Help! I’m Turning Into My Mare

Last night at the barn it was one bungled chore after another. The stupid feed store is out of the good flyspray, so I’m left mixing up a concentrate that doesn’t work worth beans (which is, of course, why they had so much of it left in stock). And I keep spilling the concentrate on my hands, which necessitates me sprinting for a hose that really hasn’t worked all summer and which nobody has had time to fix.

And since classes have started, I’m living in my head like a true professor–planning things to say, going over mental lists all the time so I don’t forget stuff–and, of course, being in denial about my ever-constant stage fright. The upshot of all of this means I now have absolutely no short-term memory. I’ve been leaving sprinklers on, forgetting things I went downstairs to get, forgetting what time it is, etc. etc.

So I was in a hurry (and aren’t those just the words of doom, when you have horses) and naturally Friday decided she didn’t want me spraying her, so she started walking around (while I followed her).  Then a breeze suddenly sprang up, blowing the wrong direction, so a bunch of what I’d just sprayed ended up on me, not her. I stopped spraying to wait for the wind to stop.

That’s when she half-turned her head and gave me a pissy look. Not ears-pinned, fierce, threatening, or any of that–just a bona-fide Friday crusty, complete with little crabby mouth-crinkles. Oh yes, it was abundantly clear she wasn’t happy with me. Well, fine. I wasn’t happy with her, either. Why can’t you be like Dove, who LIKES to be a good girl? I thought.

When I raised my arm to spray Fry some more, she shifted her weight and made it clear she was going to walk off again. I suddenly became completely exasperated. Fine. “You don’t want flyspray, fine.” I said. Not like the stuff is doing any good anyway.

I’ve been reading a lot on other blogs about how we let our horses down with our lack of confidence, our lack of making time, our lack of sensitivity. But I did have the thought yesterday…don’t our horses fail us, sometimes, too? I wasn’t asking the world of this mare. I wasn’t hurting her, and this is something I’ve done with her about 2,000 times this summer. The flies are so bad right now that I think it should be possible for them to make the connection that spray=relief (at least for a little while). My old mare who is so sensitive to flies immediately starts to doze after I’ve got her covered. She knows she can rest for a few minutes without having to wiggle her skin and stomp around.

Now, I’m sure Fry didn’t appreciate my demeanor.  I’m sure they get tired of me spraying them first thing when I get there–but I can’t really even spend a quiet moment with them until I do because the bugs are so bad right now.  And I was in a hurry, and my mind was on other stuff.

But my heart is in the right place, right? Why can’t I ever buy a break with this mare?

The thing is, Friday reminds me a lot of someone else. Me.

I was sitting at the dinner table last night with HM and Things 1 and 2, who had to be hollered for dinner three times. Then one of the Things had the bad grace to complain about part of the meal.

And I swear to you as I sat there morosely eating the last of what was on my plate (because it had taken them so long to come upstairs) that I had this sudden vision of myself with horse ears on my head and a black, pissy cloud around my head.

I knew what was expected of me–I was supposed keep my temper in check, be the parent, and try to scrape together whatever pleasantness I could for dinner–but I sure as hell didn’t feel like it.

I don’t suppose it’s by accident that I use a picture of Fry as my avatar. We have a lot to learn from each other.







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9 responses to “Help! I’m Turning Into My Mare

  1. Short-term memory?? What’s that?? 🙂 I am not great with speaking in a crowd, but something that helps me is doing a “triangle focus”. I pick out 3 people who are seated apart from each other in a triangle format and speak to them. As I continue talking, I shift my gaze over one or two people and create a new triangle. For me it helps me forget that I am speaking to a bunch of people – it’s like you are only speaking to 3 – and shifting your gaze engages everyone in the room. At least, that’s what I hope!! 🙂 You have a lot on the go right now. Cut yourself some slack. When things get into a rhythm, everything will be right with the world. 🙂

    BTW, I don’t have children, but my sister has 5. She had issues with getting all of the children to the table and of course, someone would whine about not liking something. She cured that by NOT cooking dinner. She set up a calendar and everyone has a meal night. This started about 2 years ago, when the triplets (youngest) were about 11 years old. It has worked out quite well. Maybe it’s time to take a break from cooking????? 🙂

  2. Horses can be very accurate mirrors – sounds like you’ve got your hands full!

  3. So I have decided that I believe fry is alot like myself as well. Lol isn’t it funny that many times the very thing we need the most, we choose to run from. So I think I like her

  4. Fry is adorable even if she has a pissy attitude. My Dusty mare could be her sister, no matter how much I do for her she is annoyed. She’ll sometimes even pin her ears or give “that” face when she’s getting treats. She really has a bad attitude. As for Things 1 and 2, if they don’t come to dinner on time start without them and if they don’t like something, dump their plates in the garbage. No words need to be spoken. I got tired of nobody appreciating all the work I do too. So I stopped doing a lot of it. Might work for you. Keep a smile on your face and a song in your heart…yeah right.

  5. What we dislike most in others is what we often miss about ourselves. Horses, though, can help us change. I imagine your distracted energy was much like a fly to your horse, easily as irritating.

    I get the same from Lily who knows me so well (Smokey, not as much, but I see myself in his periodic self absoption) when I’m distracted and I often miss the chance to shift my energy.

    But I’m trying to remember this lesson, trying, trying.

    • I’ve learned how to hide my impatience and quick temper–the real trick is overcoming them, though, not just covering for them. You are so right about how horses can help us change.

  6. ……”I’ve been reading a lot on other blogs about how we let our horses down with our lack of confidence, our lack of making time, our lack of sensitivity. But I did have the thought yesterday…don’t our horses fail us, sometimes, too?”……

    That is a very interesting point. I think we sometimes take all the sensitivity a bit too far. When something needs to be done, I take a no nonsense approach and I get the job done. If there is a chance that they’ll walk away, I put a headcollar on. I’ve had to deal with a lot of injuries this summer and treatment was more important than their feelings about it, so I just did it wether they liked it or not, I just didn’t give them any choice in the matter. The thing is, I think they actually approve of that attitude.

    • I agree–as a mom of three, there have been plenty of times when I’ve had to make sure the “medicine” (whatever unpleasant thing that might be) gets taken, even if it doesn’t taste good. No horse (or person) likes having a wound worked on or getting vaccinations, etc. but if it must be done, I agree–it must be done. I agree that horses draw confidence from a confident, no-nonsense approach.

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