Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Doctor is In! My Horses, My Therapists
I went to the barn today in a truly dark mood. I am behind in my research, I have writing to do that hangs over me like an anvil, it is not spring in spite of my previous optimistic lies, and my riding has gone to heck over the winter. Furthermore, I had a horrid ride yesterday. Johnnie was balky, his gait was bumpy, and nothing worked. He is my failsafe horse, uncomplicated, 'easy'; but nothing was easy that day.
So here I came today with all this weight of care & negativity. And fortunately, the doctor was in. As you can see in the photo, the horses started out by staring at me with the usual equine carefully studied disbelief. "What?!" I believe teenagers also perfect this look. Montana is standing on the right, Johnnie on the left. After The Look, they did the shuffle to the gate. I pulled them out and groomed them, and since it is Not-Spring they were shedding wads of hair, which blew all around in a hairy dervish and stuck to my clothes as usual.
To help Johnny get his gait back I put down some cavaletti (just ground poles really) and this did seem to help - he picked up his feet and found his rhythm. Maybe he is just out of shape? I am always living in fear of some difficult-to-diagnose lameness or injury, and he plays very hard in the pasture. So my plan is to try this work regularly for the next 2 weeks and assess. Tomorrow I am back to dressage with Montana.
But the great thing is: all this time of getting covered with horse hair, dragging ground poles around, freezing in the wind, playing with the walk, etc. I did not think about my cares at all. Let Hillary and Obama duke it out, never mind that I missed International Pillow Fight Day, I am in the company of horses. I always joke that horses are not expensive when you compare them to psychotherapy. It isn't really a joke though; I can't imagine what a gibbering wreck I'd be without these equine therapists to stare me down and talk sense to me without saying a word.