I’m not usually one to fall when it comes to horses or men…it takes a lot to jolt me out of the saddle or jolt my romantic heart. However, I crossed trails with a cowboy and I was swept off my feet. I had an instant connection with this man, a soul connection.
He understood my passion for horses and my desire to make a difference in the world. He shared that same passion and our values were deeply aligned. Our conversations were effortless and there was a lot of head nodding in agreement and knowing smiles. We began seeing each other more and the sweet texts began. When country love songs on the radio played, he would text me the lyrics.
He brought me flowers and told me I deserved flowers every day.
I was smitten and felt like I had finally arrived at the gates of L-O-V-E.
He trailered his horse to the ranch and would go on long rides complete with a picnic packed in the saddle bags.
At the risk of sounding like a Harlequin Romance novel, we literally did ride off into the sunset together.
This man spoke to my soul.
I fell hard, and the rest of the world ceased to exist. I’d found what I’d been looking for. We became exclusive in short amount of time; felt like the natural thing to do.
I was living in a dream.
It’s rare that I open my heart to someone so quickly, become exclusive and trust where the trail takes me. But I did it and all the sudden the fun left and he pulled back like a horse tied too tightly.
The phone calls and sweet texts died off as did his soothing charms. I was crushed, anxious, confused and hurt.
He rode away and pulled the rug out from beneath me.
I fell again and this time it fu*&ing hurt.
Horses have taught me so much in my life. That being vulnerable and authentic are a gift. I’ve embraced that my softer side doesn’t equal weakness. Underneath my tough girl exterior I’m a romantic at heart. With the cowboy, my walls were down and my heart was soft, tender and vulnerable. Maybe that was too much for him. But it was me being me. I spent too many years trying to mold myself into what I thought men wanted. No more of that.
Take me as I truly am or leave me. And he left me, ouch.
Being a lifelong horsewoman has also taught me this: When you fall down, you MUST get back in the saddle. Before the fear set in. The paralyzing fear of getting dumped and hurt again. So slowly, I climbed back up and dusted myself off.
Here’s what helped:
Top 10 ways to get back in the saddle
1. Call my mom and cry.
2. Take long walks with my steadfast and loving male companion, Namo, my dog.
3. Avoid listening to country love songs, especially “Cowboys and Angels” by Dustin Lynch.
4. Kick up my heels and dance my a$% off with girlfriends.
5. Gallop like there’s no tomorrow (ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds are highly recommended).
6. Read Caroline Myss’s book Soul Contracts, relentlessly.
7. Cherish the friendships I have in my life.
8. Put self-care first and make journaling, healthy food and lavender Epsom salt baths a priority.
9. Put my heels down, keep my chin up and my heart open.
10. Trust the process of this wild ride called Life.
Can you relate? Have you ever fallen hard in a relationship that didn’t work out? What helped you “dust off” and get back up? I’d love to hear your experiences and comments below.
Back in the saddle and always learning,