After going through all the usual things that might make a highly sensitive horse buck and act like a fool every time you get on his back, and yes, even calling an animal communicator ?to see if she might shed some light on why my horse bucks, I had all but given up. After the struggles with this horse evolved into my book, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses, this smart(er) woman was, quite frankly, out of ideas. Now, before you start with the training tips and the respectfulness rants and the “that horse has got your number” advice, just save your breath. I’ve heard it all. And believe me, if I had all the money back I’ve spent on saddles, pads, trainers, supplements, riding lessons, clinics and DVDs, I could have bought one of those push-button horses I saw at the working cowhorse auction last January. And more than likely, I’d be out loping long easy circles right now instead of writing this post. Which, precisely, is my point. This horse has taken me on a journey. Because of all the rocks he’s had me look under trying to unearth the source of his issues, I’ve written two books, met hundreds, if not thousands, of people I never would have met through the research, development and promotion of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses.?I’ve gotten to work for and write the book, Lessons Well Learned with Clinton Anderson, and I’ve gotten to learn more about horses and horsemanship than I ever would have touched if this had been a horse I just got on and rode without incident. Part of it, too, is my own nature. I like to get to the bottom of things. I know there’s some reason why a horse as connected and willing and smart as this one cannot relax with a person on his back. I mean to find it. And while I’ve come to accept that I may not ever be able to ride this horse, I’m not giving up. He brings a lot more to my life than transportation ? and if we don’t ride, we don’t ride. We’re both too old to push the issue. I’ve also learned through the Dust Off Your Dreams and Your Life, Up retreats I’ve developed with a couple of like-minded friends, that there is so much more to this horse-human thing than riding. And, with the help of Drs. Deborah and Adele and Tom McCormick at Hacienda Tres Aguilas and The Institute for Conscious Awareness, with whom I’m now studying to go deeper into this subject, there’s really no telling where all this might lead. All because of one unrideable, contrary old ranch gelding. So I continue my quest. In the coming posts I’ll tell you about Shea Stewart and the latest piece of the puzzle my search has unearthed ? and how learning a few simple techniques of cranial-sacral therapy can help you help your horse relax and feel better about his or her job. Or in other words, how it can turn this: into THIS: Curious? Stay tuned.