This is Cricket. If Cricket went to an “Emotional Horses Anonymous” meeting, his introduction would sound something like, “Hello, I’m Cricket …. did you see that squirrel ….. I’m sorry, where was I, oh yes, I’m Cricket and ….. oooh an airplane, do I like airplanes? Oh, wait a minute, I was introducing myself, okay, where was I? Ummmm ….. I’m Cricket and I’m emotional …. and I have good reason!”
He is emotional and he really does have good reason, up until we met and I brought him home that is (I would like to think things really turned around for this dashing chestnut fellow when we met – like I was his lucky break). Since he’ll be one of the red heads I introduce you to in my quarterly newsletter, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, suffice to say, Cricket turns 14 this May and he is very much like handling a 2 year old (said with love)! When I feel discouraged after a tough ride, I remind myself that this precious horse has come a long way.
Cricket is as unique as any individual and one of the things that makes him unique is an impressive scar on his left side. He missed puncturing his lung by fractions of an inch when the injury occurred and those at Littleton Large Animal Hospital did an impressive job putting this horse back together. I didn’t know him then though I’d imagine that this expressive fellow was likely pretty sullen and depressed over the whole thing (he’s the extrovert in our herd). I have slowly, over much time, built enough of a relationship with this horse to be able to start working the scar tissue that was left behind as a result of such a deep wound and as that tissue loosens it makes room for the muscle to fill back in where once it was void. All really amazing stuff if you like to nerd out on those sorts of things like I do 😉 Where am I going with all this you ask. This horse has a big ol’ scar, so what!
Yesterday’s weather was beautiful and I went out to brush on the horses and help them rid themselves of the dead hair they are shedding. A word of warning, this is NOT the time of year to wear chapstick, lipgloss or anything else that acts as glue for hair floating about in the breeze to find it’s way to your lips and land there! You WON’T get it off! I digress (squirrel!)! Part of my grooming ritual with Cricket involves me “working” that scar tissue a bit. I only do a little at a time (remember he’s emotional) and I start at the front of the scar and work my way back. As I sprayed the scar with some flower essences (a botanical spray that Dynamite makes called ‘Release’) and began “working” the area, Cricket turned his head to look at me putting his muzzle on my hand. I reassured him I wouldn’t over work anything. Apparently, that wasn’t reassuring enough and he nipped at my hand to get his point across. I stroked his face and massaged his jack rabbit ears until his eyes got all soft and droopy in relaxation and contentment. I went back to work, spraying and then softly manipulating the scarring. As I was doing so I began talking to Cricket.
I shared with him that the scar doesn’t detract from how beautiful he is. It doesn’t define him. It’s something that happened to him and is a part of who he is however it isn’t ugly in any way, it’s part of his story. Then I quietly stated that I understood there is a great deal of trauma that he’s been holding onto for so many years, including the trauma held within that scar. I shared with him that it was okay for him to begin to release that, let it go (thank you Disney, I cannot say that without ‘Frozen’ playing in my head now!). The trauma doesn’t serve him anymore. That wasn’t what Cricket wanted to hear and in a bit of a huff, he walked away from me, went a few hundred feet, stopped, looked back at me looking somewhat put out and then walked completely away utterly disgusted with me! That was it, session over! Was it something I said!?! Lol! It got me thinking about my own trauma I’ve held onto for so many years.
My scars are emotional. And they are deep. I’ve been slowly working those scars to loosen the proverbial scar tissue and allow them to heal. As I peel back the layers of the onion more scars surface. Much like Cricket, for so long, I wasn’t ready to do anything with those scars. It hurt too much to face them as they tried to define me. I believed they made me far less valuable as a person and there was definitely no beauty to behold, only a banged up, scarred up mess. The time has come to flush out a suitcase full of junk. I have felt it bubbling up to the surface for a while now, ready to pour out. Much like Cricket, I’m not sure how to release what I know is no longer serving me and if I’m honest, it scares me a bit ….. okay fine, it scares the hell out of me! I question, have I actually allowed this to define me and is what scares me not the emotion and tears that are bound to pour forth rather the loss of identity I may feel on that level …..
I’m not sure. I do know that part of the education I am receiving for my certification will deal with flushing out that suitcase full of scars and emotional trauma. As exhausting and daunting as the personal work sounds, I can’t wait for that dam to bust so that after the initial surge what will be left are the healing waters of a quiet babbling brook.