Topaz – beautiful – golden. Someday, I hope I can tell you how she came into my life and became a part of Returning Glory. But today I will tell you how she became very insecure in the season of inconsistency and our journey back to security together.
She had given a lot of herself to hearts who came out to the ranch. She gave anxious hearts quiet into trust. She brought humility to hearts that were too-bold. She extended a hug to hearts lonely. They were all different and she had to focus deep to help. But in the midst of all that inconsistency from others in their woundedness, she lost inner security. She had gotten many different forms of input. Different feel, different information, different way to be. In struggling to please each special heart, she lost her foundational training and in that she lost security.
Topaz has always been a joy to ride, one of the smoothest trots and lopes you could ask for. We have gone on many a trail ride together – though not perfect she always gives her all. One particular memory I have is going through deep deep mud on a trail. My concern as we moved forward through this mess soon change to joy! She was working seriously hard to bring each foot up out of the mud to keep my ride smooth – her back stayed steady. My heart loved her more for that effort for me.
But after this demanding season, I had a young girl ride her. My back and hip have not been able to give the horses what they need for a good supporting ride, so I found help. As this excited young lady, with all her athleticism, rode Topaz around the arena at the walk, the soft quiet trot and the ‘I don’t think so’ lope, I watched as Topaz became more and more difficult to ride. This was supposed to help her become confident again in all that she knew how to do. But that was not happening. Topaz was struggling. The soft trot became choppy. The request for the lope became a fight. She was resisting the turns, wanting desperately to go back to the gate. She was bringing her head down to get behind the bit. It was not going well – headed in the wrong direction for what Topaz needed. It had always been easy to get her bend with a gentle touch of her side – but now too hard a request was needed, if it was even gotten then. She seemed to just be done – a new rider was again an inconsistent feel – inconsistent in relationship.
So today I knew we needed to spend some quiet time together – rebuild consistency. We knew each other well – years of riding together – years of being by her side as she helped kiddos. It did take reassuring to get her up the back pasture and away from the herd, but we finally were in the barn. I wanted to groom her and quiet her to observe all the places of insecurity within that body and mind. I was saddened and a little surprised. Just standing in the barn with me seemed stressful to her. Her head would pop this way and that – anxious about what could be coming in the door – worried because she could not see the other horses. This year had been hard on her.
I invited her head to lower to get those feel good endorphins flowing. I asked for the bend to bring her attention back to me. I rubbed her ears. Massaged her gums to release more endorphins. Remind her of how we can relax and enjoy. Anything and everything I could think of to help her – help this one who gave away all her help and was left empty and anxious.
A big sigh. Blinking of eyes. Head lowering. Licking and chewing in the processing. She was struggling her way back into security.
I let her go to empty. I asked too much of her without filling. But now, after far too long, we were going back to the security of consistency.
The consistency that holds security.