Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Knot of the Year

I didn't say much in my journal about the difficulties of this year with the horses; not in particular details, at any rate. When I did mention barn moves and poor standards of care, I always added that the horses got through it, I got through it, my friends got through it, etc. People told me we'd get through it, and they were right. It's true: everybody got through it.

There are hidden side effects of squeezing through a bad pass, though, and I think I'm being impacted by one of them now. The difference between rushing to my horse because she's my refuge and rushing to my horse because I am worried about her is vast. That change of focus can be subtle, but it ends up being very consequential. I lost track of its silent encroachment into my consciousness somewhere near the end of the events, as we worked our way home to a good, steady, reliable barn. It wasn't until after we had settled and some other chapters were concluded that it all came to bear and I realized how disconnected I feel from my mare right now.

Such good things happened, too, this year, but there's that raw-deal thing about how fleeting is their power. Somehow it's not easy to hang onto the lift of them and let oneself be carried for a while. Instead, I have to list them from memory. Scout and Special K came together. I released Scout to K with full openness, acceptance and peace. Dar's been gone for over a year and I have no way of tracking him, so he's subsided to just an occasional daydream. Late in the summer I found an instructor I understand and respond to with sublime, practical ease. All these things help resolve and reshape my horse life for the better, I know they do.

...and I realized how disconnected I feel from my mare right now. But I don't know that it's her. I think it could be horses in general. And I'm struggling with it, very much so.

Here's how it went. Everything with the horses settled and then I moved home, but my job asked much more of me much later into the post-season than it ever had. I could not wait until the holiday break; I felt myself leaning hard against the gate, wanting so badly to burst into my own free space. An immense sense of pressure was building that left me on edge and preoccupied.

Now I am in that time I was awaiting with such need. Alone at home, holidays done, typing on a grey afternoon, cats asleep, the phone silent, I expected finally to exhale into calm, but that's not what's happened. Instead, I realize that I'm filled with aftereffects of the year and they are spilling out with a vengeance. I feel distant from my horse, as though something has changed. It's like a taint, a lingering pall cast over us by trouble, even though it's past. She's got nothing to do with it, and I know that, but I'm stuck here in this thing, stuck in a knot I don't think I tied. Or, I feel like I'm looking down at a bruise that just won't fade when I should be looking up at my horse. Why?

I don't know what else to say about it right now.


Mona Sterling said...

Muddy K - My heart goes out to you. It's hard when we find ourselves in a spot we hadn't expected. I do know that it took me six months to get to a different place with my horse and the barn I keep her at. I'm still not one hundred percent convinced it's going to be where I stay, but I've finally started to look forward to the barn again instead of dreading it. I think there's also an emotional backlash that comes from having spent the better part of a year worrying about basic necessities. That kind of stuff takes it's toll. I hope the knot is loose enough that you can undo it when you're ready.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Sounds like you need some time to rest and regroup after a rough year. Saxony is a nice mare and I hope the two of you can work on untangling that knot together. Knots can take patience to untangle, but the result will be worth it. I hope the new barn and the new year bring joy to you and your mare.

Kate said...

I understand the way you are feeling, at least in part. I also have had a messy, somewhat difficult year with my horses, particularly due to my accident in June. I still haven't got things back to the place where they feel right, mentally or physically, and it certainly affects my relationship with the horses and their confidence in me and my confidence in them.

There's an interesting coincidence - over at Mugwump Chronicles, there's a post called Knots that's about dealing with untying knots (as a metaphor for challenges/obstacles/problems) in both horses and riders that I found very interesting.

Here's wishing you and yours a much improved 2012 - I think the fact that you are able to allow yourself to experience and express your feelings will end up being very helpful.

samihob said...

Great equestrian blog - why not come over and post it at an Equine Social Blogging Network!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like you haven't had the best time of it in the past year. But you've made it through and now just have to take a long sigh and relax a little until things come back into perspective for you. I'm sure if you spent some time with your mare she'd make you feel better. Just hanging out with the horses, hand grazing, grooming or hand walking them makes me feel better. Or go down and take some pictures just something to get out of the house. I'm sure in time things will work out for you.

Best wishes for a happy healthy New Year.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how your feelings and bond with your horse can change depending on your circimstances around you. I remember the exact moment that I knew that Denali and I were on different paths. Hugs!!! Happy New Year!!

-Denali's mom