Grateful: A Message of Thanksgiving on Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happiest of New Years from the Syd and me! Photo by my husband Tim.

All right. I know. The title of this blog looks a little more like a Thanksgiving title, not a Christmas title. But bear with me. In all actuality, for me, it’s more like a “Let’s find things about 2018 we’re thankful for, say, ‘Buh-Bye!’ and move on to 2019” title. I have a lot to be grateful for. I do. I truly do. For all the moaning and groaning I sometimes do about the things I wish I had in my life or the way I wish my life was, I do truly have a lot to be thankful for: I have a great husband who loves and supports me in and in spite of all my horse craziness; I have an amazing six year old son who is the biggest blessing of my life; I have a roof over my head, a truck to drive, great friends, a wonderful church, three happy dogs, all the usual. I am truly grateful for all those things. So why does it sound like I’m trying to convince myself?

Because sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Not just sometimes. Most of the times. Sometimes it’s hard not to let those times get to you. Get you down. For me, 2018 was another one of those years where I made plans. Lots of plans, and had goals, lots of goals. And … well … life happened. Again. (It has a habit of doing that.) I didn’t complete at a single event. Or ride in a single clinic. It has been one of those years. My job fell apart and ended and my husband’s has been a struggle. We had to adult. The hard way. Yeah. It’s been a year. Again. And it’s easy to dwell on all those hard, bad things. It’s easy to attend the pity party and crawl in self-centered hole. Very easy. The holidays can make it worse. And if you struggle with depression, well, the light at the end of the tunnel can be very hard to find indeed.

When it all gets to be too much, I go see my therapist. My four-legged therapist. Let’s be real, I go see him anyway, but especially when I need to find my smile again. Syd never disappoints. These are the days when he’s at the fence waiting for me before I’m even out of my truck. These are the days when walking him in, he’s hugging and nudging me the entire time. These are the days when he gently nuzzles me as I’m digging for brushes in my tack trunk. These are the days I remember how grateful I am for Syd. We have been together for 12 years now (I got him when he was four.) and my husband has said from the very beginning that Syd and I were made for each other. He has always been MY horse. In the midst of my frustration at another year gone by, I have to remind myself of how very blessed I am to have him to take care of me.

And it’s the little things … the little things that I will have to remind myself that I took for granted when that day comes and I find myself with another young horse. Things like, Syd ground ties, and follows me without a halter. He rarely spooks. Even when we’re riding in the pasture and the other horses are galloping around us acting the fool, he focuses on his job. I can ride Syd bareback with a halter, no big deal. He isn’t girthy; he stands still (well, mostly) when I mount; he will gently take a carrot or a sugar cube from you even if you forget (as my son sometimes does) to hold your had flat. He’s a saint. He always has been. And I am so blessed to have him!

My 17-hand fire breathing dragon patiently being lead by my six year old son. Photo by Michelle Wadley.

He takes care of me. On the cross country course. In show jumping. When I’m afraid, when I’m angry. He takes care of me. “I got this Mom!” More than that, he takes care of my son, who has no idea of how big or how scary Syd could, but never would, be. To my son Nate, Syd is just Syd. And he never takes a wrong step, frequently looking back at me to say, “I got this Mom. I know. I got this.” More than anything else, for that, I am grateful.

So in the midst of my craziness, my depression, my frustrations, and my horror at a another year older and another year that didn’t go as planned. I have to remind myself of the things in my life that are good and right, and that I am blessed by so many things. I have to remind myself of how wonderful is my friend named Syd. And I am humbled, and I am …


Go eventing.