I Woke up this morning with a regret hangover. I’m sure you know the feeling. It’s where you wake up clutching your head while your mind flashes back to your less-than-stellar behavior. And while it would be easier to blame my actions on alcohol, I was stone sober. Here, let me explain.
My husband likes to affectionately refer to me as his ‘feisty filly’. While he uses this term as an endearment, it is not necessarily my best quality. I come from a long line of feisty fillies, on both sides of my family. My mother’s father was from the Ukraine, and from this kind and gentle man we inherited a passion for life and a fire that wells up whenever we feel frustrated or misunderstood. From my father’s mother I acquired an impulse toward the dramatic with an Irish temper to match (note the red hair). Perhaps I can also lay blame to the fact that I was born in May under the sign of the Taurus bull. Whatever the cause of my inclination toward the dramatic, being a feisty filly often gets me into trouble, especially at a barn where most of the staff and riders can only be described as stoic.
Stoic – that is most definitely not me. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, as they say. I’m not difficult to read. One look at my face will immediately tell you if I’m happy, sad, or ready to rip you a new one. It is simply not in my nature to hold back, thus the cause of my regret hangover. I have made great strides in recent months with my horse Austin, and I often feel amazed that I have accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time. Much of this success is due to my terrific young instructor with whom I have developed a comfortable rapport. Two months ago the barn hired a lovely young woman who is an enormously gifted rider. She is sweet and gentle, and most unlike the majority of horse trainers I have met. It was decided that she would work with me every now and then to help improve my equitation skills. Fine, no problem. Except, she has little to no teaching experience, especially with a mid-life feisty filly. My first lesson with her was fine. Second one – meh. By the third lesson I had to swallow the irritation and frustration that I could feel rising up from my belly. By my forth lesson, yesterday’s lesson, I could no longer suppress my emotions. Austin was being difficult, and she seemed unable to communicate to me how to get him back in line. Many of her directions ran counter to what was taught to me by my regular instructor. Twenty minutes in I felt ready to implode (or break into tears which I eventually did the second I reached my car). As politely as I could, which on retrospect was not very, I told her that my frustration level had reached its peak and I needed to end the lesson. Grabbing my reins, I stormed back into the barn, muttering and cursing under my breath. My regular instructor met my gaze as I blew past. “How’d it go?” he asked cautiously, sensing my mood. “Not good,” was all I could get out. By that point all I wanted was to get back to my car before I said or did something that would further harm my reputation.
Once home, I poured myself a glass of wine (the best elixir for a feisty filly) and calmly called my trainer. He understood the cause of my frustration and assured me that the new trainer will improve with time, and I believe that he’s right. I could have remained quiet and swallowed my feelings until they erupted into gastric ulcers. But that’s not me. Although he seems to derive a small amount of amusement from my emotional ‘episodes’, I am fortunate to have an instructor who seems to get me. Today I will calm down and try to refocus my emotions. Tomorrow I will hang my head as I do the walk of shame into the same barn that I stormed out of on Monday.Share This: