Monthly Archives: August 2016

Here’s One For You

I was walking by the picture of my husband and his Clyde mare and this thought just kind of hit me.

Maggie (Clyde) passed away four years ago.  Before she died (of cancer) Bobby got on her one last time while she was in remission.  He had no business being on a horse.  At that time he had an aneurism that was in need of surgery and a back that was falling apart, but he wanted to ride her one last time.  They were both happy as clams, I was holding my breath.  Maggie had never hurt him in all the years they were hunting.  There was a true bond between them.

Toy, his Appendix Quarter Horse, died years before that.  They both loved to gallop wide open every chance they got.  He put Bobby in the hospital a couple of time, but it was rider error most of the time.  He truly loved both those horses.

Upon looking at that picture I thought – when Bobby gets to heaven and sees those two horses, which one will he want to ride most.  He had the surgery and his aneurism is fine now, and his back will be fine in heaven.  I’ll have to ask him.  I’m not sure that we will ride our horses again up there, but I think some of them will invite us to hop on.

So then I started thinking of all my horses that I have had over the years, and which one I would like to ride one more time.  My first response was my first mare.  I loved that horse so much.  I would like to ride her once more, as she would be sound again.  Then I thought about my first Quarter Horse that I enjoyed hunting so much, but then I thought about my soul mate Desert, whom I loved with all my heart.  I long to see them all again, but if I only got to choose one which one would it be?  I really believe that Desert would side pass up next to me and look over his shoulder and say hop on, lets “Fly” one more time.  He would always do that for me while he was with us. He’d side pass to me so I would get on bareback, no halter, just the two of us, just for the fun.  Quality time.  He was such a clown.

It’s a whimsical thought, but it causes me to smile.  I long to see them all again. To touch them once more.  Young, healthy, sound, flying around with tails flagging.

If you’re going to dream, dream big. Who would you choose, and who do you think would invite you?

Dreams are free, and smiles are a bonus.

(By the way, Bobby chose Maggie and I know Nancy will choose Honnee)

Okay, Growing Wiser Stinks

As we get older we’re supposed to get wiser.  Okay I’m there in the older part, but the wiser, I’m not so sure of.  And if I really am wiser – it stinks.  Very depressing.

Part of me accepts the being a “Senior Citizen”, especially when I go to Taco Bell and get the Senior drink for free, or get my Social Security check.  I can say things to my grandchildren and they look at me and accept it because I’m old, and old people say stuff like that.

I’m still very active and unload fifteen bags or more of grain with no problem.  I don’t feel like a person who is about to turn 69.  I feel around 50.  So what’s the problem you ask?  Well I’ll tell you a little story.

I went riding with several friends close to my age (but I was the oldest).  For the most part it went well.  The young Thoroughbred my one friend was riding started to act like he wanted to play.  Typical of a young horse with those wahoo blood lines.  She used sound judgement and got off.  She’d broken her back in the last few years and it was a wise decision on her part.  But my old “I can take care of this” attitude cropped up in my head.  All I needed to do was ride him through this, and he’d be fine.  But that little voice on my other shoulder said “What are you thinking?!!!  With your osteoporosis in your spine?  Are you nuts?”  So I choked down my “I’ll do it!” response, and bit my tongue.  Well it hurt (my feelings, not my tongue) and it bothered me.  I knew I could do it.  I’d done it so many times over so many years, but I’m almost 69 now (two months and counting), and if I get hurt who will take care of all my animals.  Bob certainly can’t do it anymore.  But I can do it, I thought, I can push him through this.  I love to do this kind of stuff, I thought.  I’m not that old, I thought.  But the sad thing is, I am.

Boy does all that stuff going on in your head bother you.  It’s like putting another nail in the coffin.  I’m old, sniff, sniff.  It’s the end, sniff, sniff.  I can’t break and train babies anymore, sniff, sniff.  So my trusty psycho horse Zoey thought she’d cheer up her old mom on the way home.  Prancing and dancing, leaping in the air, a little half rear with a hop.  Aires above ground, a roll back, yup she’d make mom feel better about herself.  Hang on to your support hose lady you’re in for a ride.  Five minutes ago we were walking on a dropped rein, totally relaxed, but then again that’s been Zoey’s M.O. since she was a baby.  When I was breaking her you could feel her gathering up.  You could feel her muscles tighten and were just waiting for her to explode.  Well she never did.  She’d take a deep breath, relax all her muscles, and when you relaxed, she’d bolt.  For sixteen years she’s never done anything when she was as tight as a rubber band, but let her relax and all hell would break loose.  We put on a little bit of a show for the neighbor who was out weed whacking, (I hope he was impressed) and pranced on down the street to our front gate.  There putting on her encore performance as I went to open the gate, I wacked her with the crop and she went back to being the quiet Quarter Horse that she had been twenty minutes before.  I looked into her soft calm eyes and said “You’re a psycho Zoey, but your my psycho and I love you.”  She never bucked, she never has, and that little hint of a rear, she has never done before.  Oh boy, something else to look forward to.  Add this to her list of dance moves.

I was telling my girlfriend that this was the real Zoey, not the quiet one that she has ridden at the farm.

As I thought about it later, Zoey showed me that nothing has changed.  That I can still ride the crazies just like the old days.  Nothing has really changed except the fact that I am wiser now.

It’s one thing to ride out an outburst on a horse that you know all her moves.  It’s another thing to ride a horse that you don’t know what he is going to throw at you.  Years ago the other horse would have been fun and a challenge.  Now I’ll just stick with the psycho I raised from a baby and will grow old with.

I don’t feel as old as I did leaving my friend’s house and her horse, I just feel a lot smarter.  I would never want a perfect, pushbutton horse.  Where’s the challenge to improve or progress (or remind yourself that you’re not pushing up daisy’s yet)?  It’s the tough horses that make better riders, and if they never push the envelope you never become more experienced.

When does that age hit for you?  I don’t know.  Only you can make that decision.  Make a wise choice grasshopper, the ground is not as forgiving when you’re pushing seventy.

Your Mother Always Made You Say Please And Thank You

I don’t know if it’s the moon phase or what, but the last two posts and this one are kind of deep (sappy).

When I was a kid I’d go with my mother to the Butcher Shop.  Every time I went, the butcher was happy to see me and he would give me a slice of bologna.  It wasn’t my favorite but my mother would always tell me to say “Thank You”, because it was a nice gesture, and he didn’t have to do it.

Have you ever noticed that rescued animals, after they realize you’re not going to hurt them, are the most grateful in the world.  Well most of them.  Some do get bitter and can’t move beyond the hurt and the abuse (can’t say that I blame them.)  But most are the happiest, loving animals you could ever have.  They celebrate everyday, and love unconditionally.

You see on Facebook, and sometimes meet in person, animals that have been injured so bad you can’t believe that they are still alive.  Someone said to me the other day, “Can you believe that someone could pour gas on a dog and set it on fire?”  My reply was, “Can you believe a mother can kill her newborn baby and discard it in the trash?”  We are living in a very sick world.

But the good news is that there are still people out there that do care, and will go out of their way to save an animal.  Whether it be a horse, dog, cat, squirrel, or whatever.

I just had an experience this afternoon that made me cry.  I think I mentioned that I was pet sitting my neighbors two horses and two dogs.  One of the dogs had gotten hit by a car the night before she left.  Now this dog didn’t know me from Adam, and I was planning on handing them both a biscuit when I arrived there to care for them.  It’s harder to bite a leg when you are busy chewing on a big dog biscuit.  But the accident had broken his pelvis, and now he was to be kept in a crate.  I was going to have to reach in and pick up this hurting dog and carry him out.  Okay the first time he growled at me.  I didn’t blame him at all.  I don’t think I would have been nice if I were in his position.  But for four days, four times a day, I did exactly that.  I apologized to him every time, and spent time loving on him both before taking him out and put him back in.  I hand fed him his meals, and pushed pills down his throat.  Figured we’d never be friends, but I still had all my fingers at the end of our time together.  Well it’s been a week since his family came home, and even though I called to check and see how he was doing, I stopped by today to return the key.  Neither dog came through the doggie door when I got there.  They looked out the window and agreed that I was okay and could be in their yard.  When my friend came out, sat and talked to me and my husband, the Golden mix came out first, got his cookie and a few pets and scratches and went on his way.  I really didn’t expect the one with the broken pelvis to venture that far out of the house, but lo and behold he came through the doggie door and came right to me.  I stroked his head, looked in his eyes, and asked how he was doing and he snuggled and sat up against me.  I was amazed that he not only didn’t hate me for all I had done to him, but he actually loved on me.

I can’t begin to tell you how much that meant to me.  It touched me so much that as I thought about it hours later, it made me cry.  He really did understand that I was trying to help him, and it was his way of saying Thank You.

My rescue horse Shadow celebrated every morning.  After breakfast she would come out of the barn squealing, leap in the air, buck and pounce around with happiness.

Their mothers never taught them to say please and thank you, but if you really look, listen to the nickers of your horse, and look in the soulful eyes of your dog, you are fully aware that they are so thankful to you for the love and food that you give them.

If I were very wealthy I would rescue every animal.  There would be no more shelters.  No more starving abused horses.  But I can only do good for the ones that come into my life.

Spay, neuter, and don’t hesitate to call when you see something wrong going on.  We can make a difference in animals lives, no matter how small the effort is.  Even if you only save one animal,  that’s one less to suffer and one more that will be waiting to great you when you cross the Rainbow Bridge.

If you listen very closely, you will hear them say Thank You for loving us enough to care.   It will touch your heart, it did mine.


What If You Fly?

Thank you all for your encouragement.  I’ve thought about not writing anymore, that it really didn’t matter.  That I really didn’t have anything important to say, but you all prove me wrong in my thinking.  Some are long time friends, some I have never met.  Even if I only touch one or two with my thoughts, I’ve accomplished my goal.  I’m not out to change the world, just connect with one person at a time.

I’m computer challenged and that goes for Facebook too.  My friend challenged me to post a Bible verse everyday for 8 days.  Well my intentions were good but I didn’t know how to copy and paste so I just wrote it on her post.  That’s not how it was supposed to work.  I usually just repost things my friends send me on Facebook.  I get Likes and comments back.  What I repost are usually horse related, or just cute things that make you smile.

Yesterday I reposted one from my neighbor.  It was simple.  Just the face of a horse with a bridle.  I have never had so many personal comments sent back to me on how this simple, one sentence post, touched them.  I’ll post it here and then tell you about the notes I received back from my friends.

With the face of a horse in the background    –   “What if I fall?”  “Oh but my darling, What if you fly?”

So many people wrote back telling me of their memories of horses that have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, that gave them the sense of flying.  The freedom they experienced.  Many of the horses they told about I remembered.  Some I never knew.  Some were jumpers, some barrel raced,  some just galloped across the ground.  But each gave them the feeling of oneness, of flight.

I remembered the first time I jumped, I was hooked.  Then the first time I Fox Hunted, sign me up.  I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.  Just gallop and jump myself into oblivion.  The first time I galloped wide open for miles on a coyote run, just myself and the Huntsman.  The adrenalin rush that can’t be explained.  You felt like your horse had wings, his feet never touched the ground.

Have you ever had this experience?  The horse inviting you in his dance?  The two of you becoming one?  That one special horse that you will never forget and will always be apart of your soul?

Yes, with horses, there is always the chance that you will fall, but there is a greater chance that you will “Fly”.  Seize the moment, enjoy the experience, you will never be the same.

Trust me.


The One Constant

With all the insanity of the up coming election, people are taking stands for both sides, and the discussions are getting heated.  One candidate promises Sunshine, Lollipops, and Roses.  The other sends the message that we are done with this and we’re taking America back.  I love the thought of Camelot and everything will be beautiful, but I myself have a habit of laying all my cards on the table and being ready to come out fighting.  Gets me in trouble often, but everyone always knows what I am thinking, and what I’m going to do about it.

I saw a picture of my friend Nancy the other day.  She was sitting on her horse and had the biggest smile.  That’s how I remember her when we hunting together, and practicing for hunt teams.  It brought me to thinking of the past.

As a child of the 50’s I always remember people talking about the “American Dream.”  A little house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, a Collie running in the front yard, and a station wagon in the driveway.  Kids played out side with their friends until the street lights came on, Dad went to work and mom stayed home and baked cookies.  My childhood wasn’t quite that way, but it was secure and comfortable.

Our world has turned upside down.  All of that American Dream has faded from existence, but there is one thing in our lives that remains the same – Our Horses.  Oh yes there are days we go to the barn and they are full of lumps, bumps, cuts, swollen legs, eye lids hanging off, but they are there, and they are happy to see us.  We can venture back in time to our quiet place.  Their touch, the smell, the ears that move back and forth, bring us into a world that doesn’t exist outside the barn.  We become grounded and secure again.  Nothing away from that place can harm us, at that moment.  Some people escape into the story of a romance novel.  We, as horse people escape into the existence of our horse.

Sometimes we bring the days worries and stresses to the barn with us, but usually by the time we leave, we are calm and stress free again.  We are ready to go out and face our giants.  The saying “My Horse Is My Therapist” is oh so true.  Horses don’t say a whole lot, but they listen and give us a sense of balance in our lives once more.

They always say you can’t go home again, and usually they are right.  BUT, we can go to the barn, put our arms around our horses neck, and get the reassurance again that everything will be just fine, as long as we can reach out and touch them.

We are a blessed group of people, we have horses to keep us in touch with God’s creation, which grounds us.  We as horse people, we know what Camelot truly is.

(Camelot – a place where truth, goodness, and beauty reigns there.)