This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Miss Fit

When I was a teacher, Halloween was one of the most-dreaded holidays. Think about it.......in our elementary wing, we had (this includes the day care center, Nursery & PreK classes) almost 200 kids dressed in bizarre outfits and driven to crazy behavior by a sugar-induced frenzy! We all paraded around the school parking lot while the paparazzi, dressed as parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and younger siblings, waved and snapped more photos than Walmart could process in a week. Great fun. Right. If you're a kid.
We teachers decided years ago that we should get in on some of the fun, too, and so began the tradition of wearing "theme" costumes. The first year we all dressed up as nuns, not knowing just how the staid old principal of our Catholic school, Sister Maureen, would react. One of 2 things would happen - we would all be fired on the spot or she'd love it. No in between. Fortunately for us, she took one look at us as we "nuns" crowded into her office at lunch time and BURST OUT LAUGHING! She literally had to put her head down on her desk she was laughing so hard! Ensuing years found us dressed as the cast of "Peter Pan," (I was Peter Pan!), witches, angels, and in my last year of teaching, beauty queens. (But no one ever took me up on the suggestion that we dress as prisoners with the words "Holy Spirit School" on the back of our shirts! ha ha ha) When I first heard about the beauty queen idea, I was like, "WHAT? Beauty queens? Give me a break." But then, being me, I went, "Hey, let's be Miss Fits." No one got it. I said to the 4th grade teacher who was the Drama Club director at the time, "You know....you'll be Miss Cast. Someone else can be Miss Spelled and so on." They loved it! Everyone donned beautiful gowns and tiaras and long, white gloves, carried fake bouquets of flowers, and we made sashes that had our names on them. Me? Well, in many ways in life I've always felt like a misfit. So I became, for beauty pageant purposes, "Miss Fit." I took an old bridesmaid gown and cut the hem all raggedy, I wore white socks and my work boots, I braided my hair messily and crumpled up my tiara and wore it crooked. Instead of long, white gloves, I wore my work gloves and instead of flowers, I carried a sack of potatoes. Oh, and I also blacked out my 2 front teeth. It was great fun and all the other teachers thought that "Miss Fit" was quite fitting for me!
Over the years as I've worked with various horses, I've often felt like a misfit. I've watched silently as riders and trainers have treated horses with disrespect; cringed as "naughty" ponies were whipped or driven to bucking by someone constantly drilling a spur into their sides. I've empathized with horses and ponies cooped up 22 hours a day or who've had their joints injected so that they could go out and perform for one more show season. There was always that NQR feeling......and that feeling of hopelessness. They weren't MY horses; it wasn't MY farm; they weren't MY riding students...............
As I repeat like a broken record, my success stories, the stories I'm most proud of, happened because I was the misfit. I ignored all the "sage" advice and flew by the seat of my pants, doing what I felt was appropriate at the moment, and listening to the horse instead of all the blathering humans. I'm proud of those successes.
Why am I boring you with them? Why am I tooting my horn now and in public? Well, because those success stories were few and far between and happened a long time ago. Somewhere I lost something.............I stopped believing in myself. I tuned out the animals' voices even though they tried to talk to me. I became conventional. I bought into systems. I took off my "Miss Fit sash," so to speak.
It took one little gray pony to set me on my arse; to dump me back on the right path. I admit, I tried to veer off that path a few times but always, that little gray pony nudged me back.
It was very hard to admit that I'd been wrong for so many years. When Split ran away with me, I suffered mental anguish for a year afterward, beating myself up emotionally, questioning myself, wondering if I really was a fit horse owner. But then "click!" People began dropping into my life and telling me that yes, I certainly WAS a fit horse owner but perhaps I'd be interested in.........NO! Did you ever think about......NO. And then......I saw the power of the click and Split said (no denying it this time), "NOW we're gettin' somewhere." As you know by now, things snowballed from there and it's been freeing to say to myself, "Listen. Learn. Observe without judgement. (Thank you, Mary!) Do what's right. Listen to the NQR. Listen to the animals!"
I am happy to report that, according to many of my acquaintances, I am now proudly wearing my "Miss Fit sash" again! (Well, not literally, but you know what I mean!LOL) I like it! It no longer bothers me that people accuse me of bribing my animals with food, of being "crazy" because I "think" animals talk to me, or that I practice "voodoo" because I understand and use Bach Flower Essences. I don't wear make-up. I wear what I like instead of what's fashionable. (My daughter told me just the other day that she thinks of me as "eternally vintage.") I hug and kiss my animals. I laugh loudly and with great gusto. I declare with great passion, "I LOVE WINTER!" (HA HA - that always gets me the strangest looks.......)
I was always a misfit as a kid but it suited me. As an adult, I wanted to fit in. It didn't work.
So, for all you other "Miss Fits" out there - wear your sash and your crumpled tiara proudly!!!! I salute you!!!!!!

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

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