(Note to self: you are still prone to magical thinking about him, despite having got past the worst of having to give him back.)
Dar, the horse I probably should never be.
I was in love with Dar. Not at first. At first, I just thought he was everything that Scout wasn't. A young gelding still finding himself, not too much bad training to undo, not hot or spooky. Kind of a bonehead compared to her snap-judgment mind. A slow, heavy mover compared to her stiff, steppy speediness. In him I saw an exciting potential to begin again. If there can be such a thing as a "rebound" horse, then he was that for me, I guess. Of course, I say that now, as though it were a wise insight. It isn't. It's what I say to justify giving him back, to help my heart keep on shrugging him off.
I believe I idealize what we had in common. I think I projected more onto him than any other horse I've had in my life. It's almost funny to me now, since I was so certain I wasn't choosing him from an emotional place, not after Scout. What I actually did might have been worse. I chose him from a place of longing.
Dar had a lot of inner anger. He often expressed it through a sullen attitude. Unfortunately, the same can be true of me. Still, he was very curious about the world around him, just like me. We could both satisfy our curiosity to the point of being pushy and intrusive, barging our way into whatever we wanted to investigate. Sometimes curiosity is little more than a way to measure the lay of the land if one is fearful. That's true for me, but not him. He was not fearful.
Dar had a big physicality, lacking in grace. He was oaf-like, but could occasionally produce an energy that made him thrilling to watch. I also lack physical grace, except maybe in my hands. I can have a mind energy, though, that friends have told me can be thrilling to watch.
Soon after I got Dar, I realized that he carried a hard attitude deep within himself. He reminded me of how I was during a time in my life when I struggled to stop being bitter. It took me years to escape from that place; it was a fight I had to wage with myself. I thought I could help Dar do the same thing. It's that old thing of fixing another thing to fix yourself, dangerous, alluring, and almost always doomed to fail. I thought "fixing" Dar would finally put my strength in my own hands, bring it out of the private place where I keep it. I thought we would be strong together, that one day I'd be able to say, I won this horse away from his inner demons and now he has carried me away from mine.
Next installment: Saxony