Riding with a loose rein

I don’t know if  I have  brushed  more horses in my barn or in my dreams.  I can spend hours just grooming a horse.   I think by now I can  draw them with my eyes closed   just pretending  that I am running my hands over their magnificent bodies.   Every inch of their bodies  memorized in the palms  of my hands has  forever captured their beauty and by now it has been  blueprinted permanently into my imagination.

When my son was training horses with me, I  actually spent more time being the  groom.  I would get up before the sun, of course make a cup of welcoming, aromatic, stimulating coffee, fill a thermos and head to the barn.   I would feed and then bring  the  first horse   from their stall and start getting them  ready.

I loved this part.   I had made a leather pouch with about 20 slots to hold all of my most favorite grooming brushes and tools.  Since, I also had a tack store, I had quite the collection of brushes.

I would put  the trainee in the cross ties, and start with a bug hug and a few nice,  gentle strokes down the horse nose and face.

I just had to say hello.

I would grab one of my favorite stiffer body brushes, and start by the poll and start working my way down the neck always following the lay of the land.   I have kind of a system of my own.  I would make a quick stroke with the  brush in  my right hand and  and follow with the same path with my bare  left hand.   My hands would qietly cross at  the bottom of the  stroke as the bristle of the brush would send the caught hair and dirt dancing to the beams of the morning sunlight.

I have done it that way since I can remember.   Not only to I enjoy using  my bare hand to stroke the horse’s entire body, but it has serves another purpose as well.  I can feel down to the  horse  skin across  that way.  I can feel any  lumps, bruises, bits  or a cut that perhaps my eyes might have missed and would go unnoticed by brushing alone.

Down the neck, across the width of their chests to where the hairs change direction in the center and than  changing to a softer bush, I would head down the front legs.

Next to the withers, across the back and down and around the girth area, paying particular attention to  the  area where the cinch goes is perfectly clean.   Back up to the top of the hips, around the hind quarters,  down the hind leg brushing my way on  both sides.

Always taking notice  to what my bare hand would  feel.  I was looking for the horse to be uncomfortable  in any certain spots  or finding out why he might  not  be enjoying his morning grooming.  Just kind of quietly asking him in anything was wrong.

Once, to the bottom of the leg, I would pull a hoof pick out of my back pocket and  make sure they  were clean, conditioned and ready to go.

By habit, I always saved the best for last.   Using my softest brush, I would start between the eyes, and make my way up and around by the ears.  down the ever so strong cheek bones, and with the softest bushes I could muster, I went every so slowly down and around the  muzzle.

I love to see how the ends of the hair start to glisten, after a good brushing.  The oils from their coats start to emerge and change with every stroke of the brush,  like the creating your own painting on a living canvass.

I love it when the finale moments how a horse  will  melt in  my hands.  How they every so slightly lean into the brush and let you know how good it feels to them.  How much they enjoy the time that I have just spent with them.   It has created the passions of my life  that have forged  a life long passion in my heart.

Total trust,  venerability. and unconditional  love shared and captured in a single moment of time.

But lately, I have been asking myself why do I not allow myself to  become that close, that intimate, that loving with all  those around me.    Not the bushing part, but taking the time, paying that much attention, finding out their needs, or their pain  to allow them to melt in unconditional love,  unconditional love from me.

I fear that it is a lack of trust.  How ofter does a horse get abused, hurt, injured and still come back to our arms with so much unconditional love that it melts our hearts like nothing else in our lives ever have before?   The answer is Countless, they are endless with forgiveness.

They just allow themselves to be loved and in allowing that love in, they bring it back ten fold.  No questions asked.  They seem to know what is more in our hearts than we do.

I often tell my heart that is just fine, that I will be safe, and my  world will be OK,  if I  open up my heart  and offer unconditional love to everyone within my path.  But it seems as soon as my mouth opens, it expresses something else never mention not allowing my heart to fully open.

The ego is a funny thing.  We think that we run our lives, that we have the ultimate word, but the reality is, that if we are not forgiving  enough not only to ourselves but to others, then   it is our past hurts, bruises, cuts and scrapes that run our lives.

We remember more of the moments of  pain than the gratitude of all the blessing that came in between.  It is  hurtful remarks from strangers we remember more than  all the love from those that are close.

I told my son a thousand times how handsome he was when he was growing up, but he never believed it until a stranger told him.    On the other hand, I have been told a million times how smart I am, how creative I am, but I still have a hard time  keeping it close and living in the truth of that one reality.

Why is it we beleive more from others than we know what is in our own heart and soul.    No one knows me, better than me.  We were made to love and be loved,  both ourselves and others.  That is life.   Short and sweet, the rest is just the carrots for dessert.

The one thing that humans want more than anything else is love and acceptance and yet it is the last thing we seem to give of ourselves, me included.

If I were truly livin’ for the whinny, then for today, I need to open my heart and let out every thing that time and I have allowed to be locked inside.

I need to melt in my own arms of unconditional love.

If I can do that just for today, then tomorrow  I can gather more strength to try again.   By learning this lesson from the horses around me, I can learn to be more of what I know  is in my heart is true.  Just to love with all that I am,  just to love all the whinny’s in my life, just like the horses around me.

I have a question for you.   Have you let the reins  on your heart all the way out and let all of the love inside loose?  Do you ride with a loose rein on your heart, or are you holding them so tight you find no release to your  own spirit?

How do you saddle-up your own heart?   Do you saddle-up so tight that you ache for release?   Do the scars run so deep, the pain and suffering so bad, that you can not let them go?

Then remember this:  Only the truest and deepest loves come from the most undigested parts of mankind for they have always brought out the greatest gifts and treasures from within  once they are released. 

Ready to change your life and “Live “ the Whinny!

Greet the world like your horse greets you, as if there is no tomorrow.

Let it all go and just be the  WHINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNY!!

Let the reins on your heart loose until there is nothing else left to hold on to and start having the ride of you life, the one you dream about every minute.

Daily Oats: Food for the Horse lover’s soul

Love Roberta

Roberta Edstrom

Let some of your pain go, and tell your story on Knot-a-Tail’s Horse memorial page.
For every story that is posted to the memorial page, Knot-a-Tail donates a dollar to the local Horse rescue to help save the life of another horse. Your story can help save a life.

Your horse changed your life, and you can help change the life of another, together united by  the  love of a horse.

Prizes every day for  Knot-a-Tail’s April, 2010 all month-long Anniversary Bash

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Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 1:19 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank you Roberta for a wonderful riding-with-a-loose-rein article…It certainly made me think about those that I hold at bay with a certain amount of untrusting in my heart. Thank you for your comparison of hearts and horses, they are so similar in life’s journey.

  2. Wow, talk about perfect timing! I’m going through a divorce that is now starting to get very ugly and hurtful. You just helped put into words what is needed to keep it from running (and ruining) my day-to-day life. Thank you for that Roberta, (((hugs)))

  3. Roberta, wish I had a horse.

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