by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW
Horses have had a major role in my life. When I was 9 years old I experienced my first riding lessons. That was it, I was in, hooked. I didn’t realise until later in life that I had a horse addiction.
I really wanted to get into the horse community so I volunteered at local stables and pretty much did anything in exchange for lessons. My parents would not pay for them so I found a way. As my horse addiction grew, I soon became ‘wanted’ as I was one of the riders who had the guts to ride all the difficult horses that no one else wanted to ride.
I loved it because it made me feel needed. I loved it because when I rode a difficult horse, I was seen and recognised. It didn’t matter to me if I would get thrown off, or the danger I put myself in, what mattered was I was noticed. I was taught to be strong, to dominate as well as be quite unkind to horses, all in the name of training.
MY CAREER WITH HORSES
The more I worked with horses, the more I became addicted. I used to teach riding and would be the one who would stay up all night nursing a sick horse. I would go on 2 or 3 beach rides a day. I was a hard worker, tough and would put up with anything, including my allergy to horses. I made a career out of horses, managed stables, trained horses, competed, and even studied to be an Equine massage therapist.
I identified with being the rider, the instructor, the horse massage therapist… Giving up a career and a hobby that I had identified with so strongly has given me the opportunity to let go and now be so much more.
MY HEALTH ISSUES RELATING TO HORSES
As my horse addiction continued, so did my health issues, including my allergy problems. I went to the doctor about my allergy in the early years and was told that I should not be near horses. To this comment I remember responding clearly; “well, I would rather die than have a life without horses”. So from then on I would just sneeze every time I was around them, take antihistamines and pretend it really wasn’t happening, and it was no big deal. The other issue that I have lived with since I was 9 years old was major dental complications – which started from a horse knocking out my front teeth.
Looking back, I had no idea of the harm I was self-inflicting. I had no love for myself and I was looking for love, comfort and an identity, which I found through horses.
This is why I was with them in the first place…
- Horses were my version of love.
- I gained comfort from horses when I felt sad and lonely.
- Horses gave me a connection to nature and I loved that.
- Horses kept me busy and made me strong and tough so I wouldn’t have to feel how fragile and sensitive I am.
- Horses allowed me to be noticed and be needed as a ‘good rider’.
- I could hide with horses and not be seen or have to deal with the real world. In other words, I just lived ‘horses’ and it was as if life did not exist outside.
THE REALITY AND DREAM OF OWNING MY OWN HORSE
Ever since I was young I had always dreamed of having my own horses, and when I returned to Australia when I turned 30, I made that dream come true. What I realised soon after, was that it was just that… a dream. I enjoyed the experience but I was not attached to it: I learnt from it. I could see how I had attracted a horse into my life (who was abusive even though she was pretty)… a pattern I had experienced before with my choice of boyfriends! Sometimes patterns repeat themselves in many different ways.
I also learnt that in reality I had been allergic for all these years and my body had been screaming at me loud and clear and I had ignored it, numbed it, shut it up over and over. I could now see the self-abuse I had chosen without ever noticing or honouring this in the past.
SELLING MY HORSES AND CHOOSING ME
I sold the horses once I chose to look after ME. No one ever suggested I do, but it is something I came to realise myself. I recognised the crazy amount of money that I was spending on them, which then left me without any money for me. All that extra work I had to do so that I could have them. I saw the amount of ‘toughness’ that I had to put my body in when dealing with carrying bales of hay, buckets of water and fixing and doing all the other horse related chores. I became aware of all the time that I gave to them instead of my daughter and all the other parts of my life – including me.
In letting go of the horses and choosing me, I have given myself permission to love me more than them, which used to be the other way round.
LETTING GO OF MY HORSE ADDICTION
Like a lot of addictions, we are often not aware that the addiction exists. For me, I have realised that in many ways my horse addiction was more detrimental to my wellbeing than actually taking drugs, because it was so hidden. Getting out of the horse industry has been one of the most loving things I have ever done for myself. I don’t miss it; I enjoy looking at horses in a paddock but I no longer want one, and I have no desire to get up close and personal to the point where my body reacts to them. I have found that the thing that I loved about the horses was that it allowed me to be in a rhythm that was close to nature. I would get up early for the horses, and I loved to be outside and I still do, and now I can do that without having to harm my body or treat it in a way that no longer feels okay to me.
The level of self-awareness and self love that I now live came to me from the courses presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and it’s with so much appreciation that I am here today feeling amazing and no longer dependent on a horse or any other addiction to make me feel good.