So, the blog hop asks: What superstitions do you have when it comes to your horses, riding, and/or showing? Do you have any good luck items/charms?
I am actually not an overly superstitious person! I don’t really have any good luck charms. I don’t have any particular things I have to do before a show.
That’s not to say I am not fussy in other ways: I tend to read too much into small things on a day when I’m really nervous, especially at a show. (Whether I can find things quickly and/or in a way that “makes sense” to me, what number I get – not that I have a lucky number, but more if the numbers “fit.”) I have a few OCD tendencies in that there are routines I do to feel comfortable, like the ways I tap my saddle after I’ve put it on. (It’s kind of tough to explain!)
The only really superstitious thing I do, in that I feel like I’m reaching toward a higher power rather than my own individual neuroses, is directly related to Tristan but doesn’t come into play around him.
I wear a St. Michael’s medallion around my neck. It’s a small silver-colored piece about the size and weight of a nickel. I got it on a trip to Normandy while I was studying abroad.
Mont St. Michel
I actually got it at a small parish church on Mont St. Michel, which is an island/monastery off the northern coast of France. My college advisor, a very close friend, got married in the parish church and gave me the contact information for the priest to look up and say hi to. We had a lovely chat and I got a behind the scenes tour of the church. (Not the big famous monastery, but a much smaller and more intimate chapel in another part of the town.)
Before I left, I dropped a few euros in the collection box and lit a candle, which I do compulsively when in Catholic churches, though it is at this point that I suppose I should say that I am not actually in any way Catholic, or even really religious. (I lived in a nunnery and regularly attended mass while living in France but it was more cultural than spiritual.) Next to the candles, they had a dish of these St. Michael’s medallions, with St. Michael slaying the dragon on one side and a profile of the island on the other side.
This isn’t mine, but it looks very much like mine – the saint’s side anyway.
When I got back to the city I was living in from my Normandy trip, I bought an inexpensive chain, and have worn the medallion around my neck ever since. It’s small and simple and I find it comforting. I’ve always played with it and fiddled with it on and off since. I’ve worn it for about ten years now.
I’d worn necklaces before, and had always had the habit of making a wish when the clasp rotates down to the front of the necklace and bumps up against the charm. I think someone told me about it in elementary school.
After I got Tristan, which was about a year and a half after getting the medallion, I found one day that the clasp had rotated down. I was about to turn it back and make a wish when I realized that the wish I’d so often made when I was a little kid – to have a horse – had come true!
So ever since then, every single time, when I rotate the clasp back around, I pause for a second or two in whatever I’m doing and I think about Tristan. I send a quick silent prayer for his health and happiness, I thank the universe for bringing him to me, and if my day is particularly hectic I close my eyes and think about a long fast gallop, or burying my face in his shoulder, or the sweet smell of his nose.
I’ve only deviated from this a bare handful of times in the last eight years, maybe three or four times, and each has been for another horse: a friend’s horse in danger, or another friend’s horse who died suddenly and heartbreakingly. Always horses I know personally.
Most of the time, it’s my charm for Tristan, and it helps me feel like he’s with me even when my life is hectic and I can’t see him as often as I’d like.