Where do the horses fit into all of this? I don't have some miracle story, where I sat down in the saddle on a school horse, and "realized I have purpose in life", or had a show ride on Ransom/Harley where I came to terms with who I am. It's not nearly that pretty, or fairy tale -esque. Just isn't.
Instead, it's a sensation. A feeling. Work can suck, my parents can fight, I can feel lower than the crap that hides under a cowboy's shoe. Something on the job, or personally, can go wrong, and I can feel that if only I'd done ___ or not done ___, it would've all been right.
Then I go outside, and put a saddle on the horse. Walk to the arena, and mount up. I can control the ambitions of a 1000# four legged flight animal with the urge of my seat. I tip my pelvis under me, and he walks on. I shift my weight, and he will canter off in a fury. I can channel that energy up in the air in a leap, and with a heavy sigh, come to a complete stop anywhere I choose. Does this always work exactly like I want? No way. More often than not though, I can control my horse much better than I can control my life. When I feel out of control everywhere else, they ground me and center me. They give me the feeling of authority and power, even when I'm mid-air looking for the softest dirt patch to land.
This is my effort to explain who I am, where I've been, and only small pieces of what makes me this way. I'm incredibly opinionated, and often isolate myself from every other human I see. I chose retreat over defend nearly every time. And I still have to "shut off those old tapes" often, to remind myself more of the kitchen table, and less of the insults/defeat/lectures/physical scars.