Thursday, December 27, 2012

Undemanding Time: Money in the bank.

Ah winter. Its cloudy and rainy, the days are short and there is mud everywhere at Northwood. The upside is that there are not that many chores to do or projects to start or the looming pressure of "the rain is coming!" Its a perfect time to rejuvenate and study. I suppose that's what winter is supposed to be anyway. As I've been realizing these last few weeks, it also ideal for spending some undemanding time with my horses.

I forgot how critical undemanding time is to a relationship.

Recently a few new horses arrived in my barn and it illustrated to me how deep my relationship is with Nigel and Lil. I mean, we know each other. That feeling of familiarity doesn't just magically appear. It is developed over mutually shared time. That closeness is easy to take for granted until a comparison is available. The new horses have really done me that favor.

Relationships have a bank account. Buck and I were just talking about this in November. Beth and I refer to it a lot. In fact, I think my friend Aaron (one of the smartest guys I know) talked about this with me in reference to marriage way back in the day. Gotta have deposits. Too many withdrawals and the whole account gets shut down. Plenty of deposits and you can "cover" a challenging moment or a mistake. (I make lots of mistakes as I'm trying to become a horseman so this comes in very handy.)

Horses bond with whom they spend the most time. And for those of us that aren't doing a cowboying job on our horses, this can put us at a disadvantage because our horses spend more time with other horses than they do with us. I personally will not be able to compete with my pony's heardmates but I will be able to mitigate the deficit by banking some hours just hanging out. While its raining, while its dark and while its cold, I can bundle up, tuck my tablet or magazine under my arm and head back down to the barn.

I forgot how much fun it is actually. Especially if I do have enough clothes on and my toes are warm. I love horses! Just listening to them chew and breath is relaxing. And of course, they smell wonderful.