An Unexpected Horse Angel, Trainer Marianne:
By the time Trainer Marianne entered our lives in late February 2015, I and my two beloved horses had pretty much become ragged messes. Only my intense, ferocious love for my two, in spite of my novice ignorance, kept the three of us from cracking wide open with desperation.
I guessed at, but was not fully consciously aware of, the things that had been inflicted on these two horses before they became mine. That, plus my ignorance, coupled with some of the prideful, know-it-all, uneducated barn cronies’ incessant input, combined to create a situation in which I could no longer bear to ride my horses or ANY horse, for that matter. Although I, myself, had never fallen; another woman, who was an experienced horsewoman, had fallen off my gelding during one of our rides, my mare on trail was lifting her head in discomfort, bowing to buck and coming up lame. Plus, the trail “energy” at Treetops Park was becoming increasingly creepy to me. All these elements had driven me into a state, which in the rodeo they call…”The Dread”.
Of course in the rodeo, these cowboys are experiencing massive “wrecks’ which can require months of physical rehab and pain meds. My “wreck” was emotional and spiritual.
I prayed and prayed for the right trainer to come into our lives. It felt like these prayers fell on God’s deaf ears and would be never answered. I did have specific desires for what I required of a trainer. Perhaps that’s why it took some time ;).
I needed my trainer to partner with the horse, to put the horse first, to not think of a horse as a human commodity and to be able to listen to the “still, small voice within” which, ultimately, manifests in what could be considered: “Unconventional Training Methods”.
Enter Marianne, Horse Angel. Custom-made for me and my two.
As she began working with and understanding their hurts, needs and lacks in their training, she then turned her focus on me. ” Why aren’t you riding?”, she queried.
“Never again”, I adamantly stated.
“But it’s fun”, she cajoled.
“No it’s not. It’s dangerous, It’s a job. I hate it.”
Then I watched her begin the healing process on my two and my heart began to open.
One day she said, “Buzz is a sweet old gelding who gives his whole heart when he’s doing a horse show even though he’s not a show horse. Come meet him”.
I did. He put his head in my hand and sniffed me all over and allowed me to kiss him… lots! Marianne said, “He never does that.”
I secretly knew he was telling me, “It’s okay, Little One. You would be safe on me.”
So one day, a few weeks later, when Marianne suggested that I just climb on Buzz bareback and she would lead me and him on a lead rope, I said, yes. I love bareback riding and it was an irresistible offer.
We rode for maybe 15 minutes. When I dismounted I knew I was “back”.
Marianne never pushed. She always waited for me to ask. But, in time, I was asking and asking. Let me ride him bareback again. A hunter saddle? Let me try that. My western treeless saddle? Amazing connection with every muscle in the horse’s back! Balance? Centered riding? Thighs? Core?
In time, the superb details and the kindness with which she imparted them, caused me to anticipate each lesson with complete excitement. I couldn’t wait to learn the next thing. To learn half-halting with the reins, how to use the back of my arms. how to two point…
and…recently…how to post. Hopefully…soon… I will begin learning the seated canter 🙂
In a hunter saddle, the momentum of the thrust of the horse’s body makes one feel like one is flying. That, plus the perfection of the rhythm of the up, down, up, keeping thighs on saddle and heels balancing the whole mechanism is a perfection of impulse and synchronization that has become addictive.
Marianne, in kindness, encouraged my strength, balance and coordination plus my seemingly innate feel for a horse’s body. I don’t know that I truly have those gifts but…
Here’s what I do know:
Through patience, kindness, faith and love of human and horse, this novice horsewoman is beginning to experience a world she could not have even imagined. The profound body connection between human and horse is practically indescribable in words.
From the ashes of my “dread”, the pillar of my joy is growing and building.
Perhaps we can all begin to trust that from the “wrecks” in our lives… hope, kindness, patience and a renewal, better than where we started and beyond what we could have dreamed, are all possible.
I am still very much a novice horsewoman and novice rider.
Sooo much more to learn! 🙂
But, oh, the joy of it all!!!