Today is a sad day; the Ponio and I are no more. Today I ended the loan agreement I had with his owner. Our agreement was for Ponio’s exclusivity to me…today I found out that this was not the case. It seems that this may have been going on for a while and I was paying for a non-existent privilege.
To say I was upset when I found out is an understatement. I was upset and angry; angry to point that I was in the car on the way home, shaking from the emotion and a total adrenaline overload. Actually, I was outwardly very calm when I found out. I didn’t shout, my voice didn’t get high pitched and squeaky, I didn’t flounce in and out of the office…but what I wanted to do was scream like a Fury and dish out some home truths. Thank goodness for a friend and WhatsApp to talk me down from the rage. I’m still angry now but I do have a clearer head…and heartburn…literally and figuratively.
And then the doubt. I was panicking on the way home that I’d made a hasty decision, that I’d cancelled the loan in the heat of the moment. Should I have waited to talk to the owner? He wasn’t at the farm today. Was I overreacting?
If you’ve looked back at my other posts you’ll know that Ponio and riding are a big deal in my universe. They are the cornerstone of my routine here in India and a big part of the way I manage my anxiety disorder. I’m ashamed to say that in the panic of the post-mortem I did think why had I asked the question. If I hadn’t asked if he was being used, I wouldn’t have known. No one would have told me (That’s another thing that has seriously pissed me off – people knew and didn’t say anything). But, I could feel it in my gut…I’d just taken a while to pluck up the courage to confirm what I already knew.
Why do we never listen to our intuition?!?!?!?!
Would I be happy knowing/not knowing? Of course not! I’d be miserable and angry…at myself. Angry that I valued myself so little that I would put up with that shit.
In Mexico there was a particularly unpleasant woman who took me under her wing when I first arrived. I thought she was being nice. I thought she was being generous because she gave me a lift to riding when I was still terrified of driving. Then things changed. I made other friends and started to drive and soon enough she showed her true colours; she was poisonous! And then I realised that I’d let myself become her exotic pet and that I’d guilt tripped myself into staying her friend. Every time I saw this malevolent gargoyle a wave of fury would rise up inside me. I couldn’t bear to be near her or even hear her voice. Why? Because I hated the way I’d let her treat me. I wasn’t angry with her, she was irrelevant. I was angry with myself. Seeing her made me mad that I hadn’t protected myself; I’d let myself down.
Ultimately we can’t blame people for the way they treat us. They are responsible for their actions and we for ours. We have the choice to let things happen to us or not. Unless you are in exceptional circumstances, there is always a choice. That choice may not be easy, it might be scary but it’s better than not being able to look at your self in the mirror.
In the last few weeks I’ve been doing some goal setting. One of the goals was riding related. I’ve set out the achievements for November; down to what I’ll work on each time I ride. It’s been fun and exciting to tick off the daily goals on my planner. Ponio was an integral part of my plan. I’ve worked bloody hard. I could see his improvement even before I started on the journey towards my goal. It’s so tempting to go back and renegotiate the terms of the agreement so I can keep riding him. But I know that I am not prepared to compromise. I know that I am really upset and angry about what I see as dishonest and untrustworthy behaviour. I know that if I choose to ignore what I now know, I’ll be furious with myself and that would spoil what is an activity I love. I know I deserve a large gin and tonic.
I don’t know if I’ll go back to the farm and ride. I’m still struggling with this one. November 13th is our two year anniversary in India. We potentially have another year to go. Can I live another year in India without being able to ride? Before you say it, riding schools here are few and far between and some of them are no more than a few horses walking round like donkeys on a beach. Would a return, even riding pay-as-you-go, be acceptable to my integrity? Would I feel shitty about it?
Do I suck it up because I want to ride?
What does this choice mean in the future? I’ll have more time for writing but I’ll also have to find other things to occupy my time. To be honest I have neither the energy nor the inclination to go out and start the activities and events trail again. There is potential here to retreat under the duvet and not come out for months…
I have a trip to Mexico coming up in a couple of weeks. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m in serious need of a battery recharge. Emotions are exhausting.
And “To ride or not to ride?”; I’ll deal with that when I get back.