Yeah, me neither. Though I can probably count the number of days in the last year that I’ve cried in frustration and anger, they were basically non-existent before Murray came into my life.
Today’s incident was over nothing, as it always is. I just got a new saddle, and the billets are a bit shorter than on my old saddle. I don’t need to buy a new girth, but Murray thinks that it’s just a bit toooooooo much of a squeeze to get my girth buckled at all on the new saddle, and he ought to be able to run away instead of accepting it. I thought that I had trained Murray to accept girthing, but clearly not; I’ve just covered up his discomfort with distraction. So great, back to the drawing board on that one.
As I was trying to get the girth buckled, Murray, misbehaving out of both discomfort and rudeness, took a wry step and stood on my big toe. When I pushed him, he didn’t move, and continued to stand on my foot until I screamed at him and threw the lead rope into his face. Really, standing on someone’s feet is not acceptable. Murray flew backwards, then skulked back up to me guiltily. I did get his girth on, after calling him several rude names and reminding him that he doesn’t decide what size girth he wears. (Especially when one matches my new saddle so perfectly.)
Don’t get me wrong, while I do cry easily I’m not known to cry over just getting stepped on. But a morning of fighting with my horse about something as simple as tacking up — we’ve only done it 200 times since I met him! — followed by a stomped toe pushed me over the edge. I know that it only upsets me because I care — if any other horse stepped on my foot and stood there, I would have unleashed a holy war upon them and they would have been the ones crying in the middle of the barn aisle. But Murray…. Murray is the only horse who has regularly reduced me to tears. I try to be the stone in the stream, the leaf in the wind: I let myself have a cry, then get over it. The younger girls I ride with have even realised that it’s not a big deal when I cry any more, they check in to see if I’m really hurt (“do you need ice? are these tears of frustration?”) and then let me get on with things.
Zen, my friends. This is why we need so well to find our zen when dealing with baby horses.
And wine. Wine helps later.