November 7, 2016. Driving home from the hospital alone. I wasn’t sure how or what to do next. How was I supposed to navigate life now that my husband had died?
I spent a year and a half doing what people said to do, Lean into the pain. Feel the emotions. Take it slow. Fearful thoughts would still creep in and paralyze me.
Then one morning I woke up and little did I know I was about to be catapulted into healing.
I decided to work with my 2 year old colt. He hadn’t been ridden much, and this particular morning he decided he wasn’t going to be ridden at all.
After about a minute and a half he started bucking and kicking and threw me to the ground hard. As I laid there stunned. I scanned my body made sure there were no broken bones. There weren’t. I was going to be sore but OK.
And then I heard or felt a voice say to me.”You have to get up. And not only do you have to get up but you MUST get back on this horse.”
Well, it wasn’t going to happen that day. I could barely walk. But the whole week I kept hearing and feeling, “you have to get back on that horse.”
So a week later I saddled him up and decided to try it again. I put him in from of the mounting block, stepped up. Fear went through my entire body. What if he does this again? What if this time he falls and lands on me or worse throws me into the fence.
Those fearful thoughts paralyzed me. Then I realized the thoughts that I was having were not true. What was true was that I was standing in front of this big beautiful, calm animal. He was not moving a muscle. In fact, he was just standing there waiting for me to get on.
I took a breath, put my foot in the stirrup, slung my leg over, found the other stirrup and sat my butt in the saddle and breathed.
What I felt in that moment wasn’t fear, but calmness. My horse calmly supporting me, waiting on me. I took the leather reins in my hands, and asked him to walk… That was the most calming, smooth, grounding ride I have ever had.
When I got off my horse, what I realized was life is waiting on me to take the reins and take my first step. It isn’t helpful to listen to the negative untrue thoughts that are keeping me paralyzed. And taking one small step leads to the next step. Even though their will be a buck here and there, I may just be able to ride it.
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