יום שבת, 8 בינואר 2011

Igrene...

Igrene…

I wanted to share with you a little bit more information about my mare…
Let's go back a little in time now. I was standing in the Ramat Gan stable, during a competition. I had been working there for about 6 months or so.
I was competing on my horse, Yale, and after I finished, the biggest course of that competition, the open class competition.
Suddenly, one of the trainers was telling her students:  "look- that is a very good horse"…and then I looked up, and there she was…
She had her head up, looking at the fences, jumping over them, and continuing on, with aggression, with a lot of power. She was relatively small to all the other horses, but you could see she was special.
Then I asked about her and people told me she's from France. Then I knew it. I even said it out loud. "This horse will be mine some day!"
But, she wasn't for sale, and the girl who was riding her was winning with her all the time. Because of this they would have wanted a lot of money if they'd ever consider selling her…
I kept on following this amazing mare that gave everything she could, always, in order to win the class she was in…every time I told myself, be patient, wait for the right moment.
I had no money to buy her with, and definitely not enough money to keep her, but I knew that I'll buy her someday. I used my savings and just bought her.
Time went on, and this girl was starting to make distance mistakes, and her horse started hesitating and also started to stop jumping. The team started to fall apart.
One competition they could win and on the other one be eliminated.
I started smelling my chance.
People around me wanted her as well. I never told anyone that I'm after her, because I didn't want anyone to buy her before I did.

From time to time I went to the stable were she was kept. I pet her, talked to her, and sniffed around to see if they wanted to sell…
One time, I just felt it in my stomach that I had to be there. That girl stood next to her, and I decided to introduce myself. Yes, I'm Orly, I am the one that’s' been chasing your tail for a few months already. How are you? Do you want to sell her? And suddenly the answer was YES. She told me she was going abroad, and that the horse is for sale!
I immediately said for how much…and I tried her the following week.
It was amazing. I sat on her and she was so easy with me, I jumped a small course of fences with her, and it was so natural to do that with her.
Then I knew that I had to buy her!
Suddenly, when I called the people to come and sign the agreement, the owner said: "Oh, sorry but now that you’ve tried her, there are other buyers that want to try her as well, and we prefer them because they'll keep her in the same stable"
My heart was broken!
How could it be? After waiting so long, someone else was going to have her?
Could it be that we are not meant to be?
So I had to wait again…and this girl at the end decided to buy another horse.
When I heard that, and believe me, I kept my eyes and ears really wide open. I immediately called the owner and said, OK, now can I buy her?
So, to make a long story short, as you all know, I did.
I had no idea how I pulled it off, but I did!
I managed to get the money, and I managed to keep her…

It's funny, but in a way it was very hard for me to really love her. She was always too good to be true. I couldn't believe she was finally mine…
During the first few months I did everything "right", I rode her, I took care for her, everything…but one day, when I came to the stable, she just stood in the corner and didn't approach me.
Then I understood. I didn't show her my feelings, and I ignored her feelings as well…
From that day onwards I started to change. I started to feel her more, to try to love her and to open my heart to her. It was much easier for me to open my heart to Yel, the other horse I had, because he was so problematic, and he had suffered for so long…and he needed my love so he could trust people again. But she, she was perfect, her self esteem was in the sky, she was never abused, she was always loved…she didn't really need me, or anyone else…
Also, I was afraid that if I did get in touch with her, I couldn't take it if something bad would happen to her. Just like when Housty, my first horse died, I took it very hard. I can still feel the pain…when someone who you were so deeply connected to, when your best partner suddenly gone…
I knew that I could develop a special relationship with Igrene. I knew that we could become an unbeatable team. I just knew it, deep in the bottom of my heart. And that's exactly why I was so afraid to love her so much…
But, as time went by, I started to dare more and more.
I even remember this one time, we went outside for a long walk, and it was so hot, that the dog that was with us almost fainted. So, I carried the dog on Igrene. Suddenly, the angry and nervous horse became so calm, she knew that her help was needed; she knew that she has to be as stable and reliable as she can…and she was. And I kept on falling deeply in love with her ever since that day.
I also remember another day, that I was riding her, and I got really upset with myself…and I took it on her…and she…instead of fighting back or freaking out (like Yale did), she just carried me onwards, and she became so quiet, it was like she was whispering to me: "It's OK, take it out, I know you are not really sane right now, I will wait for you until you come back, I'm here, I am not holding this against you, I am not upset because of your madness…"
And I remember feeling so secure…I felt that I had finally found a partner that I can also get angry with, and take my anger out upon, and it's OK. She could take it; she'll continue to be there for me even if I am not there for myself at the moment.
I don't know if I managed to get my feeling through here, but I'm writing and crying as I write these lines.
Could you believe that an animal could give you so much?
Could you ever imagine how good you can feel about yourself once you have the right partner to help you…?
So, Igrene is my "significant other"…as they would say in psychology…

So, Igrene is an angel that I'm very grateful to have as a partner.
Apart from all that, I didn't tell you how special she can be…
For example, this one time, I had to decide whether to do some free jumping with the horses in my stable; that means the horse is jumping without a rider.
So, one by one, the horses went into the arena, we were building this rout they had to follow and in that rout were the jumping fences as well.
All the horses were obeying our orders…and then it was Igrene's turn.
Igrene stepped inside the arena, opened her eyes widely, so you could see she didn't really like what was about to happen, then she looked at the fence, looked at me, and then she ran for a few strides, turned backwards, and jump outside the arena.
Then she looked at me one more time, and went to her stable to eat…
Yes, she was telling me: you think you’re smart…you want me to jump…no problem…I will…but I will do it my way!!!

Another story:  I was riding her once when suddenly; the rein got caught around her teeth. She started trying to release herself, and this is a very dangerous situation in which another horse would, 99% of the time, start to going into a serious panic. But not her, the minute she saw I was trying to help her, she stood still and waited patiently until I told her that I was done. Then I knew it, I knew that I had a smart healthy horse of my very own. She trusts me and that means a lot to me.

One more thing…Igrene doesn't let people longe her (longe is training a horse in a circle). At first I said, no way, if she's mine, she has to give in and let me longe her!!! So I put her in the longe, and she was OK, so I thought: "Oh, good, she accepted it." But then, all of a sudden, she shouted and before I knew it, she was longing me…
So I put aside the reins (leather straps that can help control the horse), and longed her again. She shouted again, and then, the minute she pulled me, I pulled her back. She went on two legs, but then the side rains were so tied, she lost balance and fell backwards on her head.
She sat there in the sand, looking at me with sad eyes. "What did you do that for?" She asked…
I became so upset with myself. Yeah, great, she'll longe; does that make my ego feel better? Because she could have also broken her head during that accident, or hurt her back or whatever. "Are you happy now?" I shouted at myself.
That day I decided that no matter what, I'll never ever longe her again. I decided that I didn't want to take the chance that something bad would happen to her due to that.

Yes, with horses you learn something new every day. That day I learned that it's better if I swallow my pride from time to time…I don't always have to win…

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