I walked Zum to the end of the neighborhood block, let him graze on some grass and walked him home. He saw lots of horses being ridden and horses standing in corrals. He whinnied and got excited. But he didn’t rear or bolt or panic. I still feel tightness in my chest and a sense of uneasiness when I walk Zum in unknown areas. Anxiety still filters my reality. But Zum and I are working together to overcome our fears.


I was very pleased yesterday when I rode Zum in the round pen and he stayed calm despite all the loud activities in the neighborhood. A neighbor had a garage sale so even more cars and trucks were driving by constantly. Another neighbor let his car alarm blast out for a long time. Other neighbors drove by over and over in their ATVs. A racket even louder than normal and Zum was unruffled by it.


I always walk Zum in the round pen on a lunge line before I ride him just to check his mood. Zum needs a special combination of clear guidelines, reassurance and love.


Zum doesn’t need to know why he is loved but he does need to know that he is loved. I have positive intention and loving energy behind all my reassuring words that I say to him every day.


This year in April when I trained with Jody, he told me to take Zum for walks around the neighborhood. I was too afraid to do this then. But now, I am walking Zum down my street so he can be exposed to all kinds of alarming machinery and noisy people. I want Zum to learn that he can feel loved and safe, whenever he is with me.


I put Zum in the trailer easily and drove out to the desert. He unloaded from the trailer well. I tied him to the trailer and he saddled and bridled nicely. We had a calm walk together. I walked in front of him, leading him on the trail. We looked at the desert hills and the Saguaro as the golden glow and sunset shadows expanded around us. I let him graze on green grass in the wash. We had a wonderful date!


The needs of my human spirit are survival, safety, play, celebration, love, connection, self-esteem and self-actualization. Zum provides my spirit with almost all of these needs.


My neighbors all around me make a racket all day long. Loud noise from tractors, trailers, motorcycles, big trucks, houses being built, school buses being torn apart and traffic is incessant. Zum gets alarmed by all the clamor. After the quiet and peace of Santa Fe, it is a big adjustment for us.


My house in Phoenix got flooded this summer. I have been here for a week, cleaning mud out of my house. My carpets are moldy. They all have to be removed. Anything touching the floor is moldy. I lost books, rugs, yoga mats and furniture. I finally had some time to get on Zum in the round pen.