12 Sivan, 5773
I took up horseback riding some time ago. I find the animal therapy experience exhilarating. A recent ride was a gateway to some wonderful experiences.
One of the women in my group did not enjoy riding her "spicey" horse Topaz, a new one at the stable. Topaz had not yet become accustomed to the new routines she's expected to follow. Since my male horse, Rich, is so calm, I switched animals with my fellow rider in the middle of the journey, giving her a better chance to have a pleasant time with our group.
Topaz is a female horse and golly I felt a difference in her body language as soon as I landed in the saddle. She was not obeying my commands. I had to assert myself very definitively with her to clarify who was leading the ride. Once she understood, I was able to love the ride for about 1.5 hours. She responded correctly and immediately to my feet and to my body weight shifting in the saddle "signals." At one point I hardly felt the reins and realized I hadn't used them for more than a half hour. WOW we'd worked as one, just as I do with Rich.
We saw a flock of storks circling above, rode through meadows and saw many shades of greenery during our ride. HOT as blazes, I was glad I'd worn 100% cotton scrubs with my skirt. I wiped my perspiring face repeatedly to keep salt out of my eyes.
Anyway, we rode on in peace and calm all over creation, up, down, through farm fields etc. That let me keep a clear, open mind to think through some thoughts and puzzling problems I want to solve.
At the ride's end, I hugged her head and muzzle; She batted me with her head a few times (a sign that Topaz considers me a safe scratching post). I'm thrilled to report that I mount and dismount without assistance on my regular horse Rich. I even did that with "spicey" Topaz - on the very first try. It took a few lessons to build clumsy practices into smooth "automatic pilot," so to speak. I'm excited that the effort paid off this way.
I am so loving my time with nature I thanked GOD over and over, out loud, during the ride. It was heaven on earth. Here I am on Rich, weeks ago, wearing a lavender-colored sweatshirt (third person from the front of the photo).
I hope to share a photo of me riding pretty Topaz, in a meadow full of grazing goats and sheep, after I upload the picture a friend took of us.
If all turns out as planned, I'll post pictures of this evening's planned ride. I'm wavering between fear and wonder as I resolve to find out if I can ride a horse in darkness. Making that achievement will be so exciting.
The main reason I ride is to find out if this sort of relaxation and introspection can help me to overcome vision limitations that persist almost 8 years past my emergency life-saving brain surgery. Many innovative efforts to heal the long list of visual problems that resulted from my long-gone brain tumor, and the surgery to remove it, have worked.
My vision therapy at a local hospital is paying off. I'm giving animal therapy a chance, too. Here's how it is helping me:
- I've learned that I can develop a new skill
- I've learned to do a sort of introspection that shortens the way to new insights
- I've gained confidence in myself
- I've seen beauty that could only be available to me if I took a safely calculated risk
A medical crisis - you'd cry too, if it happened to you. Use your tissues and handkerchiefs with my blessings borne of experience. GOD gives you Permission to Weep. And you can say that to any critics after explaining that "It's MY Crisis! And I'll Cry if I Need To."
You can also discover that it's possible to shed tears of joy as your soul grows with and past some of your suffering. I haven't always believed clergy or mental health therapy claims that this was possible. It's been a privilege to learn the truth first-hand. The lessons are in my gut, the very cells of my being.
Ride into your future with ever-developing optimism. Buy the E-book or print edition of EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge to learn ways you can do just that.
Face Your Medical Problems with Dignity. Face Your Future with Optimism.
Fill your future with pleasant options.