Tonight I was watching a local TV show which had a segment on horse riding as therapy. I’m all for this. Horses are wonderful creatures with almost endless supplies of patience and love. They are, as I try to explain to people, like really, really big dogs.
I currently have 2 – Chrichton, a 14 year old TB that I’ve had from he was a baby – the pic above is the two of us – and Charlotte, a 10 year old bay Shetland who is ridden by my daughter and has more than earned her keep over the years.
So, what’s the point of this post?
Well, in literal terms I want to start riding again. It’ s been about six months since I last sat on a horse, and increasingly I’ve felt panicked about it. It’s something I’m facing up to and working on. I’ve had Chri since he was a baby. I’ve always affectionately called him ‘my boyfriend.’ Chri is pretty well known where I live. And those who don’t know him have heard about him. He’s a quirky character who makes snap judgements about people. And he can’t be trusted around anything edible. He once ate a plastic bag, which was hilarious fun for all concerned. His vet’s bills over the last decade amount to more than my house costs. He famously broke is leg in a field accident following which three different vets told me to have him put down as he would ‘never recover’ – not only did he recover, but he went on to win Puissance and showjumping classes, hunt and take part in long distance riding. I’m pretty neurotic and wound up and angry, but Chri is very laid back, a little grumpy, and very lazy. We balance each other out. This year I’m hoping we can relax with some riding club activities. He’s an old man now, and he needs to take it easy.
In a figurative sense it’s about picking up on life again.
I’ve been writing again. After over a year I’ve finally started to write again. I feel settled and confident enough to do it. Before I was so wracked with insecurities that it actually stopped me putting pen to paper. And so I’ve been taking myself away from it all with a pen and a pad and just working. My current favourite haunt is the Tesco café near my house. They have amazing lattes, no one ever disturbs you, and the café is above the shop you can people watch to your hearts content. I’ve suffered awful anxiety over the last couple of years regarding my writing, much of it based on a lack of support or understanding from those around me. It’s hard to feel that you are doing something well when no one seems to care. But I’m past that, and I’m working on something new, so stay tuned.
And then there’s dating.
I hate the phrase ‘getting back on the horse’ when talking about dating. I don’t know why. As most of you will know, I’m in the process of getting divorced, which sort of puts a halt on romantic plans to a certain extent. That said, it’s been a bit of an eye opener in terms of the dating world. Perhaps it’s because I’m now in my 30’s and not 20’s, but things seem to be so much different. I was floored by the amount of propositions I received once I announced that I was ‘single’ again. Long term friends suddenly declared an interest, with one friend saying he wanted to ‘claim his stake’ before I had too many offers. One of the most bizarre things is how many of my friends have come to me saying things like ‘my friend (insert name here) has always liked you, would you mind if I gave him your number?’
I wish I could go back and tell my gawky teenage self that she needn’t worry, and that dates would be lining up outside her door.
But it’s all a bit bittersweet. So much temptation and not being able to indulge. At the end of the day I’m still, technically, married. And, like it or not, those vows mean something. Not only that, but I’m not going to put myself in a situation where someone else gets dragged into my divorce drama, or where I can be accused of adultery. So for now all the cookies are staying in the jar. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the attention awesome.
So, three big things for this year. Getting back on the horse, literally and figuratively.
This year is going to be THE year.