More Equine Therapy…

Nathaniel is a toddler.  I work overnights.  Let’s just say that the work week is dedicated to taking care of him, sleeping, working, and tossing critters some food.

Housework doesn’t happen during the week.  Nathaniel creates housework.  I suck at housework.  John was always the better housekeeper.  John is gone.  Herein lies the problem.

During the week there is no time.  Over the weekend the last thing I want to do is housework.  I look at the house and have no idea where to start or what to do.

Then I try to do something- like say for instance load the dishwasher.  Simple enough.  Till Nathaniel craws in the dishwasher and pulls out steak knives.  Why does he always grab the most dangerous thing????

When I try to fold laundry he unfolds it.  Sometimes he even carries it off.

When I go to change loads of laundry he either stays inside and screams because I’m out in the garage, or, if I leave the door open, he acts like he’s going to come out… he doesn’t go down steps and I know from experience the concrete in the garage is HARD. (I missed a step once and ended up flat out and put a hurting on my knees.)

He is great for trips to the dump, but in  preparation to go to the dump, he takes out the recyclables and deposits them on the floor.

Nathaniel is notorious for leaving food on the floor- cheerios,  puffs, veggie crisps.  During one attempt to vacuum up veggie crisps, he decides to eat them off the floor as quickly as possible and then picks up a toy that was in the way and stands in front of the vacuum as if he’s defending his turf.

I try to sweep up the mud room… he takes off with the dustpan.

Conventional mother wisdom is to clean at nap time.  Great in theory but I either need a nap or the nap isn’t long enough.

My friend called me yesterday when I was about at my wits end.  I’d just re-directed Nathaniel multiple times away from the dishwasher and it wasn’t working.  I was overwhelmed… about ready to send kiddo to bed early just so I could get SOMETHING done.

My friend said, “How about I come over today and watch kiddo tomorrow so you can ride… I think you need to get on a horse.”

I said, “I think you’re right.”

The ground was a little mushy from rain on Thursday.  I didn’t want to tear it up too badly.  But, heck the grass hasn’t been cut in about 2 months- why worry about a few divots.  You’d never notice them anyway with the grass being long.
So he came over and played with kiddo and I got Willow tacked up.  Grooming her was relaxing.  I lunged her briefly in the tall grass and then got on and rode for a little bit- we just walked and trotted.  She’s out of shape and I’m fat and out of shape.  Willow was very good.  It was nice to feel confident about something that I was doing.  To feel a partnership.  To do something that I love to do.  To know that I hadn’t forgotten the good times.  It was frustrating that my equitation hadn’t improved– damn wrists and elbows, but I smiled because I could here my trainer’s voice in my head— “fix your wrists!”   It just felt good to ride.

For a short time, everything was fine with the world.  Just me and my horse.  Just a pleasant ride.    Equine therapy is the best therapy I could have.  The Winston Churchill quote- ““There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man,” just sums it up.  It won’t ever bring John back, but it takes away the pain, grief, and feeling overwhelmed for just a little while.  When I’m in the saddle… it’s just me and my horse.

After riding, I took my friend down to see the infamous “leaky creek” and we walked the trails in the woods.  Nathaniel was impressive… he walked a good bit of the way.  The walk was nice too.  I’m just an outdoorsy kind of gal.  People can keep their parties and big city glamor… I’d rather ride my horse and walk in the woods.

I know I’ll cry tonight… but for a little while this afternoon everything was okay again.

And… I did manage to get some laundry done (although it needs folded).  I cleaned out the fridge and the litter box.  We went to the dump.  I emptied the dishwasher and started to re-fill it.  So… I wasn’t completely worthless, today…

I’d like to get more equine therapy sessions… I think they’re good for my sanity…

About Mary K. Smith

I was widowed in July 2009, when I lost my beloved husband, John, to melanoma. Cancer SUCKS. We have a young son who was just a year old when his father died. I live on a small farm in Maryland which is home to horses, cats, and a dog. I started this blog as a way for me to heal, a way to remember my husband, and eventually I'd like to share it with our son so he can see the love that his father had for him, the love that we had for each other, what a great person his father was, and how hard his father fought to live.
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