Dave still sat on the picnic table watching me, looking for some kind of sign it was safe to intervene. Stubbornly I refused to ask for help. As exhausted as I was, I couldn't admit to myself I could not finish this task. My horse still needed to be untacked and put away.
The entire ride didn't last ten minutes. To be honest it was probably closer to five than ten. But somewhere in the middle it was enough to give my spirit strength to endure this continued torment that has befallen me. The pain of these last 9 months melted away for the first time in who knows how long. I mustered up the strength to lead my horse back into the yard.
Each step across the uneven mole hills that currently form my backyard I struggled with my balance. Legs walked beside propping me up, not even considering his usual behavior of grasping for mouthfuls of whatever grass he might reach. Instead he stayed focused on his job as my babysitter. Each time I started to stumbled the horse leaned in to catch me.
I was relieved to reach the flat area that is the walkway out to the barn. It was there that Dave joined me grabbing the horse's reins from my hand. I considered arguing with the man but instead took advantage of the free hand to further support myself against my horse.
Legs didn't alter his path despite my added weight leaning into him. Normally light as a feather for lateral movement Legs understood his role in keeping me upright. When Dave turned to tie the horse at the horse trailer, Legs looked to me to see where he should stand and carefully positioned himself so he didn't bump me while still respecting Dave's space.
Dave began pulling the bridle before I even got the horse's halter from the trailer. Still standing quietly waiting to be haltered, my usual impish horse played no pranks at all. Instead he continued to study me.
I worked to remove his polo wraps while Dave removed the saddle. With the equipment all put away my husband tried to take charge and return my horse to his stall.
I am a firm believer riding includes all the care of the horse. No spoiled riders letting others do the work will ever be seen here. It had been hard enough to allow someone else to get my horse ready. I was not about to let Dave put my horse away.
My husband did not question my interference but he looked at me closely. Then he shrugged his shoulders and turned towards the house.
I knew within the first steps I'd made a mistake but the man was gone. I didn't have the strength to walk my horse to the barn. I looked at that distance and back at the picnic table and headed to the closest.
Daylight was waning but I was dressed warmly. I figured if I could just rest for a minute, I could get my horse back to his stall so I sat down on the bench laying my head down while my horse grazed beside me.
I was so exhausted I didn't dare close my eyes. As it was I struggled to keep them open. My eyelids felt lead weighted and my body still shook. I breathed slowly and deeply trying to calm my tired body.
My horse stuck close beside me munching grass but not putting any pressure against the lead. instead of pushing his grazing area, my Arabian stallion was content in this new role of therapy horse. Greener grass wasn't nearly as important as the task at hand.
To be continued......