The other evening I went for a hack with my loan horse Bubbles. It was quite late in the evening but still warm so I decided we’d go bareback. It’s something we do every now and again as we both enjoy it!
I live in a pretty busy community, but the yard is set in a place surrounded by nature. A lot of people don’t actually realise the yard is there because of how close it is to all the houses, schools, supermarkets etc. We set off on our evening stroll and everywhere was quiet. Not a manmade noise to be heard. The birds were chirping, the leaves on the trees were waving in the wind, it was so peaceful. I left my earphones at the yard and my phone was tucked away in my boot on silent. It was just me and Bubbles. Then I started crying. I leave for Australia in August and it’s all starting to become real now. The plan for Australia has been there since before Christmas last year but it’s all starting to sink in now. One day I’ll go down to the yard and I’ll know it’ll be my last day with him but he won’t have a clue and I’m struggling to come to terms with that. With him being on loan, he’ll go back to his owner and she is a lovely lady. She’s had him since he was a youngster and she adores him dearly so that does provide me with some comfort. I just wish he could understand why I have to leave. I wish he could understand and know that if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have the balls to leave because he helped me in my darkest times. He gave me a reason to get out of bed. He needed me as much as I needed him. All these thoughts were rushing around my head so I just gave him a pat told him he was a good boy and we carried on with our evening stroll.
After some deep thinking I realised I just want to make the most of the time I have left with him but I also don’t want to make a big deal about it. Sure there are loads of things I want to do with him and places I want to take him, but realistically I’m not gonna be able to afford it, so rather than get upset or stressed about all that, I just want to spend as much time with him as possible, but keep it as normal as we can. Mid way through our stroll and I started feeling happier and more in the moment. With it just being me and him in our own world I was able to think and process thoughts/feelings that have been whirling around my head for a few weeks and I was able to relax and breathe! With it being summer now he is out in the field pretty much 24/7 so after an evening ride I normally drop him off at the field, then walk back to the yard myself. So after about half an hour the sun was starting to set so we headed off back to his field.
We arrived at the field and I jumped off, gave him a treat then took his bridle off. As I was wearing shorts I had all of his hair stuck to the inside of my thighs…not ideal when I also needed to walk home! But whenever I drop him off at his field, before I pat him and say to him “Enjoy! Have fun! See you tomorrow!” we high five. It’s not as impressive as it sounds but since loaning him I trained him to high five (or what I class as a high five at least). I stick my hand up about head height level and he boops it with his muzzle or lip. He’s very food orientated so he caught on pretty quick when he realised he got a treat but now he does it without treats! So we high fived and I said to him “Enjoy! Have fun! See you tomorrow!” and off he plodded to his friends and I went back to the yard. As I was walking home I was feeling pretty content. I felt like I let out some emotions/thoughts that I had been repeating in my head. I was feeling more in the moment, rather than looking towards the future and dreading the day I say goodbye to him.
Never underestimate quality you time with your horse. Or just being around horses in general. I know for some people they might scare/creep the shit out of you and I understand that, but for those who aren’t that bothered by them or do like them but don’t own one, try to spend time with them (if you want to of course). There is a reason as to why they are used for different therapies. There is a reason as to why the equine industry is as big as it is! Being in counselling helped me a lot, but being around horses gave me something else. They helped me understand myself. They were there when I needed someone to talk to. They made me realise it’s okay to cry. They calmed me down when I was angry. Made me laugh when laughter seemed like torture to myself. They give me that adrenaline rush from a good gallop or from jumping. Horses are my passion. They are part of my soul. I tried leaving the horse industry, but I soon realised I only ever felt at home when I was around them.
Never underestimate the benefit a horse can do for you.
Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I’m gonna go and grab a brew and head off to the yard (my second home…). Hopefully Bubbles isn’t covered in mud today…
Love you all lots,