Archive | June, 2013

Equidae

27 Jun

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golden light with endless shine
the world’s colors intertwined
a longing spreads from distant lands
moving now beneath my hands

I cannot catch this fleeting thing
that grabs my soul and makes it sing
it travels with me where I go
and haunts me how I cannot know

When others left their past behind
mine travelled with me in my mind
I turn my head and hear the sound
of thundering hoofbeats ‘cross the ground

I grab a mane and hold on tight
riding wildly through the night
pausing now atop a hill
the world around me silent and still

and in the morning light I see
there is a horse here now with me
he is old and so am I
but on the wind we still can fly

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Ownership a.k.a. So You Want a Farm?

27 Jun

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Everything you own also owns you.  When I was young and poor, this made sense.  It also kept envy at bay.  I was proud of my garage-sale table- it came traffic cone orange and took three coats of brown paint to tone it down.   It was one of my few pieces of furniture.

With ownership comes responsibilities.  Everything inanimate needs dusting, maintenance and to be moved around.  Everything alive needs to be fed, cleaned up after and cared for.

Let’s take a farm for example.  Those cute children’s books don’t show all the poop that farm animals produce.  Or the overgrown grass that results if you attempt to leave your property for a few hours during growing season.  Soon the farm you bought owns you.  For better or worse.  In sickness and in health.  104 fever?  No problem- go feed the animals- they’re waiting.  They don’t have a fever.

Like so many girls, I dreamed of my own farm.  But I should have known better.  I grew up on a farm.  So I knew.  But my farm was going to be different.  In my mind, it would be small.  Just a hobby, not a living.  But no matter how small your farm is, it’s still a farm.  Mine is too small for a tractor but has work that needs a tractor.  So I do a lot of hauling with a wheelbarrow.  And last year had to hire someone with a tractor to move Mt. Manure and dump it on the pasture.  I could no longer scale Mt. Manure with my wheelbarrow.

Ideally, I should have gotten a slightly bigger property and a tractor.  And maybe had neighbors further away.  They built a big fence to not look at my horses.  So there are days when I think about moving to a condo and having one houseplant.  Or an RV and having no houseplants, but migrating around seeing new vegetation and antelope or other wild things.  Things that I don’t have to clean up after.

But I know I’d miss the view, the birds and the peace of mornings on the farm.  And what would I do with Katie?  Get an extra bedroom in the condo for her?

Katie Explains Why It Is Important to Express Your Feelings

23 Jun

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Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse or pony.

Dear Katie,  I am 45 inch tall Shetland pony.  My people keep dressing me in costumes and saying I am going to win at the Fair.  I don’t want to win.  Last time I won, the kid leading me stabbed me in the side with the trophy.  I know it was an accident, but I still want revenge.  What can I do?  Signed, Crabby Shetland

Dear Crabby,  I understand your problem, as I, too have been dressed in many costumes.  The best way to deal with being stabbed with a trophy is to bite the person immediately.  If you express your feelings, you will not have to suffer and waste time planning revenge.  – Katie

Katie Didn’t Win the Shampoo

9 Jun

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Katie went to an open horse show today and came home with a second and fourth in halter and second in trail-in hand.  Those were good placings, but her pasturemate outdid her by winning a bottle of anti-fungal horse shampoo!  You could only receive this special prize if you won a blue ribbon.  However, since Katie has no fungus, she was OK with Gypsy winning the big prize!

Riding vs. Driving

3 Jun

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I was the usual horse crazy girl, and riding is a great joy of my life.  I cantered, galloped and trotted through my teen years on a bay QH, a roan half Arab and my neighbor’s barrel horse, Pat.

As an adult, it was harder to ride.  Things like time, money and a creeping sensation called fear got in the way.   It’s also something that only one person can do at a time.   One person per horse.  In a family, you want to do things together.  Only one other person in my family rides, so that leaves everyone else out.

Then I discovered driving.  I always wanted to do it.  I loved the clink of their harnesses and clop of feet.  The Jethro Tull song “Heavy Horses” always had me crying before the track was half over.

But I have no space for a draft horse.  We live an an expensive area and are lucky to have a tiny patch of pasture in the country.

A nice lady taught me to drive her big horses, not drafts, but one was pushing 16 hands.  Then I got a tiny trained driving mini off CL and away we went.  I soon discovered driving involved the whole family.  Everyone wanted to drive the mini.  He could pull two kids in the cart and babysit the newest beginner.  In a pinch, he could pull me and my daughter a short distance.

Other people also are fascinated by horses in harness.  I think it’s a vestige of a simpler time, when gasoline fumes and loud engines didn’t obscure the sound of the countryside.  You can get places still hearing the songs of birds, and are serenaded by the rhythmic clop of hooves on hard earth.

You can take a passenger or two in the cart (depending on how big your horse is). People like to visit the horse, help with harness, hang around a quiet driving horse.  To be a driving equine, your horse (or mule, or donkey)  must be a quiet, well-behaved creature.  Driving horses are the cream of the crop of calm, smart and good-mannered creatures.

Driving is the most social equine activity in some ways, because your friend can come along, even if they don’t ride.  Everyone likes a drive in the countryside. The only downsides are that drivers are few and far between so it can be hard to find other drivers to trail drive with, and fewer trails are appropriate for a cart theses days.  In flatter parts of the country, that is not a problem.