it alone.