Patience, and the Lack Thereof
- September 14, 2015
- Richelle Barrett
Being of partial German descent probably predisposes me to a quick temper. Having a father that thinks I can read his mind, and expects that the job at hand has already been done, is probably the cause of my independent and controlling attitude. Being a part-time cowgirl with a lame horse that I can’t ride much, paired with being cooped up in a cubicle eight hours a day and having two young, strong-willed daughters, is probably the reason why I am a little crazy.
I have never been a patient person. As a kid, I would break into the Christmas presents when my parents would be out feeding cows; one year I even enlisted the help of my little brother. Which turned out to be a terrible idea, since that was the same year we got caught… I don’t know that we were ever left unsupervised like that again. My mom used to make a lot of chaps and do other leather work for friends and neighbors, along with hitching horsehair and making charcoal drawings. She could sit at the kitchen table for hours, entranced in her work; I always wanted to learn how to do those same things, but I don’t have the patience for such tedious work.
I hated showmanship in 4-H for this reason too. I was all about riding my horse through a pattern or setting my steers up to make them look beefy; I wasn’t there to look pretty. Showmanship required you to pay attention to minute details like the number of rubber bands in the horse’s mane, put nasty shoe polish on their hooves, trim their nose hairs (which seemed dumb, because to my logic, there were still flies around in August; why was I taking away my horse’s defense?), and bathe them. Not something I particularly had patience for. Needless to say, I never won any awards for being best in show. I look back on this now and wish that I had tried a little harder to be more patient with myself and others.
Being stuck in a cubicle the size of a small stall in a stuffy office full of a bunch of women makes me yearn for the days when I could at least be outside, with my horse, even if it meant having to stand on a bucket for an hour wrapping bands in his excessively thick mane. While I have much more patience for my livestock than for people, the fact is that I have to spend hours around people, and I only get to spend a short amount of time with my critters to offset the human interaction. The public frustrates me and makes me appreciate the solace I find in riding and being at home on the ranch even more. I find the longer I go without equine therapy, the crankier I get. I would imagine my boss will soon be looking for some way to kindly tell me to go see a therapist. ASAP.
Lucky for my boss and co-workers, I finally bit the bullet and found a new project pony. She is quite a firecracker; I surely am not going to be spoiled by her. She has way more self-preservation than any of my geldings ever have, so it ought to be an interesting journey. While I am not sure that buying a halter broke yearling was the best idea at this point in my life, there is no better time than the present to figure it out. I am hoping that she can reteach me to have patience, to enjoy the process and appreciate the slow, quiet moments, and to give me an outlet for my craziness so that I can enjoy everything else so much more.
Horses make us better people, if we allow them to work their magic on us. I truly believe that there is no better therapy than horse sweat, dirty jeans, and the feeling of knowing you both learned something, no matter how you did it. No dollar in the world can buy that kind of happiness.
May you always be able to find the time, or make the time, for horse therapy. It really is the best thing for your heart, body, and soul! ~Richelle
About Richelle Barrett
Richelle is a part time rancher, home office manager, full time wife, mother, and Customer Service Rep at the local telephone cooperative. She was born, raised, and lives on her parent's ranch in the North- Central part of Montana; and spends most days...