All the advertising and valentine fervor got me thinking about things though.
You know, stuff, and things.
Everyday, I write down something that is meaningful, or something that I appreciate. Yesterday I wrote down simply, "Bacardi".
And no not the alcohol.
I mean my horse.
And then I thought back to a year ago today and how much I truly DISLIKED my horse.
I don't think I have admitted this openly before, but I now realize I didn't enjoy him a year ago, when I'm honest with myself.
|Fake smile (he almost killed me on this ride, literally)|
|Was not fun|
Perhaps it wasn't meant to be like I had hoped.
I knew it wouldn't be as magical or as easy as my love and connection with Yankee, but I have never met a horse I DREADED riding and almost hated. It was truly horrendous and I questioned everything I knew about everything. It was a relatively dark time.
Fast forward to a approx 6 months ago.
For the first time in almost 2 years, Bacardi nickered to me as I walked in the door.
My heart literally exploded with joy. He was recognizing me as HIS person. This was amazing. This incredibly hard headed, nervous, delicate, talented, wonderful gelding was calling out to me and it melted my heart.
I started to feel something for him. He wasn't just another pretty face in the barn he was MINE.
Then, he really started to improve under saddle.
Nothing magical happened, I simply moved to a different barn with an indoor arena.
Who knows if this was the answer, but it worked. Nothing changed besides the location. Same grain, same hay, same supps, same level of care.
I tried not to focus too hard on the fact that he was doing so well outside of my barn walls and let it be a positive thing.
Whatever flipped his switch, I didn't care. He was connecting with me, slowly but surely.
I no longer completely dreaded riding him and actually looked forward to it! I was happy in the saddle and not as frustrated. He was improving every ride and acting more like a real, adult horse.
And here we are today.
I wouldn't say that he is my heart horse, that will always be Yankee. But I absolutely have love for this big boy now and am HAPPY & proud to own him, not bitter and embarrassed by it.
I literally never thought I had the capacity to love another horse like I love my Yankee, but its possible! Now, I go to the barn on days when I don't even plan on riding or don't feel well, just to see his cute face and stuff him full of peppermints. I love visiting him and hearing that soft wuffing nicker he gives me when he sees my face...literally one of the best feelings in the world. The joy I feel on his back now is incredible, simply because I didn't think I would ever get to this place. I adore this horse completely and I can't believe it.
B is my valentine, who's yours?
(PS Bangor as my human Valentine)