Licorice STILL has hives. We are working on different angles and I'm hoping we turn the corner soon. He looks awful. All lumps and bumps.
We've had some great groundwork sessions. I realized something pretty critical about my abilities and that is that it's not that I lack confidence, it's that I have anxiety. I knew I had anxiety, but I thought confidence was the missing ingredient. However, confidence is something you can gain through exercises, trust and time. Anxiety doesn't give a crap about those things, it's a totally different beast. One I'm very familiar with working with, but until I recognized fully that it was anxiety driving my discomfort and not confidence, I kept trying to train it out of me.
I have pretty good feel and pretty good timing. My releases happen at the right time and even when I'm talking to someone else, one 'eyeball' is always on my horse. I correct when I need to, am reasonably soft (this is ALWAYS a work in progress) and when riding, have a good seat and soft hands. Licorice is not dangerous to me nor am I dangerous to him. He's not a hot spooky mess all the time and neither am I. I'm not sure it's exactly fun a lot of the time, which leads me to my newest pondering.
One of the people I'm working with for Licorice's hives heard that I was still thinking of selling him. She basically dressed me down for it, saying that horses bond to their owners and that if I was having a hard time with my child I wouldn't give them up, would I? Well, she's right. Quite frankly, if my daughter was a horse, I probably would have sold her already. (note to my child when she's old enough to find this on the internet: you may use this for approximately five years of counseling when you're in your early 20s. Then, someday, you may have a child and you can apologize to me with extravagant gifts.)
So, where do horses fit in? Let's take out the 'horses cost a lot of money' line, because kids do too. Also, let's take combinations that are dangerous off the table. And let's also leave out 'horses are a hobby'. I understand this is true for some people, but my horse isn't just a hobby. I do puzzles for a hobby. Horses are something deeper for me, and it DOES involve another being.
Why are they different than the commitment to dogs? I had a border collie who I loved dearly, but she had some big issues (rescue dog) that we worked around but if she was a horse would I have traded her in? I'm REALLY thinking about this, not just off the cuff with the whole time/money/life is too short stuff. What makes the difference?
Dogs. Children. Horses. All are beings and I believe they all have souls. They certainly all have personalities. What would life with horses look like if we DIDN'T trade them in? I board, so I only can afford one horse so it's not an option to keep one and then get another one to do some of the things I want to do. And why is WHAT we want to do MORE important than the horse/person bond? My dog was NOT a family dog, but I just worked around it. My husband is not a horse person...I wouldn't trade him in.
So, any thoughts? I really would love to have a thoughtful discussion about this! I recognize there might be differing opinions, so if there are, let's be respectful to each other. And be open to thinking about things differently.....I know I am.