Monday, August 1, 2011

Bad Love

"It's like you're a drug
It's like you're a demon I can't face down
It's like I'm stuck
It's like I'm running from you all the time
And I know I let you have all the power"
"Addicted" by Kelly Clarkson
from her 2004 album "Breakaway"

Prior to hooking up with Mr. Fry, I had a penchant for falling in love with men who were emotionally unavailable at best; flawed, broken, and dangerous at worst.

Like many women, I thought that if I loved them enough, stuck around long enough, put up with their shit long enough, surely they would see the light and love me the way normal human beings love each other. In short, I thought my efforts could fix them. The more they misbehaved, the more I thought they needed me and the more determined I was to hang on. I was the poster child for codependence and enablement.

It took many years and a near-death experience, but I finally outgrew bad boys.

Human ones, anyway.

If you want a laugh at my expense, go back to the beginning of my archives for the story of how I got my first horse, Poco. Nearly every other post in the archives is about our love/hate relationship. Although I swore he'd always have a home with me — a promise I was willing to keep — I finally realized we would both be better off if we parted ways. He now lives at Iron Ridge, has his butt worked hard at least 5 days a week, is buff, and thriving. He's even carrying select beginners, which I admit is a huge blow to my self esteem.

For awhile he blew me off when I went up to the farm, but then again, he was blowing everybody off. He reverted to his charming, suck-up self when they got him away from the mares, his drug of choice. He is now pastured with his old buddies Jaz and Daltrey, and the last couple times I've visited, Poko has come to me, sweet and affectionate. The old thought processes kicked in and  ... well, read paragraph 2 (above) again. I found myself with a case of the "what ifs" the "maybes."
I had the honor of roaching him.

I shared my feelings with Heather, who reminded me that the only reason he's gotten with the program is that he's being ridden hard and often, which I can't do. Work, such an inconvenience ...  Poko is flourishing under the discipline and routine at Iron Ridge. Still, it's not a matter of if, but when Poko has his next meltdown. And I'll still be pushing 60 years old, and don't need to be the one on him when that happens. I do hope that at some point, I'm a confident, competent enough rider to ride him again. He's such a rush to ride.

Like any other intense, passionate relationship, remnants of this pony love linger in my psyche, and apparently in his as well. It tugs at my heartstrings every time he lays that big ole head in my arms. He will always have a piece of my heart, but my head tells me things are best left the way they are.


Anonymous said...

He looks pretty happy - work must agree with him!

Jeni said...

He does look content. Good for you to listen to your head this time, instead of the heart. Besides D is going to be one heck of a rush when he's ready!

cdncowgirl said...

Every once in awhile I get that twinge of "what if NOW" about Quinn... its a damn good thing I sold him into another province!

Daisy said...

Wonderful post. A lesson we could all stand to learn.
I once had a similar situation - I felt a little bit better when the Vet and I discovered that he was proud cut.
He could really be a poop. And my oh my - did he love the mares. And I mean he LOVED the mares. Nuff said on that.
I think it's nice that your guy is somewhere where you can still visit him.

Unknown said...

Some need more than we weekend warriors can give. But I hear ya, seeing a horse blossom with some else is not always easy.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Interesting post. I've sometimes felt the same way about going back to visit Baby Doll, especially since I am a better rider and horse owner than I was when I first got her and even after I was injured. But I know no good could come of it and it's better to let horses, lie.
It must be more difficult with Poko, not only somewhere that you can see him all the time, but that he also shares the same pasture as your own herd, just like old times.

So, why and what made Poko a rush to ride?


Leah Fry said...

Poko, the little tank, is a powerhouse. His gaits are smooth as silk, but with every step you are fully aware of the pent up speed and power. That very explanation is why he's doing so well being worked as hard as he is. He's full of go and loves to go fast. He will still be going when others are left panting in the dirt.

Deanna, Poko will also do his best to help those mares out. He has no clue he's not a gelding.

Pinzgauer said...

I think Poko is proud cut too. While he can't impregnate the mares, he um... tried hard. Yeah, which is why he's no longer stabled with them! He acts exactly like a stallion. Since i happen to own a stallion or 2, that doesn't really bother me. I just treat him like he's a stud most days - but I also expect my studs to act like geldings unless I tell them otherwise. =)

And I think in Poko's case, it's all about the routine. He HAS to have a hard work schedule. Sure, I can leave him out for a week, and then climb on, but he'll make me work for it. I can't leave him out for a week and let a student ride him though, he'll take complete advantage of them.

Even now, when he's ridden by a student (and not all students can handle him, he's what I call an intermediate horse) I have to HAVE TO work him the next day. if I don't, he's a pill.

But, with that said, look at Jaz. Leah didn't mention that Jaz was once one of my horses. He never thrived under my care, he never really bonded, and he was starting to get some stable vices (he'd pace his stall if he was kept in one). He did NOT like the way I cared for him, and was not happy.

Oh sure he was well mannered, but he just wasn't thriving. Until Leah got him. He bonded to her, and has blossomed under her care. He knows he's loved, he's happy, and he's even fat! He needed his own person, not a herd, and it really shows.

I could easily say the same thing, that my ego takes a hit seeing how well Jaz does with Leah, but instead I simply think that sometimes horses just aren't a good match. Poko wasn't meant to be Leah's horse, as he needs MORE then she can give, and he'll take that more in blood if he has to. Jaz needed exactly what she could give, but more then what I could offer.

It's like finding the right man. My ideal man is someone else's ex husband. hmmm... I think Leah has said something similar up there at the top of this post. =)

AareneX said...

Pinzgauer is wise. I agree completely!

Leah Fry said...

Why thank you, Obi-wan ♥ I never thought of it that way. Yes, Jaz and I are bonding rather nicely. I feel as though I have a lot of time to make up with him. Poco was so high maintenance, and poor Jaz never asked for or seemed to need a thing. It delights me that he's gotten so demonstrative, whereas before he seemed the tiniest bit aloof or stand-offish. I do love him to pieces.

Yeah, Mr. Fry was someone's ex, too, but he's the one for me.

It is my sincere hope that others who may be in equine relationships that aren't working may be able to use our story to make changes so they and the horses get what is best for them.

C-ingspots said...

I'm proud of you. Those decisions - both with the humans and the horses, definitely aren't easy. Sometimes it's good to stick and stay and make it pay...and then sometimes it's best to move on. The challenge comes in figuring out what's right, and then following through. *sigh* Life is never easy is it? I'd sure like easy sometimes...nice post Leah.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

What both Breathe and Pinzgauer said.

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