As a result I've loved horses all my life. I don't remember my first ride. My little girl dream came true when I was in the fourth grade and my Dad took us out to meet Nelliebelle, a nine year old 'Heinz 57'. She had just enough Quarter Horse in her to make a terrific barrel horse. Soon she was joined by Boots, my Dad's handsome palomino, and Tuck, the most pig-headed pony in Kansas. We kept them at the Topeka Round Up Club. I think it's still there. If anyone reads this knows about it I'd love to hear how it's doing.
I grew up and Dad sold the horses. College, graduate school, marriage and kids intervened. My love for horses followed me wherever I went. Riding happened intermittently, a trail ride on vacation, a friend's mount at a fancy club.
In 2001 my mother passed away. Two years later my father died. They left me and my siblings a generous inheritance which we divided equally. After setting a portion aside for me kids' college, I had a little left over just for me. I held onto the belief that someday God would tap me on the shoulder and I'd know what to do with it. When I turned fifty, I found myself jealous of a nine-year-old friend of my daughter's because she was taking riding lessons. I thought, "Damn, that's not right!" and began a quest to find a stable where I could afford lessons of my own.
North Star Farm.
That's where I met Annie. Two years later I was leasing Fancy, one of
the lesson horses, not Annie. Some one else was leasing Annie but I
got to ride her now and then and loved how quick and smart she was.
When Jean, the owner, said she offered to sell Annie to the people
leasing her an arrow shot me in the heart.
"I never thought you'd sell Annie," I said, pathetically.
"All the horses are for sale," Jean replied with a shrug.
Right then and there God tapped me on the shoulder with what I considered lousy timing. Keeping my mouth shut while Jean and the leasers haggled was one the hardest things I ever did. Praying helped pass the time. When the leasers passed and moved on, I approached Jean and we made a deal. Annie was mine, with all the heart stopping responsibility that entailed.
So why "My Horse Is My Therapist"? When I'm not blogging, rearing my two kids and being a life partner to my husband, I run a private psychotherapy practice in Western New York, Explore What's Next. As a therapist I value the joy horses give me. Being with horses brings out the best in me. Many times I've gone to the barn tense, stressed out, even angry about one thing or another. By the time I'm driving home it's forgotten. In its place is a profound calmness, like the feeling after meditation or a good run. Therefore, Annie is my therapist.
blog is devoted to all of us 'older' horsewomen who understand this
feeling, who love, ride and care for these God-favored creatures. It's
my hope to share stories, information and the love with passion and fun.
The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb