I really did step back from my mare, and it's been a strange kind of hard work to do it. I wrote about needing time to let a bad horse year go and begin another one fresh. Then I imagined an encircling winter, the kind that brings to mind weathering it out on an 1800s prairie, living the punishing days by rote until the thaw. For me, there's renewal in that kind of waiting. What I imagined isn't quite how it went, though. There have been too many days of mildness and the weather has disoriented me in my own thinking. It's like it's summer and I've already lost the spring, squandered the spring. At least, I have those shimmers of guilt.
Then I found this amazing picture. It's not possible to say all that I see in it, all that I think about it. I can say it really stirred me up. How she clutches that horse to her, how she hunches protectively, the tension plain to see. I felt like that a couple of times last year. Her fierceness - I felt that. The sweet compliance of her mare even reminds me of my own.
Once I had a horse, Scout, who was attuned to every tension in my body. It wasn't a good thing for us as a team under saddle, but it was oddly validating, a kind of direct proof that things were going on in me, in my life. She could remind me of how bad I felt, how wound up I was with the churning of things. She reflected it and that brought us close together. I don't have that with Saxony; she's not that kind of horse. I have to bring myself down to be with her, drop out of my head, come closer to simplicity. It's really hard. She wants her rubs, her dawdles, her German muffins, our gazing eye to eye. She doesn't know that I'm a mind-rooted existentialist and she doesn't feed off my auto-cues of anxiety and doubt, either unwitting or overt. It means she can never become part of my drama unless I drag her there. I know that is a good thing, but I also know that's why it's taking me so long to come back to her. I am trying to discard things in my life I don't need or want anymore, trying to discard those things from myself.
My mare may be unbalanced, but she travels easier in herself right now than I, who can walk a straight line effortlessly but still struggle to get out of my own way.