Sunday, December 31, 2017
Horse therapy & anger mismanagement
Horses... There's something amazing about horses.
Spending time with a horse is probably the best therapy I've ever had.
My mother absolutely loved horses. She told me so many stories of her youth with her horses.
When we were at a place in life where we lived in homes with lots of land, mom started rescuing horses. We had many but the two more special ones were a little Appaloosa named Star and later on, a Mustang from Utah, we bought at an auction. He was mine. Choco.
Mom took very good care of each horse and especially her Star. He was gentle, and beautiful.
He made the perfect match for my mom.
She loved him as much as he loved her.
After the ordeals we had been through up to that point, horses were just what was needed for our souls.
Mom worked at the Dixie Stampede In pigeon forgeTN. So she worked closely around horses at work also. Her job was to sew outfits/costumes for the preformers and their horses. She was dang good at her job as well. Dedicated to anything she did.
I learned many things from her, mostly how to be so dedicated and not cave under pressure. She was tough, with
such a kind heart.
Mom taught me by example how to care for our horses. Feeding them early in the morning, watering them. Grooming them.
And if there was more than one in the field, there was a "pecking order". She taught me that you cannot feed a horse around another if the one had dominance over the others.
It never went well. As gentle as horses can be, they can also be mean and hurt you.
So she decided to take me to a wild mustang auction and buy me a flipping mustang, that no one but her would attempt to "break" or train.
I remember seeing Choco raring back out of the trailer they had him in.
I thought' yikes! That horse is crazy'!
My strong-willed mother,bid and won him.
Obviously, he was wild so that meant he was also a stallion.
Stallions are strong, and with their hormones raging, they can be dangerous.
So here we were. I was 10 and proudly owned a stallion wild mustang from Utah.
Mom, bless her, tried to break him.
The best she did was get him to let her walk up to him once he was at our barn for awhile,and touched his nose.
He was too wild.
She hired a trainer and we had him gelded.
I witnessed that and let me tell you... That was something I could have lived without.
Her horse was her best friend but as time went on, she was forced to sell him.
A trail riding company bought him and he was their best horse.
She still helped me with Choco.
I could ride him with or without a saddle.
It was hard to believe my horse was once free roaming in Utah just a couple of years before.
I loved him.
We had moved to a home by a 4-lane highway with lots of land.
One January morning, my mom shot straight up outta bed to answer the phone. It was still dark outside so I knew something was wrong. No one calls in the middle of the night nor before 6am, unless something bad has occurred....
Her voice raised and she got out of bed and told me to dress warm and hurry outside with her.
I did, very quickly.
I followed her outside to see a car, police and flashing lights out on the highway below our house.
This woman was telling police that " she didn't she it and hit it, and another vehicle hit it,but didn't stop"
The "it" was a horse.
One of ours.
I started talking and I heard from behind me, a 'neigh'. A whimpering neigh.
Running up the hill, I saw my Choco leaned up against the tree breathing hard.
He was not standing right.
Mom was right behind me.
Choco put his head on my chest and fell over.
One thing mom taught me was, when a horse is injured and falls, it is never a good thing.
His leg was broken with internal bleeding.
He struggled but soon died with his head in my lap. When he fell, I dropped as well.
I was crushed. Mom was crying with me.
We buried him using a backho in the field he had roamed and played in ,just the day before.
My "therapy" was gone.
My friend was gone.
Having horses bonded mom and I more and helped us both during uncertain times.
But that loss hurt my 10 year old heart too much and I lost all interest in horses after that.
Mom slowly did as well...
Just the smell of a leather saddle and horse sweat (sounds gross but horse people understand 😉) was enough to calm me down and take my mind off of the things I had been going through.
At ten , I already had seen so many things,watched my mom do her best as a single mother and her and I had been through so much, that once my horse died, I really didn't have much to make me feel happy.
I wasn't granted a childhood like most.
So I didn't know how to just be a kid. I was always an adult in my mind and heart.
You cannot be someone who you don't know.
I had a very short lived childhood. Like, from birth to 5 years old. So how was I to know what to do with what I was feeling?
Anger and attitude crept in.
I was always worried I'd lose my Mom and I would show that but get treated by others as a bratty kid. So my worries, and pain turned to anger.
Now people would have an actual reason to say I was a brat.
Instead of people trying to help me, I was labeled and my future determined. And it was never good.
Brat. Nightmare. Snotty. Selfish. Were just a few names that others called me and would advise mom I just needed my "ass beat".
That sure didn't help my anger.
The therapist people talked my mom into sending me to, didn't take me seriously either. So I learned to just give in to the labels and show everyone who thought of me as terrible,just how terrible I could actually be.....