As an independent service provider, I surely enjoy collaborating with other self-employed and self-empowered folks to make my work easier and more effective. And I’m very lucky these days to have a number of wonderful resources oriented toward making the world better for horses and riders in my “it takes a village” group of friends and clients.
Just this morning I worked with a new student who made truly unprecedented progress at finding a more balanced and free-moving seat on horseback. She was referred by my talented yoga colleague Jenny Kendall, who had already pre-programmed in some of the crucial awareness of body and breath. Made my job – and that of my faithful school horse – so much easier. And the student, an adult coming back to riding after a decade away from horses, is going to recapture (and, I suspect, exceed) her previous riding competence with much less of the pain and stiffness she expected. Everybody wins!
Then, this afternoon I sent out a new edition of my business newsletter featuring an article on practical and emotional preparations for the death of an equine companion. I had commissioned it written by client, friend and celebrant extraordinaire Kristine Bentz. That project grew out of a shared experience this spring when a barnmate spent an agonizingly frustrating day juggling all the logistics to put down her cherished horse. Instead of spending a sad-but-calm day enjoying his company and easing both their transitions before the scheduled euthanasia, she was on the phone for hours finding a suitable burial place and negotiating last-minute for the necessary equipment.
In addition to creating a lovely (but short) ceremony on the fly that day to acknowledge and celebrate the horse/human bond, Kristine provided a wealth of practical information about backhoes and cremation facilities and state laws regarding burials. As the owner of a 27-year-old horse, I realized I really can’t escape thinking about plans for his final day (though, happily, he’s not showing any signs of going anywhere any time soon.) And really, all of us who share our lives with horses know on some level that injury or colic could strike any day. Better to be prepared than to add worry and frustration to an already fraught situation. So I’m very happy to have a resource who knows how to help folks channel their emotions and find a heavy-equipment operator after hours.