Mating the older mare

Daily Oats: Food for the horse lovers soul

Over the weekend,  my horse buddy and I were talking about  me dating.  My husband died a while ago, and I have just have not done any dating since.  I have to admit, I think about having someone in my life to be more of a as  witness to my life, a close companion, but just skip the entire dating ritual.

Anyway, for the fun of it, I posted the question on Facebook.  I never had so many replies on my Facebook profile.  Several hundred fellow horse lovers offered a vast  range of dating advice for this older mare.   Some offered hope, and told me to just  go for it.  I even had many men tell me the exact same thing.   However, I found on the other end of the scale was the  majority of woman telling me  not to even bother.   That my life would be simpler and more rewarding staying single and if I found someone, that I might never be happy again.

Here is the thing.  I have to disagree.   There was a overwhelming amount of not only sadness in the answers but  even within their written words I could here the  anger  and pain.  It was within this sadness I see as the greatest potential  for the loss to one’s very  soul.  I refuse to live within that sadness.

When if comes to love, I have always believed  that it was me that needed a little re-training.  We can only love, as we were taught  to love,  only understand as we were understood and only ever show compassion as compassion was demonstrated to us, and even more so, we can only accept the love that we are given in this life, as those before us believed it should be given.

It is a matter of generational training.  Just like us, we can only train a horse the way that we are taught.  We can learn different methods, but the original training, the foundational training that we were first introduced to is the one that we unconditionally accept as fact.   Just like no two horses, even blood related, can never be trained the exact same way,  nor can  two people  even be trained to love and be loved the same way either.   Two people can never demonstrate love the exact same way.

When my husband died, I knew there was many times, that I expected things to be done my way, or I hate to admit it, ” or else”.   For me I know I will find someone when I get re-trained enough in my own thinking to allow everyone around me  just to be who they are and never force  my views  or my way of thinking on them to create the illusion of my own happiness.

When I walk in those shoes, I will then be ready for a new person in my life.   I want to experience that kind of love before I die: that deep,  that giving to completely accept the fact, that it does not matter that I am ever right, just that I am always accepting.   Besides, that frees me up to be exactly what I want to be.  It is at  that point I will get to experience total freedom for myself.

I, as a rider and trainer, work well with the stock horses.  I just like them.  I love allowing them to develop into becoming  who they were meant to be.  Do  you not enjoy your horse just as they are?  In fact the more you learn to become one and just enjoy the ride, they happier you both become within the relationship.  That is what I want, the trouble is, I am just not quite  ready.

I need to finish my own  training first.  I know that I am getting close, because, I have learned I do not need to offer my opinion as often as I think.  But the most important lesson I have learned is that their behavior is never about me.

It is about their former, foundational  training.  The question is who has already taught them, who impressed their life to imprint their personality.  If I can apply that rule to me first, then I am long on my way to accepting those around me just as they are and become more of the person that  I was meant to be.

I need the re-training, not you: that is my hardest lesson in my life so far.

For today, I am going to completely shut up and see what happens, offering not my opinion or my  judgment in any way.    I beleive I just might have a whirlwind of extra time on my hands by the end of the day.

I will be the whinny, and no  matter who is bring me my morning Oats, I will  greet them like as if it is my last meal. Whinny, until I am out of breath.

No matter where you are right at this minute, just WHINNY as loud as you can and greet this world like never before!!


Daily Oats: Food for the Horse lover’s soul

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Love Roberta

Roberta Edstrom
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Published in: on January 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm  Comments (29)  
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29 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Try Equestrian Singles.

    I had no intention of joining as I was browsing and looking for a specfic subject and the link was there so I took a peek.

    I have been widowed as well and the kids are long gone, so maybe I can find a friend/companion to ride with and share our stories together.

    • I was all for staying single, my kids grew up, this was my first Christmas and New Years completely alone. I was just soooo proud of myself for making it through without a tear, which apparently brought on the tears LOL…it all boils down to, lonely is lonely, no matter what day of the year it is. If I find ME asking ME how my day was, then wer’e in trouble!

  2. Good thoughts. It requires understanding of ourselves and some inner balance not to get caught up in dramas—our own or those of others. And it’s important to become comfortable in our own skin so we can let others be who they are instead of insisting they be who we think they are. Our interpretations of someone sometimes confuse reality. We have to not be so needy. We’re happier and don’t waste so much time and energy when we can explore getting to know the real person. Hard job tho—because a lot of people advertise that they are are Mr(Ms). XYZ, yet that person never shows up. Becoming real, and being real…
    Good luck in your wisdom growing.

  3. I too am an older mare…I agree with you about retraining myself. After my divorce, it took me 3 yrs to even think about “dating” again. On top of that I tried the “online” dating…lo and behold I have found a wonderful man that enjoys my love of horses. We were lucky enough to find each other and are enjoying being in the moment each day we have together. So it can happen. Those 3 yrs were my retrining and it wasn’t a conscious effort…it was a reconnection to what I was before…and I refuse to loose “me” again, but I am also a more giving person and enjoy listening to others tell me about their lives…a nice new education. So let it happen!!!

  4. as an “older mare” I thought about not getting back out into the pasture with the younger fillies to compete for the right stallion…But I knew that this old mare needed to be loved and as SCARY as it is, i took the plunge and i found me a great Stallion… he isnt big and flashy, he is a little like a older mustang, used and a little weathered, … but steady and true…and i am loving the adventure we are now sharing together, and when it comes time to be put out to pasture… i am 100% positive he will be at my side…

  5. Awesome!

  6. I have thought about this since my husband is 21 yrs older than I am. I decided that since we have a good love, that it is a good foundation for another good love when the time comes, after the grieving and storing of memories when we have to part. I believe in the goodness of life. And the love he has given me has been a huge part of the re-training in the love department from how I was trained in childhood. He has taught me to live with wisdom and clarity, and I am grateful. Go for it, I say.

  7. “[I want to learn] to allow everyone around me just to be who they are and never force my views or my way of thinking on them to create the illusion of my own happiness. … [I]t does not matter that I am ever right, just that I am always accepting.”

    Worthy goals indeed! I am on that same re-training path myself. I find it opens up the whole world to one!


    • Roger you sound like a gem.

      Are you single??

      LOL, Marge

  9. We can only love, as we were taught to love, only understand as we were understood and only ever show compassion as compassion was demonstrated to us… >>> Thank you. I needed this one – a lot. A colleague, someone I highly valued and thought was a friend, betrayed my trust. I have severed ties, but I need to remember this statement so I can move on with compassion in my heart so I do not attract this kind of person into my life again.

  10. hey Roberta, I read your postings about dating. I was widowed for many yrs. at a very young age of 23. I am 43 now. One thing I have learned is to marry the one that God has instore for you. If you dont you will bring alot of heartache upon yourself. thats the road I traveled down. I am now remarried for 2 yrs. Loving …life and serving God and i love everything about horses.

  11. Roberta,

    Great article. Going through some of that “negativity” when it comes to dating or opening up my heart again to men. This helped me realize that it is all about how I was trained to either give or receive love and compassion, etc….

    Hopefully, what is meant to be will be….and I won’t succumb to closing my heart again, along with that negativity….


  12. Roberta,
    It sounds like you desire intimacy and not so much a husband. Intimacy can be achieved with out marriage. Creating a close circle of friends who are ‘real’ with each other is very rewarding. Being satisfied where you are is most important.
    Blessings, Cali

    • Great post, Cali!!

  13. After being in a controling relationship for to many years, I gathered up my courage and struck out on my own. The last five years have been a time of trial and error and learning. I have made many mistakes during this time and expect I will make a few more, but the one mistake I have not made is LIKING the person I am with now. I now believe it is almost more important to LIKE the person you are with, rather than loving them. I have come to learn that this person is my very best friend and we tell each other, every day, “I like you”. We have both been in relationships where “love” came very swiftly and left just as swiftly. The friendship and deep abiding affection we have for one another is more satisfying than any other relationship either of us have been in. The love part is coming, I am certain of that, but until then “I like you” makes me smile, tingle, giggle, and feel completely at ease with myself and the world around me. I agree with the last part of your blog to greet the day with a loud whinny; to greet those that are close to you with that loud whinny, or the low whicker of recognition and enjoyment. It will come…just listen for the steps of friendship!!!

    • Wonderfully put!

  14. Roberta, what a great post! I would say get ready for the adventure. I know so many women who are so lonely and cold because they never wanted to give love a chance again – don’t become one of them! I’m happy that I met my second husband and we are happily together for 13 years now. I would have missed out had I just gave up after the first time. I hope this time lasts forever. I wish you good luck!

  15. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Knotatail, Brooklyn. Brooklyn said: RT @knotatail: Dating? Fun read on Daily Oats: Mating the older mare […]

  16. Wow………what a can of worms just reading this opened up for me……….. I think it’s time for some soul searching. ………..I’ll get back to you on this. For you, I would say “You go girl!” but I am scared to give myself the same advice. LOL

    • Linda, me too! I’ve been divorced since 1984. Been a “dater” since then. I do like being single, but if I could find someone with my passion for horses, I might think twice about sharing my life with someone. In the mean time, I’ll try to get myself motivated (which is most of the problem) to get out there! Good luck, keep us posted! -Kathy

  17. Love will always find its way, but patience and not being needy are virtues for finding the right relationship.
    Also, a lot of folks never take the time to refind themselves before getting into another relationship.
    Find yourself and who you are, before beginning another relationship.
    In my opinion there is some difference between a divorce and being widowed, even though there is a lot of similarities like grieving, asking why and being angry.
    In a widow situation, it was not because of violent fights, lieing or cheating that you were tore apart and therefore you don’t have to get through that type of anger. That at times can be the hardest thing to heal.
    Also, getting over a lost love through a widow situation can be just as hard, but you never have to give up loving the one that you lost and the right person will accept those feelings from you no matter what.

  18. I just can’t imagine dating again. Nor can I imagine living the rest of my life alone. If I were to be a widow, I think finding another person would have to just sort of happen. My concern is that it seems so many people out there are just not real honest people. It is sort of natural to put yur best foot forward when you are out on a date or meeting anyone new but there is so much mis-representation of self in the dating game. I have two single daughters. So many…too many times they think a fella is a really good guy and then in time the real person creeps out of the fantasy persona & they find they really have all kinds of problems. Lots of lies being told to be impressive. We can’t live our life in fear but we can be careful and watchful for clues of hidden problems. Take things slow!

  19. Wow…..this was like an arrow to my heart and soul….I lost ‘the one’……the first man I ever dated….he and I went thru some rough times and had long stretches we were not together. I actually married and married and well, you get the idea, but we finally got it right 21 years after our first date and the next 13 years were wonderful….until cancer took him from me. I said “that’s it….I’m done” I might date again but there will never again be a great love for me and I’m never going to remarry

    But then a funny thing happened….I took an early retirement and moved back “home” to where I spent the first 18 years of my life; met or should I say “re-met” a man 19 years older than me….I knew him growing up; he’d finished high school with my mom and my uncle. He farmed/ranched as my grandfather did and in general we all move in the same circles in the itty bitty place I’m from so he’d seen me grow up . His dgt is only 3 years younger than me and his nephews were all around my age so I was one of the ‘kids’

    He’d lost his wife of 38 years to heart disease.

    When he asked me out, I was like hmmmm….guess I don’t have to call him “Mr. Larry” anymore….you know us Southern girls and boys grow up calling everybody Mr., Mrs. or Miss with their first names.
    I went out and had a wonderful time which did surprise me a great deal.
    He kept asking me out and I kept saying yes…..

    He’s retired from his “real” job but still raising cattle/horses, so we shared that passion….I joke and tell him I knew he was serious about me when he started taking me to horse sales and asking my opinion on what horses he should buy, asking me to come along when he was hauling his horses to show, asking me if I wanted to go to the barn and feed the horses and go to the “Rocky Hole” or the “Back New Ground” different parts of his ranch to work the cattle….

    To make a long story short, we are now married and I have discovered that I am happy again…..our marriage is no better nor is it worse than mine to my “first love” was….it’s just different and I am thankful every day that God put us in each other’s path.

    My opinion on this matter is simple:

    Close your eyes,
    open your heart,
    let it go……where it’s meant to go!

    • Oh my gosh, what a wonderful story. Like a “Lifetime” movie. I am so jealous 🙂 not really, just very happy for you! XOXO -Kathy

  20. it’s not quite so easy for the stallions you know—widowed myself a while back, i fell into a relationship that turned into , let’s say, a “stalker” mentality…….a little scary at our age.
    I am walking away a “little bruised” , my pride hurt, and a little more worldly and cautious.
    It takes time to find that next real companion that God actually wants for us——-until then, i agree, my horses will be just fine. Besides, i know they love me! wlm

    • Thank you so much for the reply, That took courage. I too beleive that God truly has everything to do with finding someone to really share your life with. Sorry about you beiing a little more bruised. Roberta

  21. Awesome post! I know you are right on all accounts. I desperately needed retraining in love and relationships. I had a pattern of abusive and disasterous relationships. I then spent 6 years single, learning about me, who I was, what I wanted, etc. Most importantly and I believe this 100% my mare taught me how to love and accept others with all their quirks, she taught me that my bullying wasn’t something I found acceptable. She taught me that who she was was better than what horse I thought I wanted. So I thank her from the bottom of my heart. (and I think I need to put this info on my blog)
    And now I am tentively seeing someone, and it’s going really well, but I’m still learning about love…

  22. After twentyseven years of marriage I was traded in for a younger mare. Two years later I met a wonderful man who was really good with horses and with me. I felt very blessed. Two years, nine months and ten days later he died from cancer. Nothing is forever, tough times end, so do good ones. Life is a journey, be happy with this moment in time – it will not last.
    Thank you for writing this blog, I hope that un-horse people get to read it too.

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