British scientists determined, a few years ago, that January 24th is the worst day of the year. I don't know what science they used to arrive at that date, but it rang true to me the moment I heard it.
When I think about this blog -- this journal -- and why I started it, I can't help but be rattled by how things have changed since then. Scout was up for sale, a decision which had taken me an agonizingly, stupidly long time to make. Dar was a sleepy-eared, crabby oaf who seemed calmer in his temperament and movement than Scout had ever been; it felt easy to take him home. I had faith in the moment, because I thought I was moving toward dealing with my fear by starting over with another horse. As they say, the best-laid plans of mice and... well, mice, because that's how I'm feeling. It's been a hard, unhappy, oppressive few days. I'm overwhelmed with the new circumstances, anxious and sad, and I can't think my way out of how I'm feeling. This picture captures some of my dilemma.
In the foreground, Scout snarfs her way through a flake of hay, happy outdoors as if nothing's changed. What was probably the hardest part for her is done, but she needs weeks of simple turnout before I can ride her. She's been the horse capturing most of my attention over the past few months. In the background stands silly Dar, not able to believe Scout's lack of interest in him. Five months ago, it seemed certain to me that I'd be deep in training with him by now. Scout might not have found a new home, but I was prepared to wait for the right person to take her. The picture should have been the other way around, but circumstance has reversed it. I'm not prepared for that, and I don't see what to do. Some of this is simple self pity, I know. But not all of it. Some of this is just the winter; I know that too. But not all of it.
I certainly didn't imagine that I would not ride a horse for five months. But I haven't. I didn't imagine that I'd have two horses. But I do. And neither of them are easy. Dar pushes hard at his gate and destroys tank heaters with his mouthiness. Scout's injury means everybody at the barn has to work harder. Yes, I've been a good farmhand and honest boarder, but I'm out of the flow for not riding, for not having a viable horse. I feel the absence of it terribly.
These are just some thin thoughts I've put down to try to sketch in where I'm feeling, if not what I'm feeling. It seems harder than it should be, but maybe it is just that hard. I have to accept that possibility if I am to say another word. The pressure of my hopes, wants and fears has settled, for now, on the question of the horses.