Running thoughts…..


by journey01 on Jan.22, 2014, under Uncategorized

This is not about running… really.  Its about a horse.  A horse that avoided running at all costs.  :)  And a moment in time I treasure.  And an attempt to explain why I trust and love animals more than most humans… particularly horses.

Several years ago…  I was suffering through a common, but hard to heal running injury.  Could not run for a long time.  Frustrated that I could not run… Pissed off really.  It was a tough time in my life for several reasons.  I was many months into this injury and it was getting the best of me.  I needed to run to fix my head because of all the crap going on at the time.  But I could not.  Not without a lot of pain anyway.  Added to the frustration, I was surrounded by people who.. shall we say… were just not good for me.   They were busy taking from me and doing a lot of things that were just simply NOT good for ME. And I was unfortunately… allowing it to happen.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, work really was wringing everything last little bit out of life out of me.  I was struggling against it all.  Gasping for air most of the time.  Knowing it was all slowly killing me, but seemingly unable to get away from any of it.

I had a horse at the time.  Given to me by my former boss for our kids.  It just so happened that this sweet little girl had a hurt foot too at that time.  She had gotten into an argument with a wire fence.  I am pretty sure she did NOT share my frustration with not being able to run though… she was kinda lazy…  :) However, I could tell she did not feel good.  It bothered me terribly that she was an “only horse” – we just had her at the time.  I could hardly stand to look out there and see her all alone.  I went out as often as I could and just hung out with her.  Talked to her from the fence late at night in the dark.  I used to love to go out on full moon nights and just sit on the fence and listen to her snuffle around munching hay or listen to her soft breathing.   I was never sure if she cared or not that I was there.  Along with being kinda lazy, she was somewhat aloof too.  But it made ME feel better to hang out with her.  Just her “horse scent” was enough to calm me.  She of course liked me to scratch her forehead & rub her soft ears.  She was a red roan.  (So, rust colored with white/grey tips on her fur.)   Small.  I think she was around 14 hands.Jiggles

It was a hot day.  I think, a weekend.   No one but me at home.  Along with the dogs, cats and one lonely little horse in the corral.  My foot had been feeling a little better over the last couple weeks. I had been in a walking cast for several weeks.  Thinking it was feeling better, I decided to test it out.   I tied on my Mizunos and started out the door and down the driveway.  It didn’t take very far to understand that it was a no-go.  The foot was still not good.  Running was not going to happen on that day either.

I stopped.  Turned,  and started back up the driveway.  But rather than going back in the house, I looked in the corral and saw my horse.  Standing with her head down in the center of our round corral.  She looked hot, lonely and uncomfortable.  I felt exactly the same.

I climbed into the corral, walked up to her and started talking to her.  I told her all about it.  As I stood there muttering away… I rubbed her forehead, neck, scratched her ears and along her jawline.  I quieted down after a bit and just stood there rubbing & scratching her.  I was on one side of her with my arm under her chin, up around the other side, scratching & rubbing.   I stilled even more and just stood there with my forehead against her neck and my arm wrapped around her.. her chin resting on my arm.  After a while.. I began to feel more and more weight against my arm and I realized.. she had fallen asleep and was resting her head on my arm.  It made me smile.  I stood there holding her head for quite a while.. until she eventually twitched, woke up and took a few steps away to graze.

I went and sat on the bottom rail of the round corral, put my head in my hands and felt an exhaustion sweep over me.  Not from running or exertion – obviously… but just pure emotional exhaustion.  Every facet of my life at that time was difficult.  I felt extraordinarily alone.  I started to cry.   As I sat there with the tears streaming for a while, I had forgotten where I was.  I wasn’t paying attention to my horse.  Just lost in my own little pity party.

Tired and half asleep myself, I hadn’t even noticed that she had approached me until I felt her chin brush my shoulder.  I stayed still to see what she would do.  She then rested her chin on my shoulder and we just sat there like that for a few minutes.   Till the tears dried up.   Then she moved away again.

For those few moments, the loneliness had disappeared.

She never again really approached me in that “connected” way… she would come to me for treats & scratches but never just to be near me like that day.  But it didn’t matter to me.  She had given me all I needed in that moment, that I had been unable to find from any human during that time.  And with that small gesture of concern, she secured a place in my heart forever.

She now lives in Fairfield, MT with other horse friends.  I think about her often.  And miss her.



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