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I give Thanks for Patxi

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and there is much to give thanks for.

One of those things is my boy, Patxi. I conjured you up in my imagination and found you in Craigslist, fully formed, waiting for me to drive up and fall even further in love.

You then challenged my body and confidence in my abilities as you pushed and pulled against any attempt to connect to your mouth. I tried every different bridling contraption: with all kinds of bits and without any at all...When I couldn't afford another back surgery and decided I would have to sell you because you just were hurting my upper back with your pulling ability, you must have sensed it. On what was to be my last ride on you, you put your head down when I bridled you and I could hear you begging me to not give up on you.

I listened.

You never again hurt my upper arms or back because you never again stuck your nose in the air. You began to see the good in all we did with you, and began to let down your guard. You began to feel safe, at home, at peace. You even became a children's horse, allowing my kids to play all over your huge, comfortable back, and take them bareback down the trail.

A few years later I ruined your peace with a herd shake-up, and thought I might never regain your trust in me (or mine in you). But, we worked through it, and you are back in full wonderfulness!

You have consistently been the most fun, lively, healthy, hearty, fast, endearing, comfortable, gorgeous trail companion and are now blossoming into a real partner when it comes to obstacles and even dressage. You enjoy my fooling around with you and trying new things, like polo at this advanced age of ours! We have a way to go to look like pros, but, to sit on you is to love you and to love being alive in the world with you.

You still struggle with trusting, with letting go of your strong sense of self-preservation, and even softening to the bit, but you have taught me to do things more slowly, to do them with more clarity, to have more patience, to take my time and let go of my agendas. You have pushed me to learn and keep learning in the desire to reach you and have you connect to that greatness that lives inside your soul! In turn, you have asked that I do the same for myself...Oh! How we have grown together, my boy!

You have always been my strong heart, my fluffy teddy bear, and my horsiest of horses, the essence of all things equine.

I love you, Patxi. I give thanks for you. Thank you for loving me back. Thank you for being my dream come true.

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