It wasn’t really the plan at first, but some days it’s better to make friends than get attempt to get serious work done, at least with this mustang. I don’t always want to chase him around with a whip. It’s not always about hefting a saddle up over his withers and tightening the girth.
I read a blog entry about connection. Connection is what everyone showcases on their blogs and Instagram accounts and such. Look, my horse follows me everywhere! Look, I can ride bareback and bridleless. I’m jumping! We’re dancing! See how much we are one. #twohearts; GOD. I’d settle for two steps in the direction I want to go, when I want to go there. Let’s be real, OK?
I don’t feel a connection to Henry. I love him, sure, and enjoy the time we spend together, with some hope thrown in that we’ll get to a better place some day. But right now he is standoffish and aloof. I am probably trying too hard, I tell myself. I’m not releasing at the right moment and he’s always feeling pressure that I’m honestly not even sure I’m giving. I guess it’s a form of dance, but it’s not pretty to watch.
So tonight it was just easy. Just standing in the arena getting rubbed and scratched and having a rope thrown over him a little bit. Then more rubbing and scratching and lots of playing with his mane and massaging his poll. He didn’t seem that into it. With him it’s always just a low level of tolerance. When will I get the connection? When will I feel him echo something like joy?
It did feel good to love on him. The old horse pushed his way in, as always, also not connecting but asking for everything. GIVE IT ALL TO ME I DON’T CARE THE CONSEQUENCES, he says, like a shameless old man who can’t help himself and farts in public.
I’ve got enough love to go around. What I need to work on is the patience. The belief. Knowing that it will take time but that we’re both capable of getting there. Approaching the session with a positive and happy attitude, choosing to see and be grateful for each tiny scrap of connection as it unfolds.