Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On Loss and Riding

I had a fantastic lesson with LAZ last Sunday and another one coming this Sunday but for a moment I want to talk about the subject of loss and riding.

On the 16th of March my younger and only brother died.  It was certainly not unexpected but was still a shock, my brother had struggled with drugs for several years and it was his inability to acknowledge his need for help that was his own undoing.  The way that a single addict can effect everyone around them is astounding.  Last week was filled with speaking to the police, making memorial plans, contacting friends and relatives and trying to cope as a family that wasn't always as close as other families. 

I tend to be an emotional person but in emergency situations I can be relied on to be the level headed thinker who does what needs to be done and I focused on being there for my family and doing what needed to be done.   I mostly saved my tears for in private on my way home from my mom's house.  Last week was filled with making memorial plans, contacting friends and relatives and trying to cope as a family that wasn't always as close as other families.

One of my favorite television shows on air right now is Justified, Timothy Olphant plays U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens with that "this isn't acting" ease that makes it a fixture in my que.  A few episodes back he lost his father, and while their relationship was a difficult one to say the least the loss obviously effected him.  There is a moment, shortly after learning of his father's death while at the same time coolly handling his job, that he gets up to leave.  On his way to the elevator he becomes frozen in time for a moment, slightly bent over with one hand involuntarily moving up toward his face.  It's in that moment that he actually thinks about IT, and it's a moment I find myself mimicking. 

I've been able to find some peace and a welcome distraction at the barn.  On another blog, cob jockey speaks about how she handles bad days and anger, she finds herself hitting the gym so she can pound out her anger and frustration on a set of weights.  I find myself with the opposite opinion, riding works for me because I CAN'T pound it out.  I have to let go of everything that is troubling me, everything that makes me want to scream as loud as possible or hit a wall and focus on being a rider.  Am I posting too fast or too high?  Is my horse bent in the right direction?  Is she moving smartly off my leg?  How is her contact at the canter?  Annie helped me out last week by being fresh and spooky, hard to think about your week when you're hanging on for dear life!  While riding all I have time to think about is riding, because that's what is fair to my horse. 

I was able to go to a difficult but good jumping lesson with LAZ the Sunday after the memorial which not only served to take my mind off things but also helped me sleep well that night!  I'll be sure to post video and comments about my lesson in another blog post but for now I wanted to talk about how I deal with loss and riding.

Thanks for listening.!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I agree that the barn is a great place to just let the grief flow through you and out of you as you turn your focus to other things.

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