I feel as if I’ve done something wrong if I cause my horse to create a lot of
dust. So, I’m not quite sure what happened, cause a lot of debris sure did hit
the fan; and since so many of my friends have asked me what happened, I feel I
must try and give some sort of explanation.
I want it known in advance that I am not blaming anyone, or attempting
to implicate anyone or being anything other than my authentic self. Any similarities to people you might know, are purely coincidental…. (Okay, so I just rolled my eyes and am now giving you all the seriously? really? Are you fucking insane? Stare of bewilderment!)…. And the story continues:
Where to begin, what to say? I’m fighting being sucked down into the void. Its calling and I can hear it. I’m tired; maybe weary is the better word. Homesick pretty much covers it. I’ve never been away from home this long and I am aching to be back in my nest. My ‘habitat’ as Jon calls it. “Come and view Kelly in her natural habitat, with her Corgi’s, her yard and her big comfy chair facing the flat screen TV.” Tickets are free, he announces, the show however is rather boring. Aside from her talking to the dogs and sometimes dancing with abandon when her favorite tune comes on, she doesn’t do much other than tap away on her laptop, leaving this world for her imagined life of different and amazing. She is prolific with her stories and her characters are vibrant and alive, but she is quite boring, just warning you in advance.
So, that is my normal life, my everyday life, that of writer. I used to be a horseygirl, trainer and teacher of all things horse. I worshipped at the church of the horse, all day, every day. I came on this trip to Scotland searching for something, mostly myself I think, mostly that old horseygirl that was buried somewhere down inside. I found her, but she is tired and unenthusiastic, not really feeling it on the level I’d hoped. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am no longer a teacher or trainer of all things horse. My passion has ebbed to the point I’m wondering if I will ever have a horse in my life again. Mostly it makes me sad because I still feel as if all those years of knowledge and competence have been wasted. I know they weren’t, (wasted), in the way that I’ve developed into a really sentient and aware adult, much more so than I would have if I hadn’t been so addicted to learning through what the horses were teaching me. My never ending journey of self improvement was jettisoned to an entirely new level when I started down the path of natural horsemanship fifteen years ago. I became un-offendable and addicted to learning how to be a better human through the eyes of a prey animal. I guess I should say, I learned how to be a more developed predator, evolved past the base instincts and needs of a predator. My eyes opened up and I saw the world around me through a much clearer lens, and then I started writing about what I saw.
I always thought I would make a great detective or spy or what have you. My eye for details, small seemingly inconsequential details, is very developed and I’ve used that innate talent through the years of honing the craft of teaching horsemanship. There are a multitude of little details that horses see, that humans miss. What I’ve mostly learned is that the biggest difference between a great horseman and a mediocre one are how well they pay attention, notice, and then change what needs changing. Being willing to be wrong, being a good student, allowing alteration and learning from each person, horse, situation etc. Never being static in other words and never, ever being the definition of insane.
I hyped up my trip for over a year. All of my friends and family and followers were, and have been looking forward to my posts and observations during these six weeks. Contrary to popular belief, I actually do have a small following that likes my honest, forthright and keenly observant outlook on all that happens around me. Even the ones that have been under my spotlight have told me, that what I observed about them and said might need some changing or tweaking, was painful in the moment, but really what they needed to hear. I am also the first to say that my hardest, toughest on me teachers, were the ones that influenced my evolution the most! And, in my world of natural horsemanship, we all spout the never ending self improvement mantra, over and over. Improvement often means change, dramatic and painful change, and how can we know what needs changing unless we are told? We are all too close to ourselves to be able to see it. And so, I am a teacher, I observe and I offer suggestions accordingly. I billed myself as such for this trip, actually offered it as my means of payment for food and lodging.
In the fetal stages of horsemanship it is a very mechanical sport. It’s a lot of repetition to achieve competence on a physical level. However, after those first few months, the participant should leave the mechanical and start to develop a sort of feel. They should stop so much repetition and shoot for communication and communion. This is where the mind set comes into play. This is where they learn how to not be offended by their horses, or their teacher’s critics of them as ‘handlers’. We are supposed to look at the horses’ answers’ to our questions, and if it isn’t what we were looking for, we are supposed to ask a different question, or ask the question in a different way. Not just ask with more force or give up entirely or simply keep asking the same thing over and over and expecting the answer to change. At this point, I need to state flat out, I am not an idiot, I’m older, wiser, been there, done that, and I know how to see the answer I would like, and how to set it up so I get that response; not in a make it happen kind of way either, nope, in a totally subvert way by which the horse in question thinks it was his idea. I can also see instantly how a certain human might be affecting or causing their horse to react in a way that is undesirable or appears disobedient, when in fact it is an answer to a question that the human just asked. Not the horses fault for answering the way he saw it.
Anyway, I came over here to Scotland to help some of these people along their paths of never ending self improvement. Those of us in the know, already know that it has nothing to do with horses really, and everything to do with our own personal demons. I’ve already blogged about my second host, the one I was supposed to stay with for over a month. That ended so badly I have no idea what went wrong. I didn’t even start writing about it until after the fact, and then it went even wronger! (I know, not a word, get over it… makes my point!). I posted my blog, on my own page, and I didn’t mention any names or places etc. Nobody in my real life even knows what or whom I was talking about. I just re-read that other blog post because of the week long hoopla it seemed to create, and I still have no idea what about it was so inflammatory. Especially since I was so vague as too who I was even talking about. Of course, her friends knew who it was, but nobody else did, nor did anyone else even care! All I was trying to do was tell my story, from my perspective and from my place on this path of self improvement. I never even shared the post with any other friends or tagged anyone or put it on a forum or chat room board. Just me, my page and that’s all.
Well, said hosts friends went literally berserk with rage and hate, towards me and my words. They called me a lot of names, created a fake Facebook page that mocked me repeatedly. They were quite vicious. I shrugged it off, even put up a post about no such thing as bad publicity; after all, my blog page at wordpress got more hits and reads in one day than it had in the three years previous, combined! I’m a writer now; it’s what I feel I am, and want to be on into the future, so readers are readers in my world, period. The only problem was that in their over-reactive rage against me, they all started naming the person that I’d attempted to not implicate. It was my story, and since this was a month out of my life, and that person and I had not managed to connect, I was severely impacted by her, so in telling my story, I was forced to tell what I saw, and why that month of my life was now ruined. All of her well meaning and incredibly loyal posse started bombing my pages, other local horse forums and then created that fake page by which to attempt to humiliate me. They named names, over and over and turned into a school of piranha. Once again, you can all judge for yourself by reading the next blog post after this one. I felt I did a fairly good job of humiliating myself by telling my story in the beginning. Really people, could I be more honest in how well I have failed at life? Do you think that offering myself up like that was not, is not, the most painful thing in the world?
The dust finally settled, as happens with this kind of thing. The fake page disappeared and I think I managed to un-friend and block anyone directly attempting to deface me. It isn’t that I mind discourse; I in fact can often learn from others opinions of me. I am really good at learning from critic and criticism. I do feel however that what the coven of bitches from the north did was sort of ruin my trip of a lifetime. When I left that host’s house, it was with the intent of going back, even though I felt the horses were in much too poor of condition to go and ride them, I was going to figure out something we could do. I didn’t want my trip to come to an abrupt halt only two weeks in. I sent host an email, stating exactly this, I said we could look for the positives and build on those, work it out etc. I just didn’t want to stay in her house for three plus weeks, (at this point I had a new host willing to keep me at her house and feed me). In doing so, I felt I was removing pressure from her, taking most of the responsibility off of her shoulders. I could see that she couldn’t afford to keep me there, feed me, pack me around and show me sights. I wasn’t being ungrateful in the slightest! I felt i was being completely realisitic! I don’t know why she couldn’t see that, but I could, and I didn’t want to be that kind of burden on anyone. I was removing pressure from her overly pressurized life. I don’t blame her in the slightest, her enthusiasm obviously got the best of her and she over committed. I’ve been there, done that many times in my past, and I finally got old enough and screwed up enough times, to see the error of my ways. Somehow however, all my good intentions turned to bad and I became Satan incarnate. I can only sigh at this point.
There is a type of horse that we call a Left Brain Introvert. These kinds of horses are expert, nay-professional’s, at making the human do so much of the work that said human is so frustrated that they stop from pure exhaustion. These horses look at you with a twinkle, and an internal smile, as they watch us flap and scream and go insane before their never moving, rooted to the ground feet. You can’t beat them into submission because they just don’t care enough. In fact, the harder you try, the less they do. For most horses, you need to move their feet to get to their mind. For a Left Brain Introvert you have to engage their mind before you can get their feet to move. I am innately an extrovert, but when I go introverted I go to that kind of place, it’s the what’s in it for me place, I ain’t moving place, and I continue to observe as the world swirls around me. Well, when I was sitting on the couch in the host’s home, and I’d gone introverted, I watched from the sidelines. I saw them all flapping about, screaming and yelling and trying to get something done; attempting to motivate themselves and the ones around them by getting bigger and louder. I watched all this, and saw that nothing got done because they were so upset about what wasn’t getting done.
Then, after the fact, after the host said she didn’t want me back at all, and that I was a bully, (I still can’t figure that out because I left in an attempt at not being a burden), after I wrote about the how and why I couldn’t stay there, and at that point my heart was pretty broken, the rest of her herd started getting bigger and meaner. I
felt that odd moment that i figure my Left Brain Introvert horse must have felt
over and over with me, as i learned how to engage his mind without getting mean
or mad, and i will add in that it took me years!! So, here i was, feeling
contained in the middle of an odd tornado comprised of them all working
themselves into a froth, and wearing themselves out, as I sat on the couch and
The funniest part was that the whole thing was already over; it was two days that had happened a week earlier. We have another saying in the world of Parelli which goes something like, “I’ve never seen it take longer than two days.” At first I laughed when I figured out that the whole thing lasted around forty eight hours. With a horse, that could mean a solid forty eight hours though, no breaks for lunch or dinner etc. And in my years of training I’ve gone a solid eight hours without releasing because of the extremeness of that horse’s brace, (in his case it was an extreme forward-aholic situation). So, in retrospect, I guess I did release on a brace when I left that house, and I was severely punished for that fact. I didn’t read all the posts and public forum comments, and I never commented back or tried to defend myself. I just quietly un-friended and blocked, and left each group, oh well, it’s been fun gals; I really did enjoy those friendships while they lasted. There was no need to try and argue with them, since they were all repeating the same thing over and over and expecting something different. Or maybe it just made them all feel better to defend their friend. The thing is, I never say anything in writing I am not willing to say directly to their faces, and I did in fact tell said host she was braced against her life and her claws were tight on that rope. She nodded and agreed, so I know she understands where I was coming from. I am also fully aware that the louder someone gets in their own defense, the more aware they are of how much they are fighting the change that is knocking at their door.
So here I sit, still in Scotland and I wish I could go home early, but I can’t afford it, can’t really afford anything. I’m not really all that bummed out, just a little sad. I’ve made two new wonderful friends over here, one up north and one down here in the south. Both of them have treated me like a queen, (exactly what i was being accused of acting like…where is my tiara by the way?), and both have shown me just about everything great that Scotland has to offer, including their famous hospitality!I think that is a pretty good average given how repulsive I seem to be to most of them. I can’t say I am sorry though, I preach don’t be fake, and I’ve always promised honesty. Again I can clearly state I might be wrong! It’s through my filter after all and I’ve been wrong numerous times over the years. Multitude of moments that I can claim weren’t my proudest. On the bright side, the people that have stuck with me through all those humiliations still love me, so I am not alone. Although, there are times I think becoming a recluse sounds pretty darn attractive. I’m still trying to figure out humans. Horses and dogs make sense to me, herd or pack mentality and hierarchy I get, its the path of least resistance, its comfort and play and safety with our fellow herd/pack mates. Humans on the other hand? I shake my head because they all seem so contradictory to me, so conflicted and tortured and unwilling to alter courses or change attitudes. It’s all I’m attempting in my life, change, grow, evolve, become someone better. When I came to Scotland I had hopes of finding my people. I’m quite happy with the two I did find, and I am un-affected by the rest of them. Maybe that has to be enough? Maybe my people are rare, exclusive, unique and ‘couture’? Gosh, I think that might be the definition of a freak! I swear, that was not a slight on your characters! No judgment, just love! Here is to the freaks that love me and can see the fellow freak through all the flaws…. :] ❤