The Iberian Experience

February 17, 2010

The Psychiatrist

Filed under: Uncategorized — iberianexperience @ 6:37 pm




As you know, it was last February that I embarked on this Spanish Warmblood Venture.  What you may not know is that a week and a half into March I was laid off.  I had been working for the past few years at a law firm that was subsequently an incredibly intense and stressful environment.  Nonetheless it was a job, and I had bills to pay and I was crushed when I lost that job.      

The particular details of the job loss made me lose quite a bit of confidence in myself.  In the immediate aftermath, I found it difficult to concentrate, difficult to sleep and difficult to foresee a successful acquisition of a future vocation.      

I felt shaken to the core really, and it’s strange how something that can seem so trivial can affect someone so distinctly, but it did. I suddenly found myself with no schedule, no income and no daily tasks.  But perhaps what I did have during that time of my life was even more important than what I didn’t have… and what I had, was a horse.      

Daily, I would make the trek to the barn and for the entire time I was there, my mind and body were equally engaged. Completely unable to think about the “poor me” situation I was in the midst of.      

Instead of editing my resume, I was thinking about which direction DoubleShot’s ears were facing, indicating in which direction she was giving her attention. Instead of running over interview questions in my mind, I was concentrating on the swift movement of my dressage whip and would watch intently as it gracefully floated through the air gaining a direction changing response from DoubleShot.      

I found myself listening to the rhythm of her hooves and the pattern of her breath. I would get lost in the motion of disengaging, a circular movement that is graceful and balanced.  She was my release. A challenge so great, I could not find the mental effort even if I wanted to, to drift into the disheartening events that had recently taken place.      

It’s an interesting personal belief that might be somewhat ironic or contradictory considering my chosen profession in mental health, but since then I have fully adopted the mindset that this unknown author was so wise to express.      

“All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he’ll listen to me any day.”      

This statement was true to the core, DoubleShot had indeed taken on the role of my psychiatrist. And the funny thing is I don’t think she minded it much.



  1. I just read all your posts. Wow, you really have a gift with writing Heidi (and riding too it sounds like!) I find myself getting caught up and captivated in your story. I hope I get to meet your horse one day!

    Comment by Carrie — February 21, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  2. I LOVED this post. It was so real and so you. We got to glimpse into your struggles (very normal ones I will say). How blessed you are to have that release in Double Shot. He is your strutting, neighing, relaxation, put things into perspective fix!

    Comment by fallsnowtimothy — March 2, 2010 @ 4:03 am

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