Friday, May 20, 2011

The woman in the Mirror

This is Gomer(on the left)& my Bubba (on the right). Sadly we were forced to find a new stable because the stable we wintered at went up for sale & rather then wait until the last minute Judy one of my dear friends & trail riding companion found the most perfect place not far from home for us. It was a long hard winter. The coldest I remember in years. I was so grateful for the indoor arena we got to enjoy because the weather outside was treacherous so riding outside was out. And on top of that,  Bubba was giving me some real trouble & the indoor arena was a great place to work out these issues. There were many.
I got the opportunity to work with a very knowledgeable friend named Cindy. If you ever get the chance to take lessons from an experienced Horse Trainer or Friend, Please do IT. It really helped me see things so clearly, like how often the communication between horse & rider in practically non existent.  

When i was told that just about every single issue I was having with my horse boiled down to the trust factor,(Bubba's lack of trust in me) I disagreed & was highly insulted.Then I really got to thinking. Why did it hurt my feelings? Well, because
the truth hurts but I needed to face it. Bubba had no trust in me. I had no trust in him,he was the boss, therefor he was in charge and he called all the shots.That's about as unsafe a situation as it can get. Truth is we all want to be safe, none of us want to get bucked off or harmed. We all have an incident that sticks out in our mind and sometimes me i was bucked off at the age of 13, it was a nightmare of buck..I am 38yrs old and I'd be lying if  i didn't say that every time i decide to let my horse gallop that very thought of getting bucked off didn't flash before my eyes. I can tell you first hand that until you are willing to come up with a game plan, commit yourself to ground work, admit that you don't know as much as you think you know, and be willing to meet your horse at the level he or she takes it too, you will never get beyond that accident or that fear. I honestly didn't realize that until it was pointed out to me.Ever wonder why your horse misbehaves yet when an experienced rider gets on them or works with them the horse seems to all of a sudden start behaving? 
Have you wondered why every horse you've ever owned acts the same way eventually, pulls the same tricks or sports the same bad habit? You always hope that the new horse will not have the same problems as the old. The problem never was the horse. The problem is us. and the problem is that horses lack of trust in us. 

I had an excuse for everything Bubba did or didn't do. I could stretch that into my personal life because I had an excuse for all the things my family and friends did too. Lastly, I always made excuses for myself. I found myself by finally facing all the things I'd made excuses for in my personal life while retraining myself and Bubba.

I looked at myself one day in the mirror & realized I really didn't know the person looking back at me. I'd spent so much time being the Carolyne everybody else wanted that I lost myself somewhere along the way.So I didn't just work on Bubba I worked on myself too.

There were so many issues we worked on over the winter..5 long months of ground work, ground work,ground work.He'd buck or act like he was gonna buck when i asked for a canter. He would raise his head when i went to bridle him or put his halter on. He wouldn't stand still when i went to tack him up or brush him. He'd jig non stop on the trail. Everything just screamed "this is out of control".

Bubba fought me so hard and was not willing to hand over his Alpha position so easily. I didn't realize the fight I'd have on my hands.  I had a horse with a major attitude problem who was becoming quite dangerous. I really hadn't finished anything I started training wise on Bubba to this point. I did everything in bits and pieces..When I committed myself to training Bubba and earning his respect and taking the Alpha position back, the results in Bubba's new attitude were just amazing. He went  from a spoiled ugly horse with an attitude too a very Handsome loving(still spoiled) horse with manners.
The issues I was having in my personal life & the means to get beyond them somehow crossed the same exact path that I was on while working with Bubba. I was gaining confidence and self esteem for the first time. I could see results from sticking to it that I was never able to achieve before on my own.Don't ask me how i had so many epiphany's while teaching my horse the 7 games by Parelli, or how I found the answers to the Many Why's & Why nots. I would have so many uh-HUH moments about my life while ground working Bubba. Many times it lead to a rush of tears and relief
My burdens were heavy. I'm still grieving my daddy who passed away last sept. I miss him everyday of my life. It hurts so bad when you lose your parents because you really do feel for the first time in your life that your alone. There's a certain security that comes when one or both of your parents are alive.That security quickly leaves when they pass. I really thought I would handle my dads death 
better then I am. I didn't expect to feel so lost. I didn't expect the depression to weigh so heavy. I had to do something or the pit I was falling in would swallow me up for sure. So when a friend offered to help me retrain Bubba & myself (lol), I thought God gave me this horse & it's time for me to hand my grief over to the Lord and bury myself in training. I figured at the least I would be able to forget my troubles for a while. But it was the exact opposite that happened..I had to face my fears & my troubles and only then can you get beyond.

Working with Bubba made me realize how many things I had been running from concerning him & my own life.It  made me see the things I didn't quite like about myself. It forced me to see the all situations for what they really were. Truth is, my life had felt so messed up that I was ready to quit life. I simply didn't want to play anymore. All the things that brought me enjoyment no longer did. All the people that made my life complete were gone.Those that were left made it complicated. The 3 people who understood me better then I understood myself..My Daddy, My Mama, & the coolest Big Brother to ever walk the planet were gone. I'll see them again someday. I lost the 2 best dogs and 2 best horses an owner could have..Winston & Mandy were my first dogs, They both lived 15yrs. 
And my horses Honey & Mack both lived to be 15yrs old. I put winston down April 4th, Mandy November 1st,My big Brother November 11th and Honey November 15, Mack the following Feb & my mother September and lastly my daddy Sept 27th three years after I lost my mom. I felt like a nothing nobody. I took 3 years to work on me. I lost everything but my husband & 2 good friends. I pondered long when God would take them as well. 
When God starts a work in you He will see it through to the end. Unlike the former me who ran from everything and never finished a thing. I am seeing my way out through the other side..I never thought I'd get here..

After making it through this winter & seeing my horse transformed into a gentleman before my very eyes, seeing myself as the woman I always longed to be, working through issues and staying committed I am learning that hard work does pay off.And likewise now when I look in the mirror I like the person looking back at me and I am confident Bubba likes me too.