Sunday, May 29, 2011

I only have eyes for you !!

What a day yesterday.Did you ever have one of those days where you wake up and stress or anxiety just sorta takes hold. It was a day where I should of been happy. I was off from work, I had plans to go to a flea market with Dayna, a girl I've known since I was 12yrs old, and then later a ride planned. sounds like a wonderful day doesn't it? I'm not quite sure why or how anxiety started my day but i had to push myself through the day. A very huge lesson i have learned is that emotions lie. They tell you it's going to be a bad day,that nothing is going to go right and that you would be better off just staying in bed. I woke to another beautiful Saturday. The sun shining and the promise of an almost 80 degree day. I didn't have enough sleep but was all ready committed too my plans. I had such a great time with Dayna, I always do. We talked and laughed and had breakfast for lunch..During this journey of grief I am getting to know myself and be myself. I'm trying with all my heart to be a person of my word. If I say I will be there or will do something I do my best to keep that commitment no matter how i feel. Emotions lie and tell you its not going to be a good day. I proved that just getting outside makes me feel better. I got some wonderful finds at the flea market, an old bible in great condition, a brass horse (which i collect) and a wonderful book from the early 60's on the world. after i got home from a day out in the sun and sat at my computer with a cup of coffee anxiety filled me again. Anxiety is surely something one has to work on. 
I was this close to cancelling my ride with Judy and Adam. A ride that was my idea..I sat here with dread in my heart just thinking about getting back in the car again to go see Bubba. Some days I see him and I have to push myself out the door, and once I do I'm so glad I didn't give in to emotions lie that I'd be better off staying home and hiding. 
As i pulled up to the barn  I began to feel better, and walking to the stable I saw my Judy and her husband Adam just chillen on the lawn chairs taking in the sights. It's so beautiful where we board. Judy knows me well and knew i had been struggling with anxiety and I love her for her patience with me. Judy said "Adam has your Bubba  saddled up and ready to go." i thought how blessed am i to have such great friends. so i went in Bubbas stall and kissed my boy right on his nose. He loves to trail ride. So i put on his bitless bridle and tightened up the cinch and away we went. All those racing thoughts about how awful i felt and how i didnt want to go see bubba and how i would of much rather of stayed home were gone the moment i saw Bubba. This is what he does for me. This is what a horse should do for you. 
Before we ever left the barn Judy says to me "my poor Adam is suffering from anxiety attacks today" and i felt a wave of relief just wash over me. I said "oh Judy me too I almost didn't come tonight" and she smiled and said "i know honey, i knew  you were struggling and if you would of cancelled I would of felt bad for you because I know what Bubba does for you on the inside". As we weaved back and forth along the trail, Judy & Gomer lead, Adam and Fox rode second and Bubba and I took up the rear. Adam began talking to me about his anxiety. Again someone who understands what I am going through is worth more to me then a million bucks. We talked for what seemed like hours about how it affects us, how we cant eat or sleep, how our thoughts race and wont leave us alone and the sheer battle to just live with this. We would talk and I'd look up to Judy and Gomer up in the lead and think what a wonderful friend i have who does not mind that i can encourage and share my thoughts and feelings concerning anxiety with her husband. Some women are so jealous or are so attention driven. Judy truly is unique in this way. God hand picked Adam just for her and they are the most beautiful,loving and happy couple and I am blessed to call them both friends.
On our way back I was feeling quite good and confident and Bubba was riding like a dream. And then judy says the words " were running up here". ugh!!!!!!!  We stood atop a slight hill that ran down to the longest stretch of green grass I'd ever seen. I could feel my Anxiety just well up inside me. Judy said I'll let you guys go first..So Adam and I trotted off but could not get our horses to even break into a canter. Judy stayed behind and held Gomer back because he is that fast. Very quickly i began to hear thundering hoofs behind me and when Judy and Gomer flew by all i saw was a blur of brown & Judys blond hair. Adam was in front of me and both Fox and Bubba took off behind Gomer. I did think "oh God I'm gonna die" lol..Bubba picked up and hammered down and his speed amazed me, when we hit the middle of the green field  i felt what i would compare to overdrive and Bubba was trucking. 
My Sun glasses flew off and I managed to grab them and I just put my reins forward and let Bubba fly. I had no idea that Bubba had that kind of speed. And it felt so good to just let him go. The adrenaline rush was insane. I felt like all my troubles had somehow been sucked out by some large vacuum and nothing but joy and happiness was left. Emotions lie. Yesterday was the best ride of my life. I know things don't always go perfect and we are never guaranteed safety. But I can see my horses Confidence just skyrocket..He's become brave & so courageous. It's so awesome to see this transformation. Soon I'll be able to do what I thought was impossible which is ride bubba by myself. 
I came home last night and had the best night and the next time my anxiety or emotions tell me that its going to be an awful day I will force myself to get out and smell the roses. I couldn't help but ponder over what I would of missed out on had I stayed home. Had I gave in to those emotions and let them run me. I would of missed out on the ride of my life. 
As I walked Bubba to the pasture to turn him out before leaving for the night. I began to walk away when he began to nicker at me. So I walked back over to the fence and kissed his nose and scratched his chest and then behind his ears..He took his muzzle and put it next to my face and took a long inhale of me. I said goodbye and turned around to walk away and again he nickered at me. So I grabbed my cell phone to take a picture because i just didnt want to forget this moment. Bonding is such a beautiful experience. 

The 40ft Cross

From the very first moment I opened my eyes this morning (previously asleep in my computer chair) the sunshine just filled the living room.
I grabbed a cup of coffee & plunked back down at my computer desk to catch up on all the latest happenings online. I left a brief chat message for Val the night before asking if she would like to trail ride Saturday. Well it was Saturday and when I got online I noticed Valerie's chat box was up & she replied "what time do you want to ride today?"  I thought what a way to spend the day then with Valerie who I have rode with since I was a very young lady. I replied back to her chat with lightening speed lol. We agreed we'd meet at 11am.

I sat back in my chair, took a sip of coffee and  felt that excitement well up inside me like it has ever since I was a little kid. It happens every time I know I'm going on a trail ride. I began thinking back on the very first time I met Valerie and her Quarter Horse Arabian "Shadow". 

Heck, we were in our young twenties back in 95. I remember waking up that morning just thinking about Me & Maxx (my first Tennessee Walker), going for a trail ride. He was in his early Twenties too..He was always pretty decent to ride by himself. Maxx and I were just kinda riding along the beaten path when Maxx startled me out of my daydream by stopping dead in his tracks. Which always scared the crap out of me back then..Maxx was so focused on something ahead with both of his ears intently pricked forward!! Something was out there. I didn't know what because I couldn't see anything!!! Maxx sure knew there was something out there and in an instant I realized just how alone & deep in the woods we were at that point.. Maxx let out a few snorts & I was so scared at this point even I was excepting Big Foot to come out from around that tree. 

I could feel Maxx's "flight" switch was seconds from being tripped to the on position. I'll never understand why horses get so spooked by other horses.  From around the tree came a young women riding a beautiful black horse. Apparently her horse was also picking up on something too, "us" lol..I was never so glad to see & talk to a human being in my life hahaha. 
We chatted for a bit, both excited to find someone other then ourselves out alone on the trail and she said "what barn do your board at?" You could just imagine the excitement when we both realized we boarded at the same barn. I mean could this day GET ANY BETTER??? I don't think so lol..

Here we are almost 17 yrs later and we still enjoy each others company on and off the trail. Our love of horses & learning is a great common denominator & galloping our boy's on those long stretches of trail,field or power line is a fear she helped me over and learn to love..She is hands down, the most courteous trail rider,and one of my favorites to ride with too. I would just love to know how many miles her & I alone have put on the trail. We don't hit the trails as much as we'd like now because life is far too busy, but when we do, we sure make up for lost time..It's always a treat to have someone as knowledgeable as her in my ever learning corner of the horse world and life.There's a huge blessing in honest,loyal friends.

I finished my coffee and got ready to meet Val. We had an incredible ride.It was almost 80 degree's today but the breeze kept us so comfortable. We got about 2 miles into the ride when I recognized an opening on the left,off the trail. It's truly a miracle that I  remembered any part of this trail since the last time i rode it was my very first time on it and Bubba was so worked up that I was focused more on him then where we were going. I think I stared between his ears the whole ride, just waiting for him to blow,buck or bolt. So It was pretty amazing that I remembered so many parts of it while riding with Val. As soon as we'd go a little ways something would trigger a memory like a snapshot & I'd say "its this way Val". 
So left and up the hill we rode and as soon as we got to the top we rode into an opening. And there stood the Giant 40ft stone cross. Something to see for sure right in the middle of the woods..I saw it on my first ride through Lutherlyn & hoped I'd come this way again.

Staring at the cross today I was humbly reminded of just how imperfect I really am.  How much He suffered to give me life eternal. I was reminded of the many ways & the many things God has blessed me with. I had the love of a big brother & two great parents until the Lord called all three of them home and in their place God gave me incredible friends to lean on. Just because you love something & it has been blessed to you, does not mean you'll have it forever. Everything is on loan from God. That's how I feel. I'm learning to live life for today & to the fullest as best I can. There was a point in my life and not too long ago where it felt as if I'd lost everything.Those losses changed me. 7 days after my Big Brother died I had to put my horse "Honey" down. I had an 8year friendship with that mare. She was an awesome trail horse..I should of named her "bulldozer" but that wasn't very feminine for such a beautiful horse. 

Yeah loss sure has forever changed me. I take nothing for granted now. I fully understand that what is here in my hands right now, maybe gone tomorrow. Even being super grateful for something is no lifetime guarantee. I guess deep in my heart I was playing a bargaining game with God. God if I thank you for this horse all the time (which i did), Can I have her till a ripe old age? Silly huh? I'm learning to be me rather then just the Carolyne i want everyone too see. I have great friends..not just good friends, great friends that God set in place!! Grief is sometimes long but so much more doable with friends. Gods never left me to deal with this life alone. I'm still grateful reguardless. I'm grateful to be able to ride with my life long friend and & still be able to laugh and still learn so much from her. I'm grateful for Bubba too.