THEY REALLY DO Once I started riding, I could see why it had taken me so long to get up there. See, you just can’t be worrying about anything, about your life, when you’re riding. And worry and obsessive thinking and all sorts of mental imbalance were a huge part of my life when I got the urge for the horses. I was in a marriage that was largely unmanageable, and the amount of head space that trying to manage it took up… well, I think I would not have been able to put it all aside in order to give myself the gift of something else to think about.

Having said that, the whole thing about the horses that I’ve learned, since leaving the marriage and taking up the riding, is that there is nothing — nothing — better for taking your mind off your own mind than the horses. So I wonder if, perhaps, I could have managed things better had I been riding during all the drama and indecision and fear. I don’t doubt that things wouldn’t have turned out the way they did, but I do wonder how different I would have been had I had this healing, empowering thing to do in the midst of all the chaos.

Eh. No regrets. I am a firm believer in the notion that things happen as they are meant to happen, and here I am, with this enormously beneficial outlet for my crazy. It has stood me in good stead the last several weeks, as I re-enter the world of relating to men.

It’s much as I remembered, the same sorts of flights of fancy and disappointments, the connections and lack thereof, of being told that I’d get a call and then not getting one… argh! I am still myself, better in myself, but still ‘me’, still with all my assets and defects, but with this amazing thing that I do that allows — demands — that I put it all aside and focus on the work to hand.

It is spectacular. It is the thing, I think, that will allow me to keep myself as clear as I can while I search for a new fella. I was in a state, created by my self about a dude, leaving for my early morning Thursday lesson, a state that absolutely could not stand up to the reality of being at the yard, of being given Tango and all that entails, of jumping two fences on a horse that could refuse if I wasn’t entirely focused and working. My poor crazy mind cannot keep going round and round in circles when I’m physically going round and round in circles on a horse. Once those endorphins start bubbling and flowing, I am fully in my body and am in the space I want to be in. Clear. Strong. Well in myself.

And when I set foot in the yard, there is nothing else, there is no other story, there is only me and my gear and the horse and the work to hand. I am nothing else but a rider, and nobody cares about anything else. I am, in effect, nobody else but the ‘me’ that I am when I am there. I love that ‘me’. She is awesome: easygoing, capable, friendly, joyful, fit, excited, striving, and free.

Now, we all know that endorphins are produced by the other class of riding [har, har], so how to reconcile the two? If I can keep my self grounded, then that other bit should be fun, too. In theory. We’ll see how it goes in practice.

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