Nite-nite…

•July 21, 2014 • 2 Comments

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My beautiful Dulcinea. You are missed.

(1993 -2014)

Training…

•May 19, 2014 • 3 Comments

“You are training your horse every time you ride.”

I hear that quote a lot. It is always said, and received, with a certain profundity. Everyone thinks about it, and agrees with a little nod.

Me too, until recently. Maybe because it has sunk in so deeply that it has crossed the line from something obscure into a statement of simple fact (2+2 is still 4)… But now mostly I just think – “duh. Of course.” It just seems so elementary that every interaction between your horse and anyone teaches them something.

Some lessons bear repetition. Maybe to be sure they stick. Sometimes, to assure Pony that the rules have not magically changed overnight. Sometimes just because you both have fun and feel successful when you get it right.

Now, turn that sideways. Does every interaction between you and your horse teach YOU something? If your mind is open – and you are paying attention, it should. Some lessons, it seems, bear repeating. Hawkeye wants to be sure they stick. For example – he continues to work with me on the “leave your grumpies at home.” He is a patient teacher – and consistent. When I am tense, he holds his mirror up for everyone to see. Oh, it is something of a funhouse mirror, to be sure. If my mind is elsewhere and not paying appropriate attention – the reflection looks like dancing on the crossties. Thin patience looks like inability to pick up feet. If I am angry, he projects disobedience. That usually gets my attention. I am not asking for obedience… am I? Cooperation is more my style, isn’t it? He is never aggressive… but he is not above proving how much taller he is than I am.

He applies his aids in a careful proscribed order, asking with increasing strength. “If you won’t focus on me, I will continue to move around so you have to pay at least enough attention to contact the fur with the brush.” If I don’t respond he follows it with the ever popular balancing all 1500lbs of beautiful black pony on one foot. Last, and most serious of his repertoire “can you see how my nostrils flare, from down there, tiny human”?

But he also rewards the try. If I take a step back, close my eyes and breathe deeply for a few moments he will bring his head back to eye level. If I can shut out the barn chaos he might let me clean out his feet. If I relax, and realize the fight was all on my side, he will let me lean against him and play with his ears as he nibbles his hay.

And when I remember to leave my grumpies at home – and he reflects my patience and calm back at me – we both feel successful because together we got it right.

Hello, World…

•April 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

All fuzzy ears and wobbly legs…

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Proof that Miracles do happen…
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My god, check out those WHISKERS!

Dreaming…

•April 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

“When you close your eyes, do you dream about me?” 

 -J. Blades

Your back is broad, and I can feel the flex and pull of your muscles with each step. The heat radiates from you, through my clothes, as we move.

Thump-thump, Thump-thump, Thump-thump. Can you feel my heartbeat?

Bud-da-bump, Bud-da-bump, Buda-ba-bump. Your hooves pound the ground, like gods own thunder.

I stretch out over your neck, and your mane lashes across my face.

The land is wide, and endless, and we are going flat out now. I have no worries about hidden traps, left by industrious groundhogs, in the ankle high grass. We are flying.

Your joy, like your heat, rises off you in waves. It is sensory. Visceral. You run for the love of the wide-open sky. For the thrill of being alive. There is no army of flesh-eating grocery bags chasing us, you are not fleeing in white eyed terror. You run for the delight of being big and powerful. Your Lyme and ringbone are forgotten, stiff muscles left behind.

You wear no tack. No saddle between us, no bit to slow you. For once, I am not gripping with my knees. I have no fear of tumbling. My fingers tangle in your mane. I follow your rhythm, stride for stride. My hips rock in time with your hoof-beats and we move as one. You know where you want to go before we turn. I know when you need me to shift my weight to keep you balanced.

In my dreams, we are one with the wind.

Friday Nights in the ER

•April 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Lessons learned…

1.)       Go early – beat the rush.

2.)       Don’t kid yourself. The Nurses run the joint.

3.)       It is MUCH harder to be the guy in the guest chair than it is to be the pincushion.

4.)       Dress Appropriately – the guest chair does not come equipped with a pillow or a blanket. You will feel like a pansy if you ask for either.

5.)       Keeping your sense of humor will win you tons of points with the nurses.

6.)       Being the easy patient is like being a really good tipper – no one is in a hurry for the turnover.

7.)       It turns out – some of the physical exam tests you see them run on fictional medical TV shows are real. It will freak you out to seem them used in real life.

8.)       The test results will always be inconclusive.

9.)       It can be just as important to know what DID NOT cause your to visit the ER, as it can be frustrating to not know what did.

10.)     The cost of the adrenaline rush that gets you through the crisis is about 18 hours of sleep.

Trip to the ER – $400. Getting the new insurance cards the Monday before the emergency – Priceless. I, for one, am glad Obama Cares.

Spring!

•April 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Sleepy in the sunshine, blankey free.

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Topless *

•April 2, 2014 • 2 Comments

“Come on baby let’s get out of this town
I got a full tank of gas with the top rolled down”

 – M. Etheridge

This happened.

photo 1

            photo 4  photo 3

 photo 2

Happy April.

* What did you THINK I meant??