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“Mother of Exiles” January 9, 2010

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Equine Assisted Therapy, Life, Quarter-Life Crisis.
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Today was the New Volunteer Orientation at the Therapeutic Riding Center where I am starting to volunteer.  It is a non-profit that offers Hippotherapy and Equine Assisted Therapy.  The difference being that hippotherapy is more concerned with the physical aspect of riding (strengthening of muscles, improvement of balance) whereas Equine Assisted Therapy is more the overall experience (the physical aspect as well as developing language/social skills, lengthening attention spans etc).  The day was broken up into two sessions.  The morning was for new volunteers of all types of experience and the afternoon was for ‘horse handlers’ – volunteers both new and old who had (supposedly) horse experience.  The morning was pretty much fine.  It was very nuts and bolts “This is a horse, do not stand directly behind him.  This is how we load a rider.”  Beautiful.

The afternoon session was a bit like hell.  Horse people are nutjobs.  To be trapped in a room with 12 equine inclined females ‘discussing’ horsemanship for over an hour is brutal.  Everyone has an opinion/input on every aspect of being around a horse.  The question “Should a horse be allowed to eat with a bit in it’s mouth” does not require a 10 minute discourse.  I’m a little concerned I came off as having a bad attitude whereas while everyone else was trying to showcase what they knew I was just smiling bemusedly and nodding.  I totally understand that every barn has their own necessary and sacred way of doing things and I’m completely open to learning it – but don’t treat me like an idiot. Also, I’m not going to learn anything when I have 5 different people telling me 5 different things at the same time.


I’m probably being too harsh.  For the most part I think that they are all lovely people with commendable passion.  I hope to learn a lot there and do my best for the participants.  I think it was just the stress of the situation coupled with the seemingly inborn neurosis all horse people have.

I cannot wait to work with the actual riders.

I used to think I’m just not a people-person.  I’ve come to realize I am just not a people person for persons of ‘normal’ psychology.  I have no patience for them.

“Give me your traumatized, your physically and mentally poor!
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Is “your physically and mentally poor” offensive?  I was just trying to keep the rhyme.

So while I’m very excited over this new development in my life.  I’m still concerned over scheduling and finances.  Will I be able to juggle 2 jobs (although I officially only have the one), volunteering, having a dog and my fitness aspirations?  Can I get to Montana without dipping anymore into my savings?  Will my barn boss ever call me back or will I add him to the list of idiot men who don’t return my phone calls?  Within one month I’ve done two things I’ve never done before, get a speeding ticked and have an overdraft fee.  I feel these are two mistakes that aren’t necessarily something I can learn from, they are both things I know are stupid and avoidable.

Anyway I digress.  My life is moving in the direction I wanted it to when I planned on moving to Raleigh.  Whether it’s the right direction is yet to be told.