The Iberian Experience

June 8, 2010

The Seperation

Filed under: Uncategorized — iberianexperience @ 11:30 pm

There is a quote on the inside flap of the dust cover to a Horse Encyclopedia that I begged my father to buy for my birthday gift when I was in Jr. High School.  It says something to the effect that if the dog is man’s best friend, the horse is without a doubt man’s companion. Companion…something Dictionary.com defines as a person who accompanies, assists, or lives with another in the capacity of a helpful friend.  

I like this definition, and this concept of the horse being our companion. Sure horses don’t express love towards people in the same manner as a dog. They don’t necessarily lick your face with intense expression and wiggle with uncontrollable affection when you walk up to their stall. But don’t be fooled. Just because the human-horse relationship isn’t an exact mirror of the human-dog relationship doesn’t mean it’s not as strong or for that matter as meaningful.  

If built well, the human-horse relationship can be just that; one that functions with the capacity of a helpful friend. A relationship I have been missing for the past few weeks. You see, following the first few mounts and rides I put on the filly, I decided to send DoubleShot off to an experienced, highly recommended trainer; someone who would expose her to the world of mountain cows, creek crossing and the full uncollected gallop…  

And it’s been 18 days since I last saw her. Eighteen days… that’s it, but as embarrassing as it may sound I feel as though I have been in a deep, lonely funk for exactly, well 18 days. As you can imagine, spending the past year and a half with DoubleShot resulted in us forming quite the relationship.  Always striving to be a healthy, strong individual I almost cringe to say it but without this quirky filly in my life these past few weeks I have felt, to a certain extent, empty…not whole.  

I find myself distracted at work and if it weren’t for the generous offer from a friend of mine to ride her horse, I believe I just might possibly have DIED this past month.  

I grew up with a wonderful father who was (and still is) by profession a psychotherapist. He was also (and still is) an avid mountaineer. If there is one thing I can remember my father saying to me throughout my childhood it was this “I do crazy things to keep my sanity”.  Because of this I always understood that his dangerous, man vs. nature expeditions were his outlet, his release, the one thing that could simultaneously cause thorough (needed) exhaustion and fully charge his batteries.  

Over the past fourteen years horses have become my release. The one activity I do to keep my sanity. I know that I am not fully engaging in intense psychotherapy… yet, but I am pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology, trying to sell my house, balancing full-time work/marriage/school and a myriad of other regular life activities that equate to anyone needing to do something crazy in a preservation effort for their own mental/emotional/spiritual functioning.  

The point is my soul is fully, 100% addicted to the horse (and to one horse in particular). I have experienced firsthand the unmistakable benefits of human-horse interaction that couldn’t be attributed to anything else. So I guess it’s safe to say that I am in some form of horse withdrawal …and I hope it ends soon!  

DoubleShot...the 1st day we met

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1 Comment »

  1. Ooooooh, the photo of DS almost makes me cry!!! It must be wonderful to have known your horse almost her entire life! And I feel your pain, as I haven’t ridden Max in 16 days, and it feels like an eternity! DS is in good hands, though, and she will come back to you better prepared to get you two to that next level of companionship.
    P.S. Your dad sounds like a very wise man!

    Comment by Erica Whitcombe — June 9, 2010 @ 3:56 pm


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