The Elephant In The Horse Arena

  • By Karen Nowak
  • 18 Nov, 2015

Part 2 - of - The Terror Of a 61 Year Old Horse Clinic Virgin

Two amazing mares led Annie and I to step into a new arena in life. I would like to think wisdom was the deciding factor and not age.

I am working my way to acceptance of what is true. I needed to search out what this time in my life and Annie's would bring us.

My wisdom thought this was a good idea, because there we stood. The reminder of one to many unscheduled dismounts guiding me to seek a safer and hopefully better way.

One that made sense to both Annie and I. Not just gimmicks and tricks that might or might not work in those clincher moments that invariably will arise in our future.

Day One

"Why are we doing this?" 

"Why did I think this was a good idea?"

"Why? Why?Why?"

"Can't change your mind now".

"Can I back out of this with any self respect left in tack?" added in for good measure.

I could no longer ride the coat tails of my previous two mares. They had carried me far enough. It was Annie's and my turn to ride the dusty trail together.

So despite the voices, despite the fear, we stepped into the arena.

It was our turn, Annie's and mine to start anew.



All Eyes On Us

"So what do you want to work on, why are you here?" the clinician asked.

I was shaking inside and out, trying to blame it on the cold. I did manage to answer that I didn't know where to start our relationship.

A hard realization after 30 years of riding.

The rest of the first day was a blur, a preverbal train wreck.

I do remember hearing "Your horse has no try". It felt like the air let out of me. Annie had learned to cope. Detachment replacing engagement. I knew how she felt.

Both my other mares had been forward in there thinking. Annie held back. Now I could identify it. Now I knew why.

Changing it would come later at home, with just the two of us finding our try together.

I remember thinking "I just want to get through this". Again knowing how Annie felt.

We both got through it. It wasn't smooth or pretty. I praised Annie for her try. It took time for me to be that courteous with myself.

Day Two

Annie and I were mentally exhausted walking into the arena.

There was improvement though. Annie had found more "try" and I shook a little less.

Tears threatened to pour out as I watched Annie searching to find what Ross was asking her.

He was setting it up for her to find a way to feel better about what she was asked. By getting her to change what she was thinking she could change how she felt.

I experienced the importance of what he was doing. We were on the track of a better way.

How she felt inside about what we were doing was the seed of change. It was the start we had come to find.

Again pulling up the rear, it would be awhile before I uncovered what had sprouted in me.

Emotional Meltdown

I cried for two days after the clinic. I was no fun to be around. All I felt about myself came pouring out.

Expectations of what I should know did not match the realization of what I knew. I was failing Annie. Or at least I felt I was.

As I allowed myself the time to mourn Brandy taking on a new role all the feelings that had dictated my actions faded.

It's not easy being intimate with what frightens us. But it is cathartic.

Lessons Learned

  • I had let society's belief system about aging being a downhill slide to the grave, influence me. That was all about to change. 

  • What I did from what I experienced and learned was up to me. 

  • Yes, I had an emotional tsunami of fear overtake me, drowning out all else.

  • Annie and I came through what at the time terrified me. 

  • I have since remembered fear is not who I am. I will not let it decide who I become.

  • I learned it's okay to feel what I feel. What's not okay is knowing how I feel. 

  • I learned I survived what I was afraid to do.

  • I could accept the help of others on this journey.

  • If I didn't allow what I felt to come through with all the tears, I couldn't change how I felt about it. 

  • I experienced the healing compassion of others at the clinic who had walked in my shoes. 

  • Annie and I will walk the trail of our lives together wherever it leads. 

  • I am blessed to have her by my side and under my saddle.

  • We have already had small breakthroughs. Annie's heart and mind are opening to our new life together, as are mine.

  • I am no longer letting fear decide what we do. Annie and I are choosing what we do. Together. 

Facing The Fear

In facing the fear that lurked inside of me, I found what I was looking for. A new way. 

A way that would open doors and bring understanding for Annie and I.

In retrospect I am grateful I went to the clinic. You would't have convinced me of that the first day though.

I hope to remember this lesson the next time a gargantuan challenge seems like a good idea. And I try it. 
I am glad to see my ability to get myself into uncomfortable situations is still in tack and hasn't wained.



Next Week: A Horsewoman Without A Herd

Catalyst Of Evolution

By Karen Nowak 11 Jul, 2017
The article I started here handed me an unexpected opportunity. It gifted me a very personal opportunity to evolve. My hope is it stimulates you in ways that bless you deeply.
By Karen Nowak 13 Feb, 2017
 Answering this question honestly, and changing yourapproach if necessary, contributes to you building a well-rounded health-care plan for your animal. Waiting until an illness or disease arises places you in a position of reacting, and not in the optimum mind-set to make informed decisions based on research. Creating a holistic approach involves incorporating the concept that both you and your animal are more than just
physical beings. Traditional medicine addresses physical symptoms. Alternative modalities encompass the mental and emotional aspects that present themselves in the body as imbalances, known as diseases.
By Karen Nowak 17 Oct, 2016
I am often asked the question “Why does losing my cat (dog, horse etc) hurt worse than losing humans in my life? I feel guilty because it hurts more.”

When I was asked that question I thought back to the death my horse, Chris, to find the answer.

Her death had left me emotionally devastated. I wasn’t aware of all she had been in my life. Without conditions. The hurt seemed stronger than losing humans I had been close to. It wasn’t until the loss of my parents, that I was able to experience the difference.

Only then could I understand it was judgments I made, and the perspective I took that kept me in emotional pain about the difference.

Chris and I had come together at a pivotal time of personal growth and change. No human knew how insecure I felt on the inside during that time of my life.

I matured in many ways on her back. She had my heart and supported me, as I matured into an adult with a federal job and a mortgage.

I became more confident in many areas of my life, from riding her. I trusted her with my heart and life. She knew me in ways no human could. When on her back our energy fields become one. I could never hide my feelings from her, she always knew what my heart didn’t always want my head to know. Chris knew things about me no human could see. She judged none of it.
By Karen Nowak 17 Oct, 2016
If you have ever had an animal that went missing,even for a few minutes, you have experienced the many emotions that take over.
Finding lost animals is wrought with fear, anxiety, panic and lack of control.

If the animal has escaped to go out on a jaunt it could include joy on their side not on yours. There are as many variables, emotions, and situations as there are animals.

We as the human know the inherent dangers of what could happen. They on the other hand, such as in the case of a Beagle, may be just following a scent. Something they were bred to do, unaware of the dangers that might surround them.
By Karen Nowak 25 Jul, 2016
Rocky and Mia,  brother and sister Puggles, have been at Freedom Reins for about a month now.

Understanding their new life has come at their own pace. Life changed dramatically, the day they were surrendered to the shelter in St Maries ID. That day did not make them victims.
By Karen Nowak 21 Jul, 2016
You may be saying I have read this all before. Yes you have. How much did you commit to when you did? Universal law doesn't let you pick which laws you use and which you ignore to get the life you long for. Okay I am willing to do this, but not that, no,no I don't want to give up that. Just a little bit of it won't affect the outcome. Universal law and clear and we can't pick only what we like as if we are ordering pizza toppings.

Healing yourself, not blaming the outside world, clearing up your language of negativity in all thoughts, forgiving yourself, taking responsibility for what you have created, not judging what you have created, just to name a few are part of transformation to a higher vibration of self. These and many others are imperative to moving into the life you desire.

Healing and balancing your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies is also crucial at this time of unprecedented change.
By Karen Nowak 20 Jun, 2016
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
— Anonymous

Owners of dogs have noticed that, if you provide a dog with food, water, shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide a cat with food, water, shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
―Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
By Karen Nowak 20 May, 2016

Some will say this is a faery tale, but being about a very real feline, who shall we say does not embody the demure attributes of a faery, It, is simply, a Tale of a Tail.

Charlie, the main feline of this tail, lived with my aunt for many years. Coming in a long line of very large yellow cats my aunt had in her life, all named Charlie, he was of indeterminate age in the records. The Charlie this tale is about was the last my aunt would have on this earth. . My matante and Charlie lived together for many years, always sharing their daily meals. My aunt holding the food in her hand, and Charlie obligingly eating it. They shared an interesting diet. what my Aunt ate, Charlie ate. The selection was large and varied, donuts to water chestnuts, could be found on the menu. Their favorite delectable delight, unanimously voted upon, was most assuredly pepperoni. Hardly a balanced diet for a cat. But both were full and happy, Charlie not being your normal cat. After all, this feline, ALWAYS got what he wanted. Charles Persistent T Cat being his full name.

By Karen Nowak 20 Apr, 2016
These were the words of wisdom that my dog Moxie, originally known as Noni, spoke to me well into our relationship. Moxie was a
Portuguese Water Dog (PWD). What set her apart was that she was born with everything the breed didn’t want. She was improperly coated, had short legs, and a unique head. Some felt she was an embarrassment to the breed and should be euthanized. 

I was living in WoodstockValley, CT when I received the call from the PWD Rescue that they had a female they wanted to place that had “issues,” I didn’t let it deter me. My other PWD had personality to spare and wefelt he would like a companion,as our other dog was very old.
By Karen Nowak 05 Apr, 2016
What language do you use with yourself throughout your life? Is it one based in uncertainty and imperfection? Or, ever growing trust in self?

Wanting and Choosing are Two Different Things
Universal energy does not see wanting something as choosing something. It responds to “wanting” by remaining in a state of wanting.

Implied Additional Meaning
Filling your request with negative connotations will not get you what you desire.

Statements such as “Universe, I don’t want to live in lack. I don’t want be alone, anymore. I am tired of being sick; I don’t want to feel this way anymore” hold implied meaning of what you believe to be true. There is no room for more than one meaning. Your belief, and the feeling attached to it, will always trump, win, and create your reality.
More Posts

Catalyst Of Evolution

By Karen Nowak 11 Jul, 2017
The article I started here handed me an unexpected opportunity. It gifted me a very personal opportunity to evolve. My hope is it stimulates you in ways that bless you deeply.
By Karen Nowak 13 Feb, 2017
 Answering this question honestly, and changing yourapproach if necessary, contributes to you building a well-rounded health-care plan for your animal. Waiting until an illness or disease arises places you in a position of reacting, and not in the optimum mind-set to make informed decisions based on research. Creating a holistic approach involves incorporating the concept that both you and your animal are more than just
physical beings. Traditional medicine addresses physical symptoms. Alternative modalities encompass the mental and emotional aspects that present themselves in the body as imbalances, known as diseases.
By Karen Nowak 17 Oct, 2016
I am often asked the question “Why does losing my cat (dog, horse etc) hurt worse than losing humans in my life? I feel guilty because it hurts more.”

When I was asked that question I thought back to the death my horse, Chris, to find the answer.

Her death had left me emotionally devastated. I wasn’t aware of all she had been in my life. Without conditions. The hurt seemed stronger than losing humans I had been close to. It wasn’t until the loss of my parents, that I was able to experience the difference.

Only then could I understand it was judgments I made, and the perspective I took that kept me in emotional pain about the difference.

Chris and I had come together at a pivotal time of personal growth and change. No human knew how insecure I felt on the inside during that time of my life.

I matured in many ways on her back. She had my heart and supported me, as I matured into an adult with a federal job and a mortgage.

I became more confident in many areas of my life, from riding her. I trusted her with my heart and life. She knew me in ways no human could. When on her back our energy fields become one. I could never hide my feelings from her, she always knew what my heart didn’t always want my head to know. Chris knew things about me no human could see. She judged none of it.
By Karen Nowak 17 Oct, 2016
If you have ever had an animal that went missing,even for a few minutes, you have experienced the many emotions that take over.
Finding lost animals is wrought with fear, anxiety, panic and lack of control.

If the animal has escaped to go out on a jaunt it could include joy on their side not on yours. There are as many variables, emotions, and situations as there are animals.

We as the human know the inherent dangers of what could happen. They on the other hand, such as in the case of a Beagle, may be just following a scent. Something they were bred to do, unaware of the dangers that might surround them.
By Karen Nowak 25 Jul, 2016
Rocky and Mia,  brother and sister Puggles, have been at Freedom Reins for about a month now.

Understanding their new life has come at their own pace. Life changed dramatically, the day they were surrendered to the shelter in St Maries ID. That day did not make them victims.
By Karen Nowak 21 Jul, 2016
You may be saying I have read this all before. Yes you have. How much did you commit to when you did? Universal law doesn't let you pick which laws you use and which you ignore to get the life you long for. Okay I am willing to do this, but not that, no,no I don't want to give up that. Just a little bit of it won't affect the outcome. Universal law and clear and we can't pick only what we like as if we are ordering pizza toppings.

Healing yourself, not blaming the outside world, clearing up your language of negativity in all thoughts, forgiving yourself, taking responsibility for what you have created, not judging what you have created, just to name a few are part of transformation to a higher vibration of self. These and many others are imperative to moving into the life you desire.

Healing and balancing your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies is also crucial at this time of unprecedented change.
By Karen Nowak 20 Jun, 2016
Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.
— Anonymous

Owners of dogs have noticed that, if you provide a dog with food, water, shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide a cat with food, water, shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.
―Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever
By Karen Nowak 20 May, 2016

Some will say this is a faery tale, but being about a very real feline, who shall we say does not embody the demure attributes of a faery, It, is simply, a Tale of a Tail.

Charlie, the main feline of this tail, lived with my aunt for many years. Coming in a long line of very large yellow cats my aunt had in her life, all named Charlie, he was of indeterminate age in the records. The Charlie this tale is about was the last my aunt would have on this earth. . My matante and Charlie lived together for many years, always sharing their daily meals. My aunt holding the food in her hand, and Charlie obligingly eating it. They shared an interesting diet. what my Aunt ate, Charlie ate. The selection was large and varied, donuts to water chestnuts, could be found on the menu. Their favorite delectable delight, unanimously voted upon, was most assuredly pepperoni. Hardly a balanced diet for a cat. But both were full and happy, Charlie not being your normal cat. After all, this feline, ALWAYS got what he wanted. Charles Persistent T Cat being his full name.

By Karen Nowak 20 Apr, 2016
These were the words of wisdom that my dog Moxie, originally known as Noni, spoke to me well into our relationship. Moxie was a
Portuguese Water Dog (PWD). What set her apart was that she was born with everything the breed didn’t want. She was improperly coated, had short legs, and a unique head. Some felt she was an embarrassment to the breed and should be euthanized. 

I was living in WoodstockValley, CT when I received the call from the PWD Rescue that they had a female they wanted to place that had “issues,” I didn’t let it deter me. My other PWD had personality to spare and wefelt he would like a companion,as our other dog was very old.
By Karen Nowak 05 Apr, 2016
What language do you use with yourself throughout your life? Is it one based in uncertainty and imperfection? Or, ever growing trust in self?

Wanting and Choosing are Two Different Things
Universal energy does not see wanting something as choosing something. It responds to “wanting” by remaining in a state of wanting.

Implied Additional Meaning
Filling your request with negative connotations will not get you what you desire.

Statements such as “Universe, I don’t want to live in lack. I don’t want be alone, anymore. I am tired of being sick; I don’t want to feel this way anymore” hold implied meaning of what you believe to be true. There is no room for more than one meaning. Your belief, and the feeling attached to it, will always trump, win, and create your reality.
More Posts
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