Friday, April 30, 2010

A New Horse Didn't Help





My mother has passed away since writing this but I’m posting it so you can catch up. Lots of strange things have been happening and though I’ve never been very religious, and this might be pulling at straws, I feel that something mysterious has been at work here. I call it God on one shoulder and my mother on the other.

There are two things going on in my life right now that are so completely unlike each other, so yin and yang, so dark and light, so heaven and hell, that I think I’m going to hit the lottery. Or be in an earthquake. Something’s going to happen. One is so sad, I can hardly take it. That is my mother. The other one has to do with a horse.

In the midst of what I shall refer to as my own great depression, which has since dissipated in response to my cigarette smoking (sad but true), I bought a horse.
The reason why I did it was two-fold. First, we needed one. Who doesn’t? No, we really did need one. Since retiring the old guy, Doc, Kelly swiped Kurt’s horse like most children swipe a cookie. The brainwashing, which I have inflicted upon her since birth (Look at the horsey! The horsey’s nice…) took. My horse, Harley, has headshaking syndrome and is retired for all intents and purposes. Basically, he’s shot. And Minnie, who looks like a My Little Pony come to life, is a little too small for either Kurt or me, about as high as the top of my thigh where I was thinking of getting Kurt’s name tattooed in pretty black script. Maybe in another language just to be trendy. Not Chinese though—that’s getting old. (He thinks it’s hot. Tattoos. Not foreign languages. I don’t. He does. But it’s the least I can do for him since he’s been building me barns and run-in sheds practically non-stop since we first laid eyes on each eighteen years ago in the Halfway Bar.)

So we actually needed two horses. One for Kurt and one for me. And since sooner rather than later is the best time in my book to get anything equine, I jumped right on the idea of rewarding myself for not smoking. That was the second reason. I thought it would help me stay off the cigarettes. Even though reward didn’t work as a motivating factor to keep me off them when I bought the horse trailer.

But an excuse is an excuse. If it works, I go with it. Therefore we went to the Great American Trail Horse Sale where I found exactly what I wanted: a young, small, green-broke Quarter Horse gelding with color. The fact that this guy has tons of racing blood was icing on the cake. I never imagined I’d find a Quarter Horse with running blood at the trail horse sale, or my favorite color, grulla, but there you have it.

However, it didn’t cheer me up. I tried to talk myself into being happy, told myself I should go out there and ride him so we’d be ready to run barrels in the summer, but something always came up. I can’t ride today; it’s too windy. I can’t ride now; I have to bake a cake. Truth be told, I could care less. I had a new horse out there, a beautiful horse, and I might as well have had a suitcase in the yard, that’s how much motivation I had to go and do something with him. Which made me feel even worse.

In addition to my malaise, I worried that I made a mistake and he was a little too small. I like a small horse. That’s what I was looking for—a small horse. But once I got him home, this one looked really small. Almost pony size. Which normally would not be a problem. Some of my favorite mounts were large ponies, 14 hands or so. Great to just hop on and tool around the property. But I needed a barrel horse. In barrel racing, as in Thoroughbred racing, every pound counts. We consider the weight of the saddle, and the stirrups; even the weight of the shoes. I knew he’d be fine for regular riding, but how fast was he going to be able to go hauling my fat ass around the barrels? It would definitely be a handicap.

Then I had an idea. The new one, who we named Steel, could be Kelly’s horse. Kelly is sixty pounds lighter than me so they’d be a better fit. Kurt could repossess his horse from the kid, and the second new one we got would be mine. But not now. I wasn’t ready for the additional expense and work of two new horses at once. Plus, I just wasn’t into it. I was too worried about my mother. So I’d keep riding Steel, make sure he was solid for Kelly, and if all went well, we’d make the switch in the summer and buy another one for me then.

But, as my mother always says, God works in mysterious ways…

16 comments:

Christina said...

I am so very very sorry to hear about your mom. She looks like she was a wonderful woman. I am thinking of you and your family.

Grey Horse Matters said...

He looks like a pretty nice horse. I'm sure when things settle down you'll figure out what you want to do with all of them and you'll feel like riding again. It's going to be hard for a long time, I'm hoping being around the horses might help you deal with your loss.

Rising Rainbow said...

Sorry to hear about your mom.

Amy Tate said...

I know how that feels - to be numb, not to feel. I'm so glad you have Kurt and Kelly. Your mother lives on through ya'll's love for each other.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh there ya go again, leaving us hanging! Naughty girl!!

I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mother. As you probably know I lost my Mom when I was 8 yrs old. I don't know what is harder, losing a Mother when you're a little girl, or losing a Mother when you're an adult.
As a child, you need a Mother's love and knowledge to get you through your childhood and ease all the bumps, bruises and heartaches.
But as an adult, you have all those years of memories and the close relationship that goes along with that.

It just stinks, either way. So sorry :(

Maybe you should give Steel a chance......you never know. He might surprise you. ;)

Good things often come in smaller packages.

~Lisa

Gilly said...

Still thinking of you. Its a tough time for you.

Horses and me don't mix, but that one in the photo looks really nice. Or does he have a wild look in his eye........

Sky said...

i am so sorry to read about your mom. i understand completely. i lost my mother feb 18th last year. life is just not the same when we are in the world without our mothers. i miss her so much that i ache sometimes. time has blunted the intensity, thankfully, and the days which bend me in half with sadness are fewer. they will never be totally gone, however. i know without doubt that this is a life-long missing. just wanted you to know that my heart understands.

Rural Rambler said...

Oooooo-ey!!! Debi you know how I love your writing put into stories :) And that third paragraph, the long one, it just has lots of future stories sneaked in there. But this story with the little dot dot dots at the end. Hmmm. I like the look of Steel. And I like your movin' those horses around like chess pieces to make room for what I just know comes after those dot dot dots at the end of here!

Your Mom got it right, God does work in mysterious ways! I'm waiting for the rest of the beginning of this story Debi. Horses have a way of helping to pull ya out of a deep ol dark sad hole.

CountryDew said...

I'm sorry about your mom. I was numb for a long time after my mother passed away in 2000. I think I slept-walked through an entire year, but I did come out on the other side.

I hope you come to love the horse.

Cynda said...

Hon, the good Lord has blessed you with those horses for a reason. Your mother would not want you to sit in the house in a depression. Go out and ride Steel. You will be okay. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Giulia said...

And sometimes God works in oh so obvious ways....I've found it all depends on the particular receptiveness of one's perspective at the time. Can't wait to hear the...rest of the story....

Beth said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, Debi.

No doubt at all that God is always at work in our lives---whether we are aware of it or not. Sometimes we can see His working when it happens; sometimes, we see it later, when time gives us clarity.

Thanks for posting Part One of your story---I'm looking forward to Part Two!

sweetflutterbys3 said...

God has come into your life right now for a reason. He can give you that peace you need right now and maybe that is what you are sensing. I know when I feel I've got no where else to go, I pray and talk with God. It's gotten me through some tough crap, that's for sure! And the comfort of knowing someone more powerful than me caring about me is a comfort in itself.

What a beautiful horse Steel is! But you do need time to heal and nothing else is going to matter that much for a while. What you and your mom had was special. Focus on yourself for as long as it takes. The rest of the world will matter when you are ready.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I'm looking forward to hearing more of the story. I have a feeling that you are going to find the perfect horse this year.

Sloan said...

We don't understand why things happen the way they do. It's just part of being human but you have to have faith and trust that you are not all alone Debi and it was the right time for this horse to come into your life. Go ride him because your mom would want you to.

Lori said...

Not that losing my best dog, Riley, in any way equates with losing you mom, but I do know how you felt about this horse. I tried to replace the loss with a new puppy ans was totally ambivalent about him once I got him. He wasn't what I was missing....That being said, your other posters here are right. There is a reason you got him, you will come around, and in the end, you will be glad you did.