Today was by far a better day than most, it comes close to being a good day. Good days for me mean no pain and feeling pretty good in general.
It’s way past my bedtime, Richard is fast asleep, I just returned from a trip to the front porch and trying to call his cat, Jasmine, in for the night. I worry about her being out overnight and since I’m usually up later I try a couple of times to call her in before I turn in.
Tonight was the first time I’ve seen the moon since being here. Weird, huh?! The hills in the distant were dark, a light band just across the hills and a darker sky above, there was a beautiful sliver of the moon. So beautiful. I guess what I’d imagine is the North Star was above, oh my gosh, I just stood there enjoying it. What a sight. I thought to myself, this must be what folks enjoy who get to go camping. Maybe one day that’ll be something I will be able to handle.
I worked with my horse on the ground today, it was going well but I didn’t listen. There’s that voice that tells you to stop when something is working good, and the voice that says you want more. I listened to the voice that wanted more (putting more weight on what I wanted than what was right for her) and things fell apart. I got us to a much lesser good spot and stopped, turned her loose and went to sit in the tack room. I was so tired I just sat there and didn’t move. (I have a rocking chair in the unfinished tack room, a good thinking chair.)
I knew going out there I was beyond tired, I was at that drained stage not knowing why in the heck I was so tired, but had an agenda, so there I had been. I sat thinking how Sadie runs when I whistle, how I’ve always viewed her as my heart on four legs, that is my friend out there.
We are friends, she and I, and how I was training her today, I was nothing of a friend. Heck, I would have balked and refused just as much if someone I considered a friend was trying to force me to do something I wasn’t ready or wanted to do.
Ive always figured I play the part of the man trying to figure things out and she’s the woman who is always right, my job is to listen to her, let her willingness be our timetable. I know better. She’s a super wonderful horse and today I blew it.
I watched her happily walking around her pasture as if nothing had happened. Animals are, most often, incredibly generous in their forgiveness. I’ve said frequently we’re blessed by their forgiveness. I’ll never know what deed man has ever done to deserve something like that. The animal-human connection is something that has fascinated me all my life, no matter what language we speak, no matter where on earth we may live, there is that incredible bond.
Knowing I probably would not get any less tired sitting there any longer, I decided to feed Sadie. I whistled and at first she didn’t come. I then showed her the hay and she trotted on up like usual. She is such a good girl. We do not, by any stretch of the imagination, deserve these incredible creatures.
I thought deeply about the Mark Rashid book I read some time ago, “Whole Heart, Whole Horse,” where the entire premise is just that, we give the horse our hearts and in return we get the whole horse. Remarkable.
I fed Sadie, and in her good heart she did not hold a grudge, but waited for me as usual to put the hay in the hopper and give the okay. I apologized telling her how very sorry I am for not being her friend. I petted on her and told her she is such a good girl! I know those words of apology will mean nothing unless there is change in me to back them up. Lesson learned. Whatever I’m looking for as an end result is not greater than the relationship with Sadie.
Later I went out with two apples, one at a time, put them on a rock and had her wait for the okay. Amazing how animals and humans can get along when humans are such alpha dorks! They offer that second chance, that instantaneous forgiveness, still be friends. It is the heart and spirit of animals, horses in particular, that has captivated my heart all my life.