This is what life with Deo often feels like. Chaos and connection. The chaos is less now than eight years ago when these photos were taken. The connection is there, but it is different, a little dented and scarred by history and time. Both of us are older. I am not sure that either of us are wiser. Amadeo is why I became a Tellington Practitioner. So that is a gift – I had to figure out how to be with him not just in the saddle, but on the ground.
A little story about why that was so important. About six years ago we left Martha’s Vineyard for the mainland. Amadeo had just arrived at a new barn – a lovely place in Millbrook, NY – a dream barn with big green pastures and excellent horse care. I was happy, excited. So I took him out of the barn in just a halter, to walk around the barn. On either side of the barn doors were statues of horse heads – a nice touch, I had thought. As we aproached the door, I could feel him go “on the muscle”. What that means in horse-speak is that he became one big 1200-pound muscle – fully alert, head up, tail flagged – a bomb at the end of a rope. My heart was pounding, and I spoke softly, trying to ease him back inside. Suddenly without warning, he spun and shot out his hind leg – fully extended – and slammed his shod hoof into my leg. Everything went black and sparkly for a moment, and I somehow staggered into the barn and melted down the side of the wall as someone took him from me.
I was in bed for about three days – could not walk at all, and had a hoofprint with a nice little egg of scar tissue in the middle for about 2 years. I felt betrayed, angry, scared. That’s part of what I mean about scars and dents. Both the ones inside and the ones you can see.
Linda Tellington-Jones helped me with a lot of that. I am a pretty confident horse handler now. I read them better, I don’t project terror, and I have some skills. And I am careful.
Today I am going to ride Deo again, to see if yesterday’s good ride was some kind of weird anomaly or the beginning of something new – a breakthrough of sorts. On Monday, the nice women who are interested in him will come. We will see, we will see.
(to be continued)