The Healing Power Of Horses
My adult journey with horses began with a wonderful one-of-a-kind horse named Merlin. Our all to brief time together was filled with wonderful moments of self discovery and healing for us both. Merlin’s days as a school horse were over and with his own forever person to love he blossomed into a sassy, playful horse — clearly forgetting that is he was 20 years old (60 in human years.) And, Merlin’s companionship brought me out of my own shell and helped to heal from the painful, deep scars inflicted during a long, difficult, and violent marriage. Merlin helped me to learn to trust humans again and poke my head out of my shell. As I watched his transformation from a shy, withdrawn, silent horse to one full of whinnies and nuzzles, I figured, if he could do it, so could I.
- Welcome to Buck-It List. An overview of why I created this site, and how I began my journey, and why you should, too.
- My Life As A Child: Stomped, Bitten, Kicked, And Bucked Off. I had little experiences with horses. Most of my riding time was on a kitchen chair (saddled with a towel) or my trusty (bike) steed, “Blue.” The few real ponies I actually rode hated me and let me know it.
- The Dream Begins. Finding a place to ride was easy — for my young daughter. Finding a place that would welcome an older women who had never ridden before was almost impossible.
- I Started Riding In My 50s. That’s okay. My horse was in his 60’s. The first time I met, and rode Merlin. I was nobody to him, but from that first encounter, he was became very special me, the stupid mom and crappy rider.
- Merlin Bit Me On The Ass — And Laughed. My first lesson, the horse I rode bit me on the butt three times. I knew horses could sense fear. I had to show him I was in control. So I rode him hard that day to show him I was the boss — yep, I gave it all I had. Yep. Walked a few laps and then trotted for two entire laps before I was so exhausted I called it quits.
- Wooing Merlin: The One-Sided Love Story Between A School Horse And The Women Who Loved Him. I spent an entire summer trying to coax Merlin out of his shell. I did not ride him, I only brought love and carrots. He refused to bond with me. Now summer was ending and I felt I had made no progress at all except that I was now insanely in love with this little horse. Then, one day something magical happened.
- Leasing Merlin. Summer was ending and summer school horses were going back home to their owners. Merlin belonged to someone else. When I thought the little horse I had just finally coaxed out of his would be leaving the barn I turned to my husband and buried my face in his chest unable to stop the tears. My husband is strong, generous, kind, loving, and wonderful. His first words were simply, “then we will buy him so we can keep him here.” At that point, I was not even riding.
- Heartbreak: Merlin Leaves Me. Merlin went back to his owners to attend a horse show. Missing him was not just sad — it physically hurt me and I was miserable without him.It was one of the longest weeks of my life and every time I passed by his empty stall I choked back tears. Missing him physically hurt. Our bond was no longer one-sided — it had become so strong that while he was gone, Merlin stopped eating. When he returned, he had lost a lot of weight. Heartbreak turned to joy: it was time to buy Merlin.
- March 1, 2012: Merlin Becomes Mine Forever.
On September 8, 2012 Merlin went over the Rainbow Bridge. It is too soon for me to tell his final story without bursting into tears, but soon, I will. After Merlin’s tragic passing, Charlie, a rescue horse came into my life. For now, I will continue with Charlie’s story, one of hope and new beginnings.
A Message From Merlin
Riding a real horse is a lot more fun than riding a pretend kitchen chair horse. Chairs can’t even buck you off. So get out of your fantasy world and find yourself a real horse to ride, make friends with, or even a place to volunteer to help aging horses. You are not too old. You are not too busy. You just need to a good horse to bite you in the ass to get you going.
Consider yourself bitten.
With Eternal Love,