The first lesson I learnt in life was when you fell off the horse, you had to get straight back on. There was no time to lie there pathetically, if you could walk, you rode, and you had about 20 minutes before the horse realised that you were off, and he got to relax, and that throwing you on the ground was a good idea, and one worth trying again.
The second lesson I learnt was a tougher one…I walked out to ride my horse one day and he was dead in the paddock. Mum said “that is horses, and if you want to ride, you have to know, and be able to cope, with all the elements of horse riding, and this, my dear, is one of them”.
I decided that it as worth it anyway. Nothing good is forever, people come and go, and each horse teaches us something new, as a rider, and if we are lucky, as a person. Best is to enjoy it while it lasts.
I think though that these lessons give you good tools to use in life…If things don’t turn out like you wanted them to, you have to theoretically get back on the horse, and keep going, whether it be relationships, friendships, family…sometimes, no matter how we wish it, we can’t fix everything.
Horses teach us so much, they can be our partner, our best friend, our reason to get up when everything else is falling apart.
People say when you become a mother you learn to put someone else before yourself, but I leant that very early…We would leave christmas lunch early because the horses had to be fed, and it didn’t matter how starving I was, I had to wait until we had done the horses. Or lying awake at night age 9, wondering if I’d done the back legs straps up!
People often ask why I live alone in Portugal, but I never felt alone. My horses had a lot to do with that.
But like all great things, it comes with a downside…
Recently my pilates trainer said to me, that the majority of top level sport revolves around teaching your body to relax in a state of strength. Whether it be endurance or speed or power, we can’t sustain it under pressure, so we have to teach our body to be at it’s peak, but without any strain.
Keeping ourselves fit enough is one thing, but horse riding relies on a dual package, and so the odds of both members of said package staying sound and fit are greatly reduced.
This week was one of those weeks. Batialo has ring bone, and while it’s not the end of the world, it sure felt like it for me. I have since spoken more to my vet and my mum, and my trainer, and they all agree that we will try and manage it…But well, it’s not great :(.
My little horse, who is quickly becoming my very close second great love (sorry Batialo) has to have surgery :(. It is a simple operation and he will recover but of course he will need time off at least 6 weeks.
Mum always said one horse isn’t enough because you lose them so quickly, and sometimes it feels like you might need ten just to have the odds of riding one.
Unfortunately, aside from the riding factor, we also fall in love with them…I read recently that you only get 3 great loves, but I’ve had like 5, (Kaptain, bobby, Zen, Batialo, Iota), each who taught me so much, but who of course can’t stay for very long.
But, like all things in things in life, if it was easy, well it wouldn’t be so damn rewarding when it does fall into place.