There are always blogs floating in my head. Sometimes they make it out, and sometimes they do not. I have had a horse blog floating around for quite sometime now, but it just never made it out. I would have never imagined the circumstances that would cause this blog to see the light of day. But here we are.
There are horse people, and there are…well… let’s just say, not horse people. I am not a horse person. To say I am afraid of horses is the biggest understatement in the history of all understatements. It is almost a paralyzing fear. I try to hide it, because I’m downright embarrassed, but when I’m around a horse, it’s like I have a heart attack that starts down deep in my butthole and erupts from the top of my head like a volcano. The reaction leaves me feeling light heady and sweaty. Call it fate, call it karma, call it a Jesus joke, but non horse people can somehow reproduce horse people. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true and it happened to me. Meet Alyson Justice. I made her, and she is a horse person.
Mothers do crazy things and under certain amounts of intense pressure can have actual super human powers. I am no exception to that rule. Because I love her so, I find myself in extreme horsy situations. I reckon rodeos are the worst of all. One important thing you need to know is that I do have a beautiful pair of cowboy boots, but I ain’t wearing them to no rodeo because, hello…they will get dirty. I paid as much for them as a car payment. I don’t want to get them poopy or dusty. So I wear my Birkenstocks. They are cute and they keep my feet cooler and they match my cute outfit. So to the rodeo I go. I walk in with my head up high as a cover up of how I feel. I dang sure don’t look the part, but I try to fake the confidence. On the inside, I am dying. I am intimidated by horse people. They have horse magic that I do not understand. They are not afraid of not just horses but of anything. Frankly, I think it would serve us well to elect a horse person for president. They make things happen. They carry a whip. Me? I like to read books and paint and watch movies. I have no desire to wield a 900 pound beast to do my bidding. I am a Chihuahua handler. A Chihuahua master if you will. 2 pounds. That’s it. I look around to try and find a “safe” place to sit. There is dirt in my chewing gum. I am not pleased. I hate feeling so…overwhelmed…out of control…downright scared. How could I find a way to fit in with the other rodeo moms? They aren’t scared. They are having fun. I want to be like them. I want to fit in. Oh! I know! I could start a rodeo safety committee. Then I can be involved. I’m excellent at acting like I’m the boss. I begin coming up with my rodeo safety rules as I look around at what feels to me as mass horse chaos.
- No dogs allowed. A dog could bark and spook the horse.
- No cheering for the rodeo riders. The cheering could spook the horse.
- No loudspeaker. The microphone feedback could spook the horse.
- No kids. The kids could spook the horse.
- No chairs or umbrellas. Or cellphones. Or bright colored clothes. Alllll that could spook a horse.
- No car alarms. The alarm could spook the horse. Better yet, no cars. The cars could spook the horse.
- No grilling hotdogs. The smell of hotdogs could spook the horse.
All of a sudden I get struck with the cold reality. I don’t think these horse people will be into my rodeo rules. But just as I begin to feel a twinge of hopeless depression set in, the good Lord sends me my big break. A spider. He crawls from his web right smack down into the middle of the crowd of rodeo moms and to my utter amazement I see…they are afraid! They are afraid of spiders! They scatter and some of them even kinda squeal. And do you know what? Cowboy boots are hard to snatch off in a panic. This is my MOMENT!! I AM NOT AFRAID OF SPIDERS! I snatch off my, what was once inappropriate but cute, Birkenstock in a flash, and smash the spider and save the day!!! We all get a good laugh out of it and begin to talk. Turns out they get nervous too even though they are horse people, because just like me they are mothers, and mothers are mothers, horses or no horses.
Rodeos are one thing, but at home things are different. Yes, I am afraid of horses…of riding…of my daughter getting hurt…I am afraid of being out of control. But on my front porch it’s a different story. You see, my front porch is my favorite place on this whole planet, and it faces the pasture. From my rocking chair I sit and dream, write, nap, read, hold my Chihuahuas, and I watch our horses. Their beauty is intoxicating. I watch them run and kick and roll. Grey, Alyson’s horse is known as the favorite. His slick white body is a sight to behold. I watch them learn together and love together and even fight. I watch the battle of wills between the two of them, and I watch my daughter fight her own fears, and I dream of having that kind of fierceness of my own. I love watching the horses so much, and I have so much pride in having produced a horse person.
This past friday night I learned these strong, beautiful, fierce creatures, are much more delicate than I could ever imagine. I learned that horse people will come out at midnight, with a moments notice, and sit with you all night long. Horse people understand risk and living. They understand that you aren’t living if you aren’t taking risks. With great love there will always be great loss, and with great loss comes great sadness, but also, great growth, great understanding, great appreciation, and then great loving some more. I will be honest. I’m sitting on my front porch now looking out with a broken heart. The tears are streaming down and I have little pieces of toilet paper stuck to my face as I try to mop up the tears. I can only think of one other time I have written in such a state. I have never, ever grieved over an animal the way I am grieving now. There will be no proof writing or correcting this blog my friends. You get what you get. (Which let’s be real, ya’ll ain’t reading me for my grammar skills anyway.) No horse will ever take the place of Grey, but there will be more horses, and more love, and more horse memories made…and yes…more fear too. But to quote a dear friend’s Grandaddy who I never even met, “the only way to avoid the pain is to never have a horse, and what an awful shame to never have a horse.”
I told Alyson Jesus is coming back on a white horse. Alyson said, “well I hope Grey behaves himself, you know what a handful he can be.” So Grey, don’t buck Jesus. Make us proud. We will never ever forget you and we love you so much.
Ya’ll know what? Maybe I am a horse person after all.