Saturday, 19 November 2016
"Whether it's horses or whatever you do, it doesn't become an art until your soul goes into what you do"
- Buck Brannaman
Before I said goodbye to Maite, I'd seen a horse for sale fairly local to me that I decided to go and view. HBK Vanilla Fudge aka Ada, is a 15hh bay QH mare by Shiny Little Spark, and I instantly felt a connection. In that moment I decided I was ready to have another QH and expand my herd to 2. Following viewing Ada and before her arriving, I lost Maite.
Now I have to admit, at that point I was ready to give up altogether. Horses, this journey, felt all too much.
The last year in particular, has been filled with worry and loss. Twice. My husband has always been supportive, and was obviously upset that we lost Maite, but I thought he would be thrilled when I announced that I was done. Instead he looked at me with a worried look in his eye and said nothing. Of course I took time to reflect, and realised that maybe this little mare had found me at exactly the right time. A soothing balm to help heal my wounds, and to teach me more about her kind, and life if I let her.
It was incredibly bittersweet the day she arrived. You can't help but think about the life you have just lost, and feel disloyal that you have let another stand at the gateway to your heart. Could I let Ada in, even if I desired it? Would she want to come in, or would she judge me lacking to be her guardian? The first few days were filled with routine and the tasks that accompany looking after a horse. I decided I was not going to approach Ada with any of my own baggage. That I would get to know her without comparison, expectation or fear and see how we got on. There was still the expectation when working with her on the ground that she should try, and I gave her a purpose in the little things we would do together. When clearing the droppings from the arena for example, I'd set her back and to the side as if we were tying off imaginary cows (in reality me with a tub trug), seeing how particular and accurate we could be, could I get to those feet? Ada is particularly bothered by the flag, but we are gaining each time we work and I am overwhelmed by her try. The one thing however that I didn't expect is HER desire to connect. To hook onto me, at first physically and now more mentally. She wants to be with me...I'd kinda forgotten I had anything of value to offer her, but apparently she can see what I failed to, and do you know what? It feels lovely. When we work with our horses, we always want them to feel like winners. The ethos of 'you go, I go and then we go together'. I discovered it may be me leading the dance, but it seems my horse is the one who asked me onto the floor....
I did go back and ask my husband why he said nothing to me after my declaration of, "No more horses!" He answered, "Well Kate, your 2 favourite things after our family are horses and wine, I'm not sure who you'd be if you didn't have a horse in your life, it's who you are".
Seems my soul is in it for the long haul, so back to honing my craft I go....
Thank you Maite for everything you have taught me. Run free with Tuff. I wouldn't be the horsewoman I am without having met you both x
See you on the flip side x