I honestly cannot comprehend how I’ve managed to basically elude delving into something that
was is such a major part of me. Even as insinuated here, it was not possible to simply brush under the mat and lose all sense of memory over. You may be harbouring great passion for a specific hobby yourself – a pastime which began festering from the little imp years already. My love for sketching waned with passing seasons…ditto on the cycling.. the excitement over crafts dissolved. But horse riding is in my blood.
I remember not a time in my life without horses, and there was never a question about living without riding. Then life happened. Or rather, my eating disorder did. I quit cold turkey on that fateful day in 2013 when my long-time instructor passed away… it was more to it than that sufficiently painful reason though. I’ll admit the shocked response and probing on “why” irked me beyond words. I grew frustrated that those who were acquainted with me could not see me as anyone beyond the “horse-crazy” girl.. and then to contradict those precise thoughts – I imagined them to assume I had lost all love for the sport which couldn’t be further from the huge knot of emotions building in my chest. I was doing the right thing, that much I knew; mentally and physically I had SO much healing to do. And other than random deep cravings for the pure sensation of being on horseback I can’t say I really missed it on the daily. Given the chance to recover, I was dulled out with heavy exhaustion making the prospect of vigorous activity utterly daunting.
Fast forward a little more than a year.. the return of volumes of energy, a restless spirit, a craving for the bond shared with my horse. At the time I struggled to place my finger on that something which my soul yearned for; my horse H was in the process of finding new owners. I think the reason I refrained attempting to hold onto him was because I understood the unfairness in doing so in terms of costly pressure on the household. Always need to do the right thing of course! <-(note the subtle tone of humourless sarcasm). H was away on his third(!!) try-out – looking better than ever before and I was experiencing conflicting emotions. In a desperate search for fulfilment I took up classes, of which I will not venture into the details. Four days in and I was hit with intense claustrophobia and a fear to commit. Sounds dramatic? Well I was never one to deny a touch of drama queen-dom ;) . You see I momentarily started heading down the wrong road for me at this point… I need not more on my load – I’ve entered a chapter where my soul craves to be lightened and fed simultaneously. I thrive on a feeling of freedom and I craved so strongly to have an escape to “zone out” into nature. H returned home yet again, unable to snag a buyer… and to me, it was practically down in writing. Time to ride! You know what takes guts?Admitting to yourself and those impacted that you’re hitting dead brakes and making a sudden U turn. image source
The extensive break from the saddle was the best thing that could have occurred.
I’ve come back with a changed philosophy in how I am approaching riding this time around. Previously a goal of schooling my horse only fed my destructive perfectionist side, coupled with deteriorating levels of strength on my side and we’ve got me digging my own grave. I know I’m strong enough from a physical perspective should I want to venture into that spectrum, but most importantly I can disclose that is not what I want. And having been back in the saddle for a few weeks now it warms my heart to confirm my buddy H is on the same page; we’re happiest ambling along in the forest without expectations on either part :) . What I’m getting at is that I didn’t realize the significant struggle in can be in finding your feet breaking free from anorexia. As I my personality returned, I assumed I as settled. Alas it was like the journey had only begun with the constant hovering and experimenting. It’s inevitable that somewhere along the line you will let someone down or disappoint them… but we got to keep a very considerable factor in mind…