Current feels: afraid of my horse. And your horse. And all of the horses.
This is not a new feeling. After getting kicked in July, and not being able to get “back in the saddle” with handling my horses due to pregnancy and lots of loving hoverers preventing me from doing so, the PTSD has been allowed to fester for six months with no end in sight. Today I believe I hit rock bottom.
I have been jumpy and emotional around my horses on a daily basis. Hormones don’t help, neither does Sully’s young age. Four year old horses cannot be taken out of the pasture but once a month to get feet trimmed (while drugged) and maintain a level of domestication. He is wound tight, I am wound tight, and so I have just been feeding him and staying away.
I decided around Thanksgiving that this was not going to work. I cannot come back after 9 months once this baby comes and start reschooling a feral green baby. I am going to get hurt and he is going to become dangerous to handle. At first, I listed him for sale. Then when I realized I didn’t want a stranger to get hurt coming to test ride my feral horse, I decided we would send him off to training for 4-6 months. With this plan I could reassess my level of confidence under my trainer’s watchful eye after having her work the feral out of him five days a week for several months. If we still were not a match at that point, then we sell.
So solution set! Perfect! Great! All that was left was to get him there on the 1st of the new year.
I had zero concerns about getting Sully on the trailer. I never had a problem with him before. Sometimes he would hesitate but gave in with a steady hand and bribery. However I was already in a bad mood before we even got started, and I have two very shaky hands. I need hubby’s help to do anything because pregnant, and he chose today to be pokey mcgee and run me an hour behind schedule. I loathe telling someone a time I will be somewhere and then showing up late. We had to go pickup my shared horse trailer, get it home, pack it, then load Sully. I was supposed to be leaving my house by 10. We got the trailer to our house at 10:15am.
Unmedicated OCD bipolar pregnant woman with massive anxiety here, people. To say I presently have no patience and no flexibility with life is an understatement.
I thought I even took a cautious route by syringing up some perfect prep before loading, but I think that might’ve just ticked him off. By the time we get to the trailer we are both crabby. Steps on the ramp, steps off the ramp. Begins to pull back on me. I upgrade to slightly angry. Reattempt. Pull back, tiny rear. Now I’m pissed. Tell hubby to go get the lunge whip. I’m backing his ass up down the driveway for 300ft and then start pushing him into a mini lunge session. Put him in the classroom, as my old trainer liked to say.
Well baby Sully has my number. He knows I’m keyed up and that it’s due to my fear of one of those back hooves meeting my belly. It didn’t go so well last time and it was bound to be worse if it happened again. He taps RIGHT into my worst fears, rearing into a buck, swinging around to face me with his ass, kicking out at me. I’m done. That’s it. Puddle of freeze. Drop the lead, Sully bolts over to the neighbor’s house.
Luckily my neighbor is a vastly experienced horsewoman and answers my frantic phone call and comes to my rescue. Puts Sully’s ass right back in the classroom and marches him right onto the trailer for me. Then she comes and hugs me and coaches me to breathe and calm down when all I want to do is ball up in the pile of nerves that have completely taken over and sob uncontrollably. Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold, even when they sometimes annoy you.
I waited until we started pulling away, and then balled up in a pile of nerves sobbing uncontrollably.
Sully is now safely at the trainer’s farm, and as he has been there before, he popped right off the trailer for my trainer with no problems whatsoever and was calmly munching hay in his stall within five minutes. Well, at least you are happy you feral motherfucker, because now I feel like an incompetant dunce after this morning’s events.
These type of happenings are quite literally heart breaking for me. I feel another little piece of who I was before my accident get pulverized with every ego busting incident that makes me realize… I am no longer confident. I am no longer competent. I can’t handle my own horse. Me, who someday wants to be a teacher and trainer and upper level eventer.
Right in this moment I don’t have any wise words for myself. Right now I can’t do anything to confront my fear, because I have to continue to sit here and be pregnant and make the best decisions I can to stay safe until my body is just mine again. It is frustrating and angering and deeply emotional for me, because riding horses and being good at it is my identity. I want to get out there and lunge and round pen and liberty train my own horse and ride him. I want to regain what I have lost. I want to be the scrappy rider I used to be. Without this to qualify my self worth, I feel undeniably empty.
I just hope that I can overcome this.