Sunday, April 19, 2009


Things have been tough lately. Last week, I lost a friend. She had a lengthy illness and it wasn't exactly unexpected, but of course that doesn't help how much it hurts.

As anyone who ever lost a loved one knows, the loss -- whether it's a family member, a friend, a horse or a pet -- tends to trigger other losses, too. So as I grieve for my friend, I also grieve for my mother, my dog from 5 years ago, and the amazing Arab mare I had during my childhood and teens.

On the day my friend died, I had a riding lesson scheduled. Maybe it sounds weird, but I went to it. I had been wallowing all day and wanted to try to focus on something else.

As I was getting ready to go to the barn, I told my SO that I wished I would be riding a horse other than Marve, maybe a more "soulful" horse. Like my old Arab mare. Some horses just have that old soul thing going on, and if I had gone grieving to the stable to meet my mare, I just know she'd look at me as if she understood. Not that there is anything wrong with Marve, but he's got a different personality. And of course, this made me miss the mare again, and then my mother. But still I pulled myself together and went to the stable.

When I got there, I petted Marve and smelled his face. I don't have to tell you guys about that horsey smell and how comforting and familiar it is. It was good to see him. But I still felt fragile, and was worried I wouldn't be strong enough, mentally or physically, to handle one of his bolting sessions. So I spoke to my instructor and told her exactly what I felt I needed and what would make me comfortable in the lesson. She listened without question and supported me in all that I asked for. After the lesson, we had a bit of a chat. I know she has been through some rough times these last few weeks, too, but it was great to get her support. I have to say that I really admire and respect my instructor as a person. She has a good heart. And I'm glad I knew when to speak up about my needs in the lesson.

The schooling show at the barn was this weekend. I stayed at home, as planned. Since I told the barn manager in advance I wasn't going to ride Marve, someone else could have, but I found out that he was not ridden in the show. Apparently he has been bolting with other people occasionally, too, and especially when he's right behind another horse. I guess they decided not to risk it, and I'm glad for that. Part of me wanted to be at the show this weekend, but I know it was the right decision, and the safe one, to skip it. And now I feel that more strongly than ever, since I have so much healing to do.

I have been making a conscious effort to focus on all the wonderful things I do have in my life. First and foremost, a loving partner in my SO. My health. Financial stability. Happiness. I have it good and I know it. I just need to concentrate on that when things do go wrong.


Daun said...

Mae, I am so sorry. Nothing I can say will make it hurt less but know that you are in my thoughts.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

Good for you for talking with your instructor and letting her know how you feel.

I hope you are ok...

Funder said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sounds like going to your lesson that day was a great choice.

Maybe Mae said...

Thanks, guys. I am doing okay. :)