Posts Tagged With: courage

Courage Willow

That’s what I often think, while remembering the scene in the movie, “Willow”. He is a tiny being standing before a frightening situation. He whispers to himself, “Courage, Willow”.

Life as a horse trainer and instructor requires courage. Life as anything these days requires courage! I think perhaps it always has.

Courage for me, as a stablewoman, means taking on another horse for our stable when needed….  it takes courage to decide to be responsible for one more. I think it’s because I take these responsibilities seriously. Horses are my family and each family member is not a possession, but a friend. It takes courage to have so many friends!

 

I see courage all around me. I had a student who had suffered a severe head injury in a car accident (and had been in a coma). She used her riding to regain motor skills and balance. She would call herself “wimp”, “chicken” and so on. I thought she was the bravest woman I knew. I know a man who broke his hip and was up, back to work in weeks and facing limited funds with an animal family to care for. He found a beautiful place to live where he could keep his horses and dogs and, by staying courageous, created a new, happy life.

 

I know a man who cares for a large herd of horses and runs an organization almost single handed. He has had a shattered ankle, broken hip (and replacement), a heart attack, had a branch embedded into his eye, the list is long of his “battles” and yet, he is still the strongest man I know. I can’t keep up with him loading hay! Courage is his mantra, I believe.

And I watch friends who rise every day to care for an elderly parent or an infirm child or who go to school while holding down a job (or two!). They practice great courage daily.

I dig the post holes for railroad ties for the fence to hold a new horse that is coming and soak in epsom salt baths each night. I remember looking at my shriveled arm as a child, after a devastating injury, and proclaiming that I would still ride. “Courage, Willow.”

 

We cannot presume to judge the courage of another. It may take more of it for someone to drive at night or to climb a ladder than it does for others to ride a bull. We are all facing different battles, different paths. But we all know what courage is! We all conjure it up on a daily basis and we need to pat ourselves on the back every time we take a deep breath and push onward.

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Courage, Willow

That’s what I often think, while remembering the scene in the movie, “Willow”. He is a tiny being standing before a frightening situation. He whispers to himself, “Courage, Willow”. Life as a horse trainer and instructor requires courage. Life as anything these days requires courage! I think perhaps it always has.

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Courage for me, as a stablewoman, means taking on another horse whose owner lost her job. This is a horse I rode and I like and who will fit into our program… yet, it takes courage to decide to be responsible for one more. I think it’s because I take these responsibilities seriously. Horses are my family and each family member is not a possession, but a friend. It takes courage to have so many friends!

I see courage all around me. I had a student who had suffered a severe head injury in a car accident (and had been in a coma). She used her riding to regain motor skills and balance. She would call herself “wimp”, “chicken” and so on. I thought she was the bravest woman I knew. I know a man who broke his hip and was up, back to work in weeks and facing limited funds with an animal family to care for. He found a beautiful place to live where he could keep his horses and dogs and, by staying courageous, created a new, happy life.

I know a man in his 80’s who cares for a large herd of horses and runs an organization almost single handed. He has had a shattered ankle, broken hip (and replacement), a heart attack, had a branch imbedded into his eye, the list is long of his “battles” and yet, he is still the strongest man I know. I can’t keep up with him loading hay! Courage is his mantra, I believe.

And I watch friends who rise every day to care for an elderly parent or an infirm child or who go to school while holding down a job (or two!). They practice great courage daily.

I stand in front of a hay barn whose roofing has blown away and just tie the tarps tighter for the predicted wind. I dig the post holes for railroad ties for the fence to hold the new horse that is coming and soak in epsom salt baths each night. I remember looking at my shriveled arm as a child, after a devastating injury, and proclaiming that I would still ride. “Courage, Willow.”

We cannot presume to judge the courage of another. It may take more of it for someone to drive at night or to climb a ladder than it does for others to ride a bull. We are all facing different battles, different paths. But we all know what courage is! We all conjure it up on a daily basis and we need to pat ourselves on the back every time we take a deep breath and push onward.

 

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Love is Perfect Kindness

I’ve written about my life in the shack that I held together with tarps and duct tape – I’ve written about many aspects of my different, strange abodes through the years… Tonight, I had a profound flash of memory as I was fixing my supper. With Quorn (a meat substitute, protein source) cooking in my Wok, standing over the new black gas oven gifted to me by a friend whom I adore, I remembered the shack. It was a constructed “room” that I set up on my land, then brought a battered trailer to attach to it (not very successfully!). I had electricity in half of my home, water to a kitchen sink, bathroom sink and tub. I had no furnace, no water heater, no stove and no real roof between the structures (I use that term loosely).

I used a stick style, stable bucket heater to heat water in, yes, a bucket to take, yes, bucket baths… squatting in my tub and pouring the hot water over me with a ladle. You can get really clean, even wash your hair properly with one bucket full of water if you plan particularly well.

And with a few working outlets, I kept an oil filled radiator space heater going in the bedroom and one in the bathroom during winter. In summer, I installed an air conditioner in the bedroom with it sitting on a T post on the outside of the window, held in place with, well, duct tape. In winter, water would freeze on the table in the kitchen and in the pipes. I had to keep a tiny trickle going on the below zero nights (they were awful and scary). All during this time, I had my 4 splendid horses who had worked Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with me living just below my “house” in large pens I had built with an acre of turn out. I also had 3 dogs, one of which was my sweet, 20 year old Basil who is still with me today.

I held tarps on the gap between the “structures” with bricks, duct tape and roofing tar – I was up on the roof after every wind storm which meant at least twice a week. I lived without a human with me – alone I was not, because of my animals. And, I lived out at the end of a road in the high desert with few neighbors. It took courage. Stablewoman type courage.

I remember at night, returning from outside lessons or walking around the land, looking at the warm glow from distant neighbors’ windows. I remember crying, wishing for better for my family and myself. I remember cooking in the electric Wok. I remember cooking Quorn each evening and placing it on a salad, taking it to the bedroom to eat in the warmth or in the cool.

 

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I remember that bedroom was covered with futon mattresses on the floor where all my dogs and I slept and how I kept blankets on them at night, moving across the futon pads to pull covers up on little beings sound asleep… depending on me. I remember so much and I thank all my lucky stars for that experience AND for my life now. A life now that is better and yet, the same, because I am still cooking the same meal, loving different horses and dogs (and still loving Basil!) in the same deep ways and I remain totally grateful and full of courage. I’m a stable woman.

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