"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What day is it?

If you work for IBM, please do not read the following statement.  It has been 6 weeks, including this one, since I have done serious work for IBM.  I had planned two weeks of no work for Aiken and time at home.  The additional four were not part of my plan.  And until my next project comes along, I'm keeping busy here at PA.

I did a few good days of spring cleaning in the house and the yard is still not quite ready for work.  We all know that my idea of busy is being at the barn.  My time has been spent puttering around the barn doing all the things I never quite find the time to do.  We cleaned the tack room, I organized my tack, and we are fixing and painting jumps.  Depending on how much time I have left at home, I would like to do some tweaking and organizing in the trailer and help set up pasture two for an outside course.  Little Red and the diesel will need some major interior cleaning soon.  I'm making quite a mess in both trucks. 

As mentioned before, Tyler came home on Friday.  I was emotionally and mentally okay on Saturday but Sunday and Monday were rough.  As Dad states, "Think it has something to do with Tyler." I rode Patrick on Sunday for the HVS no stirrups challenge.  Riding Patrick was the first time I realized that Tyler isn't my Tyler anymore.  I don't have a horse now who will put up with anything I ask him.  Fred is a whole other story.

Tyler is the only horse I completely trust.  Riding him, while it may not look pleasant, is second nature to me.  We just go. Tyler may totally recover.  My gut says don't ask Tyler to be what he was, no matter how well he recovers.  He owes me nothing.  There is nothing else he could do that I feel we missed out on.  That cute white horse took us from clueless about eventing to novice.  We competed in Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.  We qualified in an ugly fashion for AECs last year.  Tyler and I jumped the novice trakhener at Fair Hill.  We paper chased, hit the trails, did dressage shows, attempted hunters and jumpers, and I painted him like a My Little Pony once.  (Do not paint your pony.)  For heaven's sake, I hauled Tyler to Milwaukee for 10 weeks so I could see him every day.  Tyler earned the Buccaneer trophy at Stonewood for the Beaufort Hunter Trial.   Ok, I'm gonna stop with all that now.  Everything listed is way more than I ever could have imagined when I brought him home.

You get the point.  Tyler is my heart horse.  And so after checking in on him Monday morning, I stayed home and was sad for myself.  But I wanted nothing to do with the barn that day and all the happy people and their happy ponies.  Some days just aren't happy.  It sucked.  That's not me. I'm usually one of the stupidly happy people.

On Tuesday, I got my act together.  I rode Fred.  As in, we have to get past Chelsea's stupid insecurities.  I'm up for the challenge that is Fwed.  (He's not so intimidating when you call him Fwed.)  We walked and trotted outside.  And then we cantered.  Then we cantered a pole on a circle.  We went both directions.  He gave a little jump over it each time and we were fine.  I knew I was back where I needed to be mentally.  A little self ass kicking is always good.   

I took Tyler outside for a walk after Fred's workout.  I might not have my Tyler back, but he needs to stay active to recover.  Someone should be able to experience what Tyler has left to teach and share.  

Words of advice for the next lucky riders, Tyler loves peppermints and ALWAYS jumps the left side of a fence.  

Tyler and my cousin, Gillian in 2009.  Tyler likes the beginners.


  1. Chelsea,

    Just as you found out, there has to be a period of mourning, reflection, realization, whatever you want to call it; after anything as traumatic as Tyler's recent episode.

    The sad times are inevitable... it's just an unwritten and sucky rule. As a result, you have to give yourself enough room to mourn, etc. (see above). That is so important.

    I just want to give you a little hope and reassurance that Tyler is and always will be your Tyler... he is the same horse with whom you accomplished so much together. But he's like all of us. A little older and more experienced with both the good and the bad. None of that changes what you have with him.

    While he recovers, Tyler will continue to give you so much joy and the same to whover is eventually lucky enough to ride him. I hope that you're able to keep him in your care. Regardless, he has and will give your life a richness only bestowed by our 'heart horses.'

    I don't think I'm telling you anything new, but just had to let you know I'm one of many of your friends who understand and can lend an ear if needed.


  2. Di, you need to write a book! Granted, it would make me cry. You are so right. I didn't realize I would feel all this and it's nice to know that what I'm doing is normal. So few things I do are normal. ;) Many hugs and thanks!

    Someday, when Buster resurfaces from the winter snow and spring mud, give that cutie a hug for me.