On Tuesday, I left work after a remarkably stupid day at my desk and went to the barn. It was my night to feed, but also to go and see E ride her big mare.
I groomed Dar first. My big goon has learned his cross ties and he's wising up to how good the shedding block feels. I banged his tail back five inches to keep it out of the muddy paddock effluvia. He may be half Percheron, but not in his tail, which is thick, yes, but also ridiculously long.
I haven't seen E ride since October because she keeps the Percheron/TB cross she co-owns with K at the barn where Scout was injured. The last time I was there was the night we loaded Scout to trailer her to the clinic for the surgery. It's taken me all this time to put that in perspective and move on. All that's left is the lingering sense of irony -- how I was finally really ready to get on my blowhard, hotheaded mare, only to discover that she had been seriously injured. It seems I can still remember the resolve I had that particular night; I hope I can, any way, because I'll need it soon.
E has a new boyfriend, and I kept him company. K was there too, and the poor guy had to deal with meeting the Trinity and watching E ride her dressage mare at the same time.
"That's the canter," I told him when he asked. "Walk, trot, canter. Then there's the gallop, but you won't see that tonight unless it's an accident." We gave him mini-tutorials here and there while E put the Commish through her paces. It was fun. He doesn't know from horses, and it wouldn't matter if he did, because he's drunk on E and she's what he can see.
I was completely relaxed and engaged there. Work couldn't have been further from my mind. It was all about horses. This is a huge sea change for me. I leave everything behind when I'm with the horses. I mean, I'm just completely present. I'm not sure I ever had that awareness when I was younger. Maybe it's come late to me, but also just in time. If fear is holding me back, at least I'm mature enough to see that it can be overcome, that there may be ways to overcome it.
I just feel that I've found a kind of place, and I'm surprised at how much of me I can bring to it. In a place that good, even fear seems less mysterious.