Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day #463 Daisy at the Horse Farm

Two days ago I told you that something wonderful had happened. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that ever since I decided to take up beekeeping, I’ve become braver and braver. After all, beekeepers are incredibly brave people. They face thousands of potential stings (and many actual stings) every time they open a hive.
So actually getting the bees was a first step toward courage.
Lately I’ve started voice lessons AND an exercise program -- both of which took me beyond my comfort zone.
And two days ago, I tackled my fear of horses. I’ve always been afraid of them, afraid of being stepped on or pinned against a wall, or slammed into by a head as heavy as a sledgehammer.
But I know a psychotherapist who works with the horses at "Flying Change"--the horses serve as a sort of co-therapist to help people work through their various issues. I could think of a few issues it might be time for me to tackle, but the thought of  doing it in the company of a potentially lethal half-ton four-legged creature was, shall we say, a bit daunting.
Enter Daisy, a 21-year old mare who lost an eye last year. Sunday afternoon I drove to the other side of Atlanta (about 50 miles from my house), spent half an hour or so talking with Jerry Connor, the therapist, about what I wanted to accomplish, and then we walked  down to see Daisy. 
I’d met her once before when I accompanied a friend I’ll call Donna, who was having a session with Jerry and Google. While Donna was patting Google, I happened to be standing next to a stall where an incredibly gentle horse (Daisy) put her head over the wall and practically begged me to pat her neck. As long as she was on THAT side of the wall and I was on THIS side, it was okay.
So, later, when I called Jerry to make an appointment, I asked if I could work with Daisy.
Sunday, it took me a while to get up the nerve to step into her stall with her, and I stayed near the open door at first. Daisy had been playing in the field and was muddy, muddy, muddy. The mud had dried into her hair. They handed me a stiff flat rubber brush, and I went to work.
Daisy must have enjoyed the scrubbing because at one point she lowered her head and butted into me, scratching the front of her face up and down my wooly vest. It startled me and sort of scared me, until I heard the laughter from the other side of the stall. “That means she likes you and trusts you!”
At one point, Daisy sidled closer to me, and my fear level skyrocketed, as I was between her and the wall of the stall at this point. “You can push her away,” I was told, but I didn’t believe it. “Just put your hands firmly against her and apply pressure. Don’t let up, just keep gently pushing against her. When she realizes you mean it, she’ll move.”
And, guess what? I did, and she did. I moved a 1,200 pound horse just by setting a boundary. This is my space, and you can’t move into it.
Golly day, I wish I’d learned that lesson when I was five. Then maybe I would have remembered it when I was 20, 30, 40, 50.
I came away from the Daisy session feeling so successful, I’m going back for another round next month.
BEEattitude for Day #463:
       Blessed are those who help others to learn, for they shall make the world a better place.
The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.


AggiePete said...

What a lovely child Daisy sounds like! And yes, sounds like she really liked you too! Bless her heart. How about a photo soon of the 2 of you? And maybe, just maybe, Daisy can be in a future Biscuit book.

Fran Stewart said...

Wouldn't you know I never thought of getting a photo of the two of us while I was there. Doggone it.

Maybe next month I'll remember.

And Daisy in a Biscuit Book? Hmm...I'll have to think about it. Maggie's place doesn't have enough room for horses, so I'll have to expand the Metoochie River Valley. But it's a good idea. Thanks!

The Cat Bastet said...

What a great lesson -- and a very sweet horse. I'd love to see a pic of Daisy,

Fran Stewart said...

Cathy - I'll try to remember to get a picture next month, Thanks for reminding me!