The heat in Texas was surely picking up- not my cup of tea; my skin became itchy and the flies, the flies, the agony...why was I here? As much as I loved my family and Rupert (surely my favorite guy in the world)- but there had to be more to life
than this miserable humid heat in Texas. I know I had a meaningful job and the kids could truly trust me with whatever, but how could I function when the blistering sun was burning down on my coat and the little crawlers tormented me?
I tried, I tried for years and finally my Ru realized, it was time for a change- thank the heavens above for sensible caring humans who realize when it is time for a change. I will forever be grateful to him and truly belong to him because he loves me so much to be willing to let me go (what human does that? Anyway- he is special).
There came the trailer with three other travel mates. Where I was going, I had no clue (ha, no pun intended). Ru loaded me, and because of our trusting relationship that we built over years, I would have followed him into a burning building and knew he would only guide me to what was best for me.
The drive was endless, however we had a very caring driver (who I did not understand because of a heavy Texan accent, but was very loving and aware of our needs). When we arrived in Colorado at the Air Force Academy, I could not believe my eyes- it was a piece of heaven with, believe it or not- no flies, no heat, fresh air, and stunning views. I was home! This is where I was bred, and this is the place Rupert had to share my heart with. I knew it deep down, but had forgotten how beautiful this place was and how much I belonged here.
Don’t get me wrong, Ru will always occupy a large spot in my heart, but there is something about Colorado that just makes me feel younger, free, and absolutely happy. In addition, I got a very important job to do. Folks here call me a school master and I feel that is a very impressive label and gives me certain responsibilities but also certain privileges…
The grumpy mule beside me could not darken my mood, realizing that I would move into a lovely luxurious stall with deer visiting daily and the sounds of the creek lulling me to sleep- so guess what buddy, you can’t bring me down.
My first trail was with a beginner rider, in fact, it was Rupert’s Godson Hector- even though I ‘played’ a little, I made sure he was safe and sound- that is what I am here for. I got this new gal, speaking of my new caretaker, who looked slightly concerned because my head was up and I was energetically more forward than what she seemed to be used to from the dude horses...Relax, I won’t kill him, just challenge him a little (smirk).
And eventually, after a day or two, she hopped on- but I quickly realized, this was a brand new job I had. It was not about her or me; we had a gentleman who hardly spoke and was very restless, troubled even and a lady, looking concerned, disconnected, almost lost to a point- both of them seemingly related, but really not (maybe a couple ??) and my new caretaker communicating extremely subtle with me. We rode together in Texas and got along, however, this was different, she needed me to really listen to her whispers, to her body language, to invisible aids. My attention went on hyper alert- I can do this... What was going on?
It took me a while, even as a year long veteran helping others, I had to figure out, this was not about an autistic child but very much related. This was work I was familiar with, but at a very different setting. The gentleman was a wounded warrior on his way to processing and healing and his wife. It took me a while to realize my rider geared towards the needs of the couple (following the child- it was called at New Trails) trying to communicate without them realizing what she was doing but still obvious enough for me to get the message. Wow- it was like having our own secret language.
The wife seemed scared in the beginning of the ride and I was walking very collectively, sensitively responding to my rider’s questions of me- can you slow down to make her feel comfortable? After awhile it seemed the couple started to communicate, my rider picking up on it and trying to ask me to give them more space. A simple tightening of her calf muscles- I totally got this lady! I knew what she was doing and of course supported her effort with an immediate reaction. We put space between the couple and us to allow for privacy and the communication they needed without anybody else there, my stride as big as I could make it. She was as thrilled about me as I was about her- we speak the same language; and let me tell you lady: I got this- I need this job, and I will be fantastic at it!
I can spot a troubled soul when I see one, and I know a healing environment when I am in it- this place has a lot of both. I feel that I came home for a reason. Yes, I am happier here, but I also think I will continue to change lives here- I already have and will keep you posted on what we can do with the work we developed and the heart we put into. Thanks Ru for taking care of me- I will make you proud!