Friday, November 30

Thankyous with a capital T

without wanting to be a bit (yaaaaawn) boring, those of you who have
followed our exploits know the road to Bruce's transformation from a
hunter to a well schooled and confident riding horse
has been anything but straightforward for either of us.

We've both had to face some hidden fears-
me realising that I'm not as good or brave a rider as I thought
and his unaccountable panic attacks have brought to the surface
the simple fact that we both put on a glossy exterior
to hide the quivering jelly laying dormant underneath!

It's taken me a lot of work to accept and befriend that
quivering jelly (who used to be my arch-enemy) but you know,
she's proved more beneficial than I'd ever thought.

I've found being afraid doesn't matter, because it makes you listen.
Whether listening for clues to guide you through the situation
or for someone to say "you don't have to do this",
listening is something I've not done much before.

I talk, I busy, I potter and natter and do, and do more
and fill the space and time with busyness for which I've
rewarded myself in trophies of achievement.
Stillness has been an anathema, a waste of precious time

but listening- wow!
It terms of my journey with Bruce it's enabled me
to find immense pride in the smallest gains.
The flick of an ear back to me for re-assurance when he
stiffens with panic is a major breakthrough,
and spending 30 minutes riding circles in the paddock as the
wind blows a hoolie all around and his whole body says "run",
but there are tiny moments of joy when he relaxes enough
to do the stepping-under movements he finds so hard-
I never felt such pride getting 4 small strides of shoulder-in
when previously I'd have felt failure for not getting more.

To have him stand still when the pheasant shoot burst into
action across the hedge, quivering, trying so hard to
focus on the huge task I was asking-
to me, that was like winning the Olympics!

Listening to his breath change to a rythmic softness as I concentrate
my own breathing gently in-&-out,
listen as his walk and trot pace regulates when I mentally count the tempo,
listen to the amazing response when I think "halt" on an out-breath
and, relaxed and soft he gathers himself into a perfectly square halt.

And listening to advice and help?
phew! who sent those wise and wonderful people who showed me
actually, I don't know it all. In fact, I know very little but by listening
I can know more.

I won't deny I wanted to compete; I wanted to fly round
cross-country courses, take my beautiful horse show jumping
and have those stunning paces judged in dressage
but it aint gonna happen.
Instead, I've begun to enjoy the journey with him
and with my life in general, rather than fixating on the end goal
(for which we're endlessly moving the goalposts anyway!)
and it seems a more comfortable way to be.
I've not gone all new-age but I've got a useful way
to pick a path through my life.

They say you get the lesson you need when you need it
although you might not always agree at the time.

They say that as you grow up, you start to reach inside
and learn how to grow down.

They say rejoice in where you're at; don't worry about
where you aren't (Mark Rashid)

and I say a very very humble thank you;
I guess Bruce and I somehow found each other
(eyes across a crowded stable)
and Kirsty who found us both, just in time to save the day,
I'm eternally grateful- I couldn't have done it without you xx


Liz said...

Lovely post.
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

delia hornbook said...

What a beautiful post i feel real humble after reading it i don't know why. And im actually struck dumb with what to say excpet that Bruce is very lucky to have you, and you him you are 2 very special beings that came together for a reason for which you have found out. Enjoy the magic he brings, dee x

KC'sCourt! said...

Wonderful post
Julie xxxxxxx

Vintage Sheet Addict said...

Your patience and understanding has paid off, they know you know! :)

Autumn Mist said...

So lovely to read this. It's so easy to look at others and what they're doing and think somehow we should be doing the same, but your horse is the same loveable boy whether you've got a rosette to say so or not. I don't care what a showing judge thinks of my horse any more. I know the next day he will take me through the heaviest traffic and not look to right or left and that, to me, is priceless. Enjoy every day with your boy (to see why you can scroll through my blog )

BusyLizzie said...

Amazing post. I had no idea that your lovely Bruce had been such a challenge! See you soon lovely. x

Rose H (UK) said...

I haven't been here long enough to know Bruce's history. Well done to you both, you have patience, understanding and love - and he knows it!
Rose H

menopausalmusing said...

High Five!

Kim said...

Oh my well are an amazing writer, Elaine!♥

Linda said...

wow thats really moving and I am in love with Bruce xxxxLinda

nilly said...

Bruce apart - these are wise lessons for life. Thank you, from a sometimes quivering jelly.

bayou said...

I only discovered your blog through Niki but I am so glad, I found it! Unfortunately I live too far away to visit the fair but wish you already good luck and plenty of sales! But that on top, you write a story I have lived with my horse so many years ago is just amazing! You are a star but Bruce is also. It is about love and believe, nothing else. I live with my horse now since 25 years. She turned 28 this June and still is sometimes like this wild wild girl when I first spotted her. But she is still fine and healthy but no more ridden now. Eventually, you become one with your horse. I love all about what you have written and especially about the listening. All life lessons, aren't they? I am thankful, as you are, for all what my horse has taught me. Keep going and growing together!

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