Glorious Horse Stink

In the beginning I could barely get on!


This past week weighed in a bit heavy.

Last Monday-a babysitting date for Maycee while I worked during the President’s Day holiday went all wrong (and it won’t happen again).  Tuesday, a bit of bad news came that my hours needed to be cut back at work–expected, only I held on in hopeful denial as long as I could.  Wednesday, the head trip began, and my psyche traveled far and wide into budgetary cities…for hours and hours and miles and miles with no snack break.  Thus, without much of a clear mind I just didn’t have it in me to write… anything…not even a sticky note, except to remind myself that I needed to bring home the Subway sandwiches in the fridge at work.  That was on Thursday. I had a myriad of clever ideas, just no mo-jo to get the job done. Friday I knew I’d be gone all day-work, driving Maycee to see her dad, dinner with my best buddy for some much-needed empathetic girl time.  Friday night during dinner Maycee called me at 9:30 crying terribly because I’d forgotten to put Blanky, Bluey, and Crystal Kitty in her “going to Daddy’s” bag-she can’t sleep without them.  I hit a skunk on the way home at 11:15PM. 

Saturday I waited for this notveryMary[TylerMoore] attitude to pass.  I had a good dose of “me” time while my boyfriend was hanging with his buddies celebrating his best friend’s freedom before he gets married in May.  I painted the entire white trim of the yellow submarine: stair banisters, the patio room, the front porch, and I even painted a little bench that sits to the side of the sub in bright white and blue stripes so it looks all happy!  It smiles.  I talked to Maycee and let her know that I was taking good care of Blanky, Bluey, and Crystal Kitty and had given them all baths, too. I called my mom who encouraged me with offerings of Dollar Store gift cards for groceries if I start to feel too pinched with my reduced work hours.  

I took a hot shower and turned in for the evening with the pups and watched a $5.00 movie from Walmart entitled Dreamer (Sonador).  Based on a true story, an injured race horse who’s going to be put down gets taken in by the trainer’s family, fully recovers, and ends up winning a huge race.  A story that warmed my heart and cleaned out my tear ducts completely, sing praises, HALLELUJAH!  I could see the LIGHT and received a kick in the pants.

By Sunday I knew I was ready to look at the mountain as a molehill.  Perhaps I wasn’t fully back to my “normal” self, but I’d had enough of the blues.  My horse instructor suggested I come out to the ranch Sunday morning to ride again, as Saturday morn my lesson fell apart quickly after I sobbed whilst telling her I was going to have to cut back on Maycee’s and my riding time.  That riding was really the only frivolous thing I did, and thus the one big thing left for me to cut out of my budget with less money hitting my pocket. 

As I sniffled and wept she patted my leg (I was sitting on “my” horse, geezlouise), and said, “No, you’re going to keep coming every Saturday and Maycee every other Saturday.  We’ll make it happen.  Don’t worry.  Being a single mom sucks, and we have to stick together.  Why don’t you come back tomorrow at 10.  It’ll be better therapy [than church].”  Yes, the mountain was really a molehill; it MIGHT even be an ant hill, goshdarnit. 

I went out to the ranch Sunday morning and rode with four other women ranging from pros to amateurs. I walked, trotted, whoa’d, and watched as we took turns trying different things.  My instructor and I chatted, and at one point discussing a make-up lesson, I said I could come out and ride for an hour on a Friday afternoon, and she exclaimed, “Or longer…I like havin’ you out here (big grin on her face)!”  A slight hint of laughter slipped from my lips and jiggled my belly-my shoulders relaxed.

I sat in the saddle for the longest period of time yet, almost a full hour and half.  I was able to groom and tack the horse with no help, and untack just the same.  I gave “my” horse a carrot.  I swept the barn floor.  And, before I left I considered everything I was feeling in that moment.  Calm.  Peace. Serenity.  Happiness.  Reflecting on how just a little less than a year ago I knew not one thing about horses except that I wanted my daughter and I to learn how to ride together.  Earning about the same salary, I sent an email to my instructor and shared my story:

Hi, there.  I’m a single mom on a tight budget, but I really want to learn how to ride horses with my daughter.  She goes to her dad’s every other weekend, and so we can only commit to two weekends a month, and I’m not even sure if I can afford that.  But, I’m willing to help out at the ranch or do other things to compensate if this is possible.  Any help you can give me is much appreciated.”  She answered me back several days later saying, “Sorry I took so long to write back.  I’m a single mom, too, so I know what it’s like. I’m sure we can work something out.  Give me a call.

You tell me the odds.

I got in my car and headed home to clean up before making the trek down to get Maycee.  Only, when I was sitting in the car I smelled the barn all over my clothes.  I smelled the horse stink on my blue jeans from cleaning the muck out of his hooves.  The glorious horse stink.  And so, as I was able to see over the ant hill’s horizon I decided to leave the smelly clothes on reminding me of where I started and where I am today-not just with riding, but with everything.  More resourceful and more resilient; this is only a slight bump in the road, and I’m never alone.   Today, Monday, I decided it was time to write.

Now I'm learning to ride like the wind!

Thanks for reading, Everyone.  Life is short.  Life is life.  If we have computers to type on, we are richer than most.  With our eyes open it’s easier to see the way.  These are my Kaseyisms for the hour.  Be happy y’all, and give a chuckle now, ya hear (wink)?


Author: singleworkingmomswm

I love to write, and I love raising my daughter. The two combined have prompted me to create a blog about being a single working mom. Life's a trip, and I tend to take the windy roads.

7 thoughts on “Glorious Horse Stink”

  1. Oh Kasey!! That is so awesome that you turned lemons into lemonade…(I explained this theory to E over the weekend!) Sometimes those little signs are all we need to get up over that little ant hill, mole hill…whatever you want to call it. 🙂

  2. It’s true Kasey, you are not alone and you are most definitely, “More resourceful and more resilient”. I read today that success follows a good attitude. Not the other way around. You have an amazing attitude that has inspired me more than once. You are successful in every real sense of that word. Kasey, some bumps as you know are bigger and harder than others to overcome. You’ve overcome real mountains. Thanks for a great story. Much love from New York….Karen

    1. Boy, thanks, Karen. Such a sweet and inspiring comment! I agree with what you read…we can’t wait for “success” as society deems it to dictate our happiness, nor define happiness by “things” we have…it’s an inside job. Glad you enjoyed the read. Love ya! Kasey

  3. ” Life is short. Life is life. If we have computers to type on, we are richer than most. With our eyes open it’s easier to see the way. ”
    Love these “Kaseyisms”!

    And, I love horses. I was young when I started riding a friend’s horse. I loved everything about it…the smells, the sloppy lips when they’d take a carrot from my hand, grooming, and even mucking out the stalls. My older daughter was 4 the first time she rode–on her own. I can still remember the drop in my stomach when her “trainer” (her babysitter’s aunt) put her up on that giant Morgan and told her to drop the reins and “just move with the horse.” Her sister was just under 4 her first time.

    Over the years, we’ve “moved in and out of the stables” as our schedules permit. Today, with tightened schedules, I really miss all things horsey, but I’m grateful I can look out my office window and watch my neighbor’s 3 horses frolic in their field (along with their goats and cows.) And, when ‘m feeling “the itch”, I just hop the fence and go for a visit.

    I’m so happy you are able to continue riding–for your sake and for Maycee’s. Yee-haw!

    1. Wow, that is so terrific, TM. I’m grateful we can keep riding, as well. Maycee had her first fall this past Sunday, and I’ll tell you, my stomach dropped, as well. But, with a large scrape on her elbow and a ton of fright, she hopped back up on the horse and continued to ride. I think we’re hooked, and this was certainly a big test! I would give anything to be able to live out in the country as it sounds that you do, but luckily, we are close to it all!

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