Today I met up with Little Love's old owner. She called me out of the blue two weeks ago and asked for a riding lesson. She has started riding a mutual friend's horse twice a week and wanted my input on how she was doing with her seat. I don't teach a lot, but out of curiosity I agreed to teach her.
It was an interesting experience to see her on another horse. She struggled so much with Little Love; just sitting in her big movement was a chore. On top of it, the lady was often afraid or frustrated or angry when she rode. None of these emotions sit well with Little Love, as you all probably know by now, especially if you try to hide your feelings and pretend they don't exist. I can't even begin to recap how I felt watching this from the ground and desperately trying to help the two...
But today, for the first time ever, I was able to teach this woman without any emotional baggage whatsoever, from her part or mine. She was not afraid and she felt confident on the smooth and calm stallion (yes, she is riding a stallion, but I'm telling you, this guy is steady as a rock). This enabled her to take my advice and listen to her own body, something she had always struggled with when on top of Little Love. She rode better than I had ever seen her ride. I could tell she was very, very happy with this horse.
I was happy, too. I always felt so torn between teaching the lady how to ride (for her sake and for Little Love's sake) and at the same time wanting to knock her off the horse and never let her get on again. It's not that she isn't a good rider, because really, she is doing so well (especially considering where she was five years ago when I met her), but her and Little Love together... it just was not a good match. And it broke my heart over and over again to see what it did to both of them, but most importantly Little Love, who had no choice in the matter. And now - it's all over. It is truly over. Never again will Little Love have to go through any of that. Of course I have known that for quite a while, but still... it somehow became real today. And when it became real, it felt like something very dark and ugly left my body. That something flew up into the universe and disappeared into the stars. And it was as if someone had just handed me a little piece of freedom.