First of all, I want to take care of a bit of tech stuff. For some reason, sometimes the weekly blogs go out to everyone and sometimes technology sends a few of the emails out into space.
It’s so strange, randomly the technology just sends some of the emails to parts unknown. No idea why other than it has to do with email carriers so I strongly suggest you ‘whitelist’ my email address by following the instructions for your provider here:
My tech guy says that gmail is the most reliable one to use so you might consider switching and if you do, be sure to let us know so we can update your details.
If you don’t get a weekly email, don’t think I didn’t write it or that I didn’t want to send it to you. I did and I did!
If you don’t get an email for a few weeks, please contact me so I can get my tech team on it right away. Thank you.
As a backup, you can always go to my lesson page in the link below to see what the latest blogs are or just to catch up. I really enjoy hearing your comments and listening to your stories:
Now on to this week’s blog.
What is Tolerable?
As you have heard in a past blog, I had major surgery on my mouth. Let me tell you it was not fun! Ouch. It was my first time and I thought it would be a quick in and out and I’d be fine in a week. Nope!
I couldn’t talk, couldn’t eat, and was in intense pain. When I went back to the oral surgeon for a follow up check, he told me he to break my jawbone in 4 places with a saw. Holy Mackerel! I had no idea it was going to be a major ordeal.
On a scale of 1-10 the pain was a 20 for the first two weeks. And yes, they did give me pain killers, but it was only prescription Ibuprofen as I refused the narcotic pain killers. I have a high pain threshold, so I don’t feel pain the same way as most people, but this was bad even for me.
Then suddenly, the pain became more tolerable in week 3, but still bad. I was only taking two pain killers in a period of 24 hours. The rest of the time the pain was tolerable. It was now a 10 on the pain scale. Yes, that was still painful, but it was tolerable at a high degree. When you’re used to intense pain, just painful is a lot better.
It’s hard to really explain, but I think a lot of you will understand what I mean by the expression “it’s tolerable”. Tolerable comes in different measurements for different people as everyone has slightly different tolerance levels.
On the fourth week, I felt almost normal. I didn’t need any pain killers and the pain went down to a 5. It was sore and it still hurt, but it was better than tolerable. It was almost acceptable. I could talk pretty good now, open my mouth to eat (still soft foods), had more energy, and smiled a lot more.
Funny, looking at where I am now (still 2 more months of healing to go) I feel like “I can get through this”. A few days after the surgery, I thought “How am I going to get through this?”.
Looking back, I can see that I was in a lot more pain than I realized, and that it effected the rest of my body as well as my emotional state of being. My energy was completely zapped as it took everything I had to even get dressed. My body was working overtime to heal, and I don’t think I smiled for 3 whole weeks. I definitely wasn’t happy, and it showed. I was in emotional pain as well.
But I didn’t think that at the time. I thought everything was normal except the pain. I didn’t realize the effect it was having on the rest of my world, my emotions, my happiness, my energy, etc… I didn’t realize how low I was and what I had lost until I started to come out of it, on the other side. Have you ever felt like that?
I have most of my energy back again, I can’t wait to play with Apollo, I’m smiling and happy, and I feel almost normal again. Even though I’m still healing and still hurting, I’m in a good ‘head space’ as they say. The emotional pain has gone down along with the physical pain.
And now that I’m able to talk again, I’ve been having fun chatting with students on the phone again. I hadn’t talked about this story to any of them, but this week one of my students said,
“Now that I’m on the other side of it, I realize how much I was tolerating from my horse”.
I completely understood.
She had, over time, learned to tolerate certain behaviors in her horse thinking that she couldn’t fix them 100% and that it was normal just to tolerate certain things. She felt that this was “normal” for every horse owner, and she dealt with the pain. The emotional pain.
That was a real “aha moment” for me, since I had just gone through a physical trauma that had become “tolerable” for me. I could see what she explained to me in a new light. It now meant something really different to me.
“Tolerable” – a point in time where you are used to a certain type of pain and feel that it is “normal”, until you are on the other side and realize how bad it really was.
Here’s a quick background of her and her horse.
When she first got her horse, he was supposedly well trained to ride with no issues. That was the case for about a month or two. Then he started not wanting to go out on trails, didn’t want to trot or canter, and wanted to go his own way. She just pushed him through it because eventually he would listen. He resisted and she pushed.
This progressed and a few months later he was doing the same thing but worse and now add nipping, being harder to catch, fighting the halter and the bridle, and pinning his ears as she approached. She still pushed him to do it her way and thought that he would eventually give in and do what he had been taught. She thought he would revert to the way he was on day one if she kept pushing.
A few months later he was now bucking on trail, kicking up when she tried to catch him, biting, staying away from her when she came into the pasture, and wanting to be with the other horses more than her. She was losing more and more trust in him and him in her. Her horse was becoming more unsafe, and she didn’t know what to do.
Their connection, communication, and companionship were going downhill farther and farther. However, she still thought everything was tolerable and that it would go back to normal soon enough. She just had to keep pushing through it and get her horse to see that he needed to do what she asked.
She wasn’t mean about it either. She thought she was being as kind and gentle as possible in getting her horse to do what she wanted, when she wanted it.
When her horse got stubborn and wouldn’t move on, she would allow him to stop and then slowly and gently she would push him to move on. When he said he didn’t want to go in a certain direction, she would stop and wait and then push him to continue in that direction because it was what she wanted. She couldn’t understand why he was getting more and more aggressive and worse as time went on.
This is what she told me at the beginning of our conversations. She just wanted a simple solution for things to go back to normal. However, everything that was happening now had all become her “new normal” and it was very tolerable for her. But she realized that she needed help to go in another direction as what she was doing wasn’t working for her.
After 30 days of doing exactly what I told her to do and working directly with me 1-to-1, she is now not only back what she expected from her horse, but she is at a place that’s better than it ever had been. And her horse is happy again as well and wants to do things with her.
Her connection, communication, and companionship with her horse are better than they ever had been, and she is so happy. They both now have exactly what they wanted.
She said, “I can’t believe I was tolerating so much, and I couldn’t see it”.
Now that she was on the other side of it and had everything and more than she wanted, she was happy, had more energy, wanted to do more with her horse, and couldn’t believe that what she had now was even possible to have with her horse.
This week’s lesson is that I want you to look at what’s going on with you and your horse. Really look at it. Take out a piece of paper and…
- Write down all the things that your horse is doing that you like and don’t like.
- All the things that you would like to improve with you and your horse.
- What your dream goals are with your horse.
- Are you happy with your horse’s behavior or just tolerating it?
- What exactly are you tolerating?
- On a scale of 1-10 how much emotional pain (frustration) are you in?
- Is your horse happy?
- If you had a magic wand – what are you and your horse able to do together?
And once you know what you want and not want to tolerate, go for it. Make a plan and start transforming your life with your horse so you both are beyond happy, and you have more connection, communication, and companionship than you ever thought possible.
I promise you that it’s possible. I see it happen all the time and it’s amazing and beautiful to watch.
And if you need help, I know how to get you there. Don’t forget I can now talk, and I love chatting about anything horse related, so give me a call if you’d like some guidance. It is a complimentary phone call and I’m happy to help in any way.
If you know anyone who can use this week’s lesson, please pass it on. My passion in life is to help as many horses as possible and their owners gain their perfect partnership together and be happy.
Here is the link to schedule a complimentary call with me.
aww, you are so amazing, Teddie, with your desire to help everyone. I have learned to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. At the moment, we are in winter in New Zealand. Due to the rain we have rich grass and I have a silly horse who is very reactive to things, so I have to be very careful if I am riding. I have fallen off twice recently. We were riding down the beach in high tide and she took flight and spun around when a dog appeared over a sanddune. I threw my arms around her neck and managed to land on my feet. I was aware that she had been very spooky from the get go, due to high tide so I probably should have stayed off her back.
A week or two ago, though, she was looking very calm. I floated her to a local park. I often let her off the lead and allow her to wander around grazing. We head off for a walk at some point and I may jump on bareback, which I did this particular time. She was very calm. (I have learned to watch her body language very closely). At a point in our ride I fell off as she spun around. Don't know what it was she was shying at. I jumped back on eventually and rode her back near the same place she dumped me, but she started to get really anxious so I jumped off and just led her past whatever it was that spooking her. It was near a hill with lots of trees.
I floated her back to the same park a week ago and she was unsettled except when she was following a lady with her two dogs. Once they moved off the track I got off as she became unsettled. I let her do a lot of grazing. I went back there a few days ago and she was unsettled again so I didn't ride for long. I mainly just let her graze while I read a book. I need to look for my oral magnesium so I can see if that settles her. Am I doing the right thing??
How is your mouth healing, Teddie?
You are doing all the right stuff. But I have a feeling that she may smell a deer or another animal’s scent near the trees that she spooks at. There is obviously something there still or was that she doesn’t feel safe around. You may just try to stay away from that area or just walk by it on the ground together so she knows you understand and are protecting her. <3 You have such a beautiful relationship with her.