Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weeping Uncontrollably

Now That Zydeco is back home and unable to stand any exertion, I have taken a lease on a lovely little quarterhorse named Princess. The next chance I get, I'm running straight to the saddle store and buying a ridiculous amount of pink brushes, because every horse named Princess should have pink brushes.

I've had my eye on Princess since I started at the barn because she is the perfect horse for me. On the plus side, she is kind of petite, and I've always wanted to try out a petite horse to see how I feel. My long, limbering legs might look a little silly, but I like being that much closer to the ground.

So, I got on Princess for the first time yesterday. She stood at the mounting block and I was oh so very happy because Zydeco does not stand at the mounting block. He's a bit of an asshat that way.

And then I proceeded to ride Princess with much success. She was wonderful and I have to say that there is a lot to be said for a horse with a nice, dainty trot as opposed to a horse like Zydo. His trot will throw you to the moon if you're not careful.

We continued our ride and I tried to do a few of the things I would normally do with Zydo and they didn't happen and I felt a little weepy. But I perservered.

Then Princess tried some tricks, just to see what I would do. And I dealt with them and felt a little more sad because I always know what to expect with Zydo's tricks. But this is a new horse.

So I carried on. And then Princess went sideways and tossed her head hither and yon. This is not the end of the world, just a mare testing out a new rider and I should know this and accept this.

But I burst into tears nonetheless because Princess was doing things that Zydo doesn't do to me any more.

I tried to pull myself together. I really, really did. I was here on Princess, the lovely little mare who I've always wanted to ride. She is very pretty to look at and quite well trained. She is sound, sane, and very, very fit. She has great feet, a beautiful mane, and a little sock on one of her hind legs.

But Princess is not Zydeco. And Zydeco is the one that I love and I couldn't help but think how unfair it is that we couldn't have one more year, one more kick at the can, one more go together.

I cried and cried and tried to make it look like I wasn't crying, which makes a crying situation even worse.

My mother came out to coach for the last twenty minutes of my ride. We had some very functional trot on the bit, some very good work. I did sitting trot, which I could never do on Zydo because of his bounciness, and I aced it. I aced a lot of things in that ride, actually.

And then I sat down for my post-ride smoke and tears just kept on escaping me.

Because my horse, the horse that I love, the one that I want has chips of bone floating around in his knee.

And I knew this. I'll say it again, I knew it. I knew it when I first laid eyes on a picture on the Internet. I knew that the horse had arthritis and that one day we would not be working together any more.

I'm riding Princess again tomorrow. I have very specific goals for our second ride: Do not cry. Do not weep. Do not scare the other riders at the barn with my crying and weeping. Be eternally grateful that despite the fact I can't ride my horse, I do have a very fit and sound horse at my disposal to learn from and to master.

This whole thing, I've decided, is going to be a mighty process. I knew three years ago that I would have to go through this process and so this is my beginning.


Just because the course has changed doesn't mean our theme song has to as well.

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