Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Horses Save Me Again

I moved to a house on the same property as the barn in late October. It has been such a blessing to live here. This home is my happy place, my sanctuary, I love it here. The day I left my husband I loaded up the trailer and drove to the barn. I was in full blown panic attack when I hooked up the trailer and for the first time ever I dropped it when I missed the ball hooking up. I managed to get it jacked up and back on the truck, I was trying to run away before my husband came back home. I was a hot mess when I unloaded Grace and got her settled in. I stayed at the barn that day not wanting to leave – this was before I moved here. I noticed that there were some stalls that still needed to be cleaned so I grabbed wheelbarrow and pitchfork and jumped in. Halfway into that first stall my thoughts started to settle, my body took over as I begun the repetitive motion of shifting poop through shavings. I realized how much I missed working in the barn, the quiet mornings with the horses, the satisfaction of freshly stripped and bedded stalls. It wasn’t long before I was the Saturday stall cleaner. Once I moved to the property I took on night feedings and weekend mornings. Little did I know these simple chores would save me.

I’ve had my heart broken twice since my marriage ended. Yes – you are correct in your judgment it was most likely too soon for me to be involved with anyone. That didn’t stop me. I fell head over heels in love and gave a man every last ounce; he broke up with me the first time the day after Thanksgiving. That was a Friday – he came over that night, told me how much he loved me and then walked out the door. I was devastated, how could someone I gave everything to just walk away? The next morning I wanted to hide under the covers and never get out. I wanted to stay in the fetal position until the pain went away, but I had to get up and feed the horses. I had to put my clothes on and trudge down the hill. I then had to force myself to eat food so I would have enough calories in my body to clean stalls. Something happened halfway into cleaning stalls; I had a brief moment of clarity where the pain paused for a moment. It didn’t last long but it gave me a glimmer of hope that there may be a way through the pain. In the weeks that followed I fell into a scary black hole of depression. I came home after work and didn’t want to leave my bedroom. But I had to feed the horses each night. This meant changing my clothes and trudging down the hill. Joe was there with his sweet face always happy to see me. I would cover his nose in kisses and tell him that he is the only boy for me. Grace was there kicking the walls to her stall telling me to “hurry up and feed bitch, I don’t have time for your boy drama!” I rode less in December than I had in years, I just didn’t feel like I belonged in the saddle. In early January I started to ride Joe several times a week, about two rides in my smile came back. His lope was my new happy place. 

I started seeing a therapist and worked weekly with my life coach. I was finally starting to get over the man that broke my heart after the holidays when he showed back up to give it another try. This time I thought I had my blinders off, I was still crazy in love with this man but I wasn’t going to let him hurt me again. We were just “dating “this time I told myself, I could walk away at any time. In reality I was very much in love with him, again. Last Sunday he ended the relationship for the second time. Once again he told me how much he loved me and then walked out the door. For a smart girl I seem to be really stupid when it comes to relationships. How could I let this happened twice? Why in the hell did I trust him again? 

This time around I am much further along than I was in November. The pain is still fresh but I am more angry than sad. I’m also not sure that I trust myself to make relationship decisions. The horses still need to be fed every day and still need me to clean their stalls on Saturday. Stall cleaning has become my 5 hour physical meditation. I start out stuck in my head, thoughts of him are non-stop. By the time I am on the last stall I am looking forward to showing Joe this year and am planning out the rest of my weekend. Joe is still my favorite boy to kiss. He is there for me to wrap my arms around him and cry into his neck. He doesn’t judge me, he doesn’t tell me I wasn’t ready for a relationship, he just listens to me and softly blows his breath on my hair. I once said that if I could go back and talk to 14 year old me I would tell her to spend more time with horses and less time with boys. 39 year old me is just now starting to hear those words.


  1. I hate to say it, but he'll be back. That's why he always says he loves you before he leaves. He doesn't want to close that door completely. You have to learn to hate what he's done, even if you can't hate him. I've had horses save me too, more than once.

  2. I am so not taking him back this time! Joe is the only boy for me!

  3. Good, break his heart.

  4. been there, done boy was AQHA Zandy Bar King.....