Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Nello and I Are Learning...
Like every relationship, Nello and I are getting to know each other. Extrememly reasonable and easy-going by nature (him, I'm talking about), there are still fears to explore - and conquer.
Our first trail ride alone taught me many things - at the barn, a person is a person, but out on the trail, a person is a potential threat, in Nello's mind. So, we are working on de-sensitizing him of that - a new friend and I trailed together, and with another horse accepting everything we met on the trail - dogs, people, very fast-moving ground animals like chipmunks - Nello relaxed and enjoyed the ride.
He is also the consummate social butterfly. If he were a person, he would be the affable neighbor cutting his lawn mower engine off just to say hello. When his stall door is open (because I am picking up his ginormous poops, somewhere behind him), his head is way out, and he is visiting with people, horses, whoever. He has learned the barn schedule, and has joined the chours of stomps and whinnys when the grain wheelbarrow enters the barn. Two birds built a nest in his stall, up in the corner, and he listens to them chatter with complete indifference as they take turns sitting on their eggs.
I have discovered muscles I never knew I had - because they hurt so bad. But this is good, hard work - lifting things, dragging things, shovelling things. And the riding is exhausting but exhilarating (for me, he would probably roll his eyes), as we circle the riding ring or hit the trail.
In your late fourties, something happens. It can be a time of GREAT restlessness. Some look at their partner and say, "I just can't ride the rest of this trail with you - there has to be more for me out there in the world." Some get a fast car, and try to outrun age. And some, like me, look at what their dreams are, and if they are more attainable than maybe they thought. And, they begin to work it out. They perhaps drive to New Hampshire and pick up a horse that was once in a terrible carriage accident, and bring him back to Massachusetts to try to love him and give him a great final chapter. They consider hard work and mistakes and just a hint of danger to be the antidote to Father Time.
That would be me. Let's hope I live through it!