My first horse was crazy...but he was an incredible teacher..
I bought him at the ripe young age of 14..with my own money (and a little help from my Grandfather). I am pretty sure I was born with the love for horses and my first word was probably "giddy-up" lol..Well I don't know about that..but I do know that I fell deeply and crazy in love with Apache...And he did everything he could to be in control of our relationship! Apache really believed his way was the best and only way to go. And he had very strong opinions about everything I tried to do with him in the early days of our tumultuous relationship. He was a gangly two year old when I bought him and I soon learned what Ray Hunt, the father of today's horsemanship, said so wisely, "the horse knows, he knows if you know. He also knows if you don't know." And boy did Apache know what I didn't know! Even at 2! Oh but I thought I did. After all, I was very experienced at my ripe young age of 14! I had mastered the ponies at the farm already! How much more did I need to know?
As it turned out..quite a bit.. Many times I limped and dragged myself or was carried home after a duel with him.
What I finally realized, after a very severe concussion and Apache getting injured, is that I really didn't know. And it was high time I did! So I bought a "How to Train your Horse" book...and it saved my life..and his.
So why didn't I just give up?
Why did I keep going back for what seemed like endless self-punnishment?
Why didn't I let the fear take over and wash my hands of this so called untrainable useless animal? ( a trainer actually told me that).
I loved him..
And I wanted him to love me back.
So I had to be better.
I discovered what I didn't know and took the necessary steps to gain that knowledge. I started over with him. Clean slate..
I focused on being a better horsegirl..
I committed to the never ending "School of the Horse" and became a forever student.
And I am so much better because of it! I am so much better because of him!
There is so much more to my story with Apache..how he helped me heal..how he directed me down the path I am now on long after his death..
But the most important thing he taught me was to walk through my fear because what is beyond that is absolutely out of this world amazing! And that is what I did every time I put my foot in the stirrup..said a little prayer..held on tight..and when I stayed on and we had an enjoyable ride..what can I say but "oh what a feeling!".
Yes. I was crazy in love with him anyway. We did have many good years after the first few..I conquered my fear..or I should say, I held it at bay and did it anyway. That is the way I have lived my life. Fear didn't stop me.. I sure felt it many times...but the feeling after the fear is what has always kept me pushing on..
So thank-you Apache..for all the wild and crazy rides..for all the tears you wiped away...for being my best friend..and my greatest teacher...And showing me the beauty is in the rising after the fall.
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