Monday, December 5, 2011
Finding Home, Continued
The thing is, when I put Scout up for sale, I was already drunk on another horse, a cranky youngster who the jousters couldn't bring around, wouldn't bring around. It was Dar, a six-year-old Percheron Morab cross, of all things. He was slow, lumpen; he seemed so much less complicated than Scout, though just as remote as she had been in the joust herd. I took him with me on trial, confident that I'd re-home Scout and have a horse more suited to my own re-education.
Circumstances derailed that, and, while Scout tolled her days of stall confinement, it really began to weigh on me that I now owned two horses, one I'd sort of already given up and the other one I'd yet to fully embrace. I wrote about it in a heart-heavy funk that winter of 2009/2010 and spent countless moments feeling pretty sure I'd been a fool through most of my return to the world of horses. It was a dilemma I spoke often of with friends, including Special K.
That mysterious thing of having a great friend who's right there, nearby, but never quite in the spotlight. That's what we were to each other before we ever knew it. Unlike me, she never really left horses, but like me, she had fears. Where I loved riding in an indoor arena, she was phobic about it. Instead, she was in full, thrilling bloom out on the trails, where I was anxious and clamped down. I remember one day, when Scout was throwing a screamy alpha tantrum about being separated from her herd, Special K exclaiming to me, "You ride her?"
Sometimes, and Kind of, is what I said to her. By the time we began to grow close as friends, I was already in my own conversation about letting Scout go. I was embarrassed about it, too, because I saw Special K as fearless when I rode out with her. Her way of laughing off her little Arab's rare spooks and startles left me awestruck. She would never part with a horse because of something like nerves, is how I imagined it. No need for embarrassment, though. Special K never minded dealing with me announcing my fears whenever they erupted in me. She'd just calmly lead us onward or homeward.
Of course, she's the kind of person who will ride any horse. Any horse. She's just that curious about them, that passionate about riding. It had to be inevitable that eventually she'd want to try Scout, have to try her, just to see what she was like. One warm, springtime day in 2010, we brought up the subject with each other in a spontaneous burble of coincidental thought. Dar was in training while Scout lay fallow, recovered and happy to be left grazing the days away. A voice somewhere deep in me whispered hope.