Tag Archives: miniature horses

Winter Unmotivation

11 Dec


As temperatures drop below freezing and dusk creeps ever closer to 4 pm, my motivation for doing anything with the horses diminishes.  I feel guilty, considering I grew up in Wisconsin (open a freezer and stand in it if you want the Wisconsin experience).

Now in a “mild climate” where a temp drop to 10 degrees is unusually cold, I’ve become a weather wimp.  I prefer to stay in where it’s warm.   When it drops below 40 degrees outside, I decide to stay in and let the horses eat some more hay.

After all, they need time to just be a horse, right?

Granted, a damp 40 degrees with soaking rain causes more hypothermia than a dry 40 degrees anywhere else.  Like Mark Twain said, “the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.”  Make that any season in Seattle.

You can dress warm in dry cold, but damp chill sneaks through the layers and right into your bones. Also the sun warms the landscape on a cold sunny day, whereas a dark gray chilly one provides no cosmic heat lamp to bask under.

So I guiltily watch the horses outside, knowing I could be working and training and even getting ready for some frigid winter shows.  We showed through a few winters just fine, but that was before I became a weather wimp.

The Last Blast of Summer

18 Aug

More Katie Pics

With the strange phenomenon called summer continuing, I haven’t been writing very much.  We haven’t seen much sun in recent years, so instead of being hunched up over a caffeinated beverage squinting in the gray gloom of the Pacific Northwest, I have been outdoors enjoying the sun.

And Katie, like Pigpen, emits a cloud of dust when she walks. Everything is dry.  It’s not quite dry enough to stop the grass from growing though. It’s green and dry. So we still have to mow.

The mornings are getting cold and fall is creeping up with the promise of chill and rain.  One day the sunshine will be over and the days will be viewed through windshield wipers and the hoods of raincoats.  It will be dark before 4 pm and not much brighter at noon.

Katie has one more show to humiliate me at this year.  It will be on Labor Day if we decide to go.  It depends on how much ego I need to burn if I will go.  People always think Katie looks cute as she humiliates me.

This show will involve jumping, so she will either fly over the jumps perfectly like she does at home or pretend to never have seen a jump in her life, stomp on my feet and knock over the ones she doesn’t refuse.  She might fly over one just to show she could do it if she wanted to.

We might also try Liberty class again.  In that class, I chase her around with a plastic bag on a stick while she spazzes out to Disco Inferno (her music).  Then I attempt to catch her when the music stops.  If she is really pissed off about being chased around with the plastic bag, she might not let me catch her.  Then we’d be disqualified.  Or she could want me to catch her and we’d get clapping and a ribbon.  Hopefully not a black ribbon, though.  She got a black ribbon for fourth place at the last show.  I put that one in the garage behind some stuff.

Katie makes sure I don’t get big ideas about winning fantastic prizes and world championships.   Every now and then she decides to be on my side and we end up with a good placing.  But I never expect one, because Katie’s not the kind of horse who aspires to worldly success.    World domination, maybe, but not worldly success.

Visiting Einstein

15 Feb


Miniature Horse Magic
Even though we have miniature horses at home, my kids begged to go see Einstein, the World’s Smallest Stallion, when he was scheduled to appear in Bellingham at Village Books.

So we piled into the car, checked the forecast to see how low the snow level was in Bellingham and set off.  Snow brushed the high hills around Lake Samish as we wound between the foothills of Chuckanut Mountain.

We parked on a slanted street in Fairhaven with the wind blasting off Puget Sound and made our way into the bookstore.  It was already crowded at quarter til two.  We snagged a spot in the downstairs meeting room near some side bookcases as people kept filing in until a sardine would have had trouble fitting.
The sea of humans parted to allow Einstein, a tiny black and white horse, to be led in.  By the time Einstein came in, people had piled in front of us so we could not see much.  I snapped this shot before he disappeared into the crowd.  His owner waved a tiny hoofprint stamp that would be used to sign his book.

The faces of kids and adults and adults lit up with joy as they watched Einstein. I wasn’t prepared for this.  My horses bring me joy, but I thought I was just a weird horse-obsessed person.  A small miniature horse was bringing joy to hundreds of not-horsey people just by being himself.  He wasn’t winning the Kentucky Derby or doing much besides eating a carrot chunk.  He did shake hands and do tricks, but the smiles happened before his tricks.

Einstein would then go out to the green for pictures and petting in the brutal northwest wind.  We rushed out to get a spot.  We were fifth in the line, as others stayed to get their books signed.  Forget books, we wanted the horse!

They popped a red blanket on Einstein, who in true miniature horse fashion, planted his face in the grass.

We got to pet him and took pictures.  The line extended long behind us as people of all ages were eager to get close to the miniature horse.

Miniature horses bring magic to people’s lives.  They don’t have to do anything but be themselves.  They don’t need to win races, prizes or ribbons.  They have something extra above and beyond big horses- they have a tiny scrap of magic to make up for their short stature.