I’ve ridden Luke a couple times this week and will ride again tomorrow, all in preparation for riding in a dressage test clinic on Saturday. Neither Luke nor I are quite sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this.
He’s feeling put out that he hasn’t even finished shedding his winter coat and will not look look his best.
That’s not true. Luke doesn’t care much about appearance, otherwise he wouldn’t immediately roll in the dirt after I’ve so meticulously cleaned the sweat off him and brushed his mane to a silky shine. What Luke cares about, quite simply, is grass and rolling on the ground to reach his itchy spots.
I think the thing was that my friends were so excited about this clinic and about the upcoming show season that I got carried away with their enthusiasm.
That got mixed up with what I care about — belonging.
I’m reading the book “Eternal Echoes” by John O’Donohue and in the book he writes,
“No one wants to have a life that is cut off or isolated. The absence of contact with others hurts us. When we belong, we feel part of things. We have a huge need to participate. When this is denied us, it makes us insecure… It seems that in a soul sense, we cannot be truly ourselves without others. In order to be, we need to be with.”
Luke and I are a trail team. It’s not that the other riders don’t do trail riding also, but it’s not where they focus and put their energy. They don’t seem to need it to stay sane. They love showing and I’m thrilled for how well some have already done on their first time out this show season.
But I have to remember who I am and that I don’t need to love what my friends love to belong.
Don’t get me wrong, Saturday will be fun because I’ll be with a group of people that I enjoy being with, who are kind and supportive of whatever I do.
It’s my issue really. And Luke would be thrilled if I’d just get over it.