Tag Archives: writing

Equidae

27 Jun

DSC01063

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

This material is copyright and not to be reproduced without permission of the author.

Katie Understands Writer’s Block

18 Apr

DSC05329

Katie understands the unique challenges of being a miniature horse.

Dear Katie, I am a 35 inch tall miniature horse.  I would like to write a book.  But I have no idea what to write about.  Or how to write.  What can I do? – signed Writer’s Block

Dear Writer’s Block, the best way to get really good ideas is to escape your fence and go wander around the neighborhood looking for food.  That’s what I do.  If you are lucky, someone will think you’re cute and give you carrots.  Or try to bribe you and catch you with grain.  If not,  you can just eat someone’s garden.  – Katie

The Possibilities are Endless

22 Mar

DSC07920

This is not horse related, but it is art related.  Since everything is related, I guess it’s a post about everything. 

As a homeschool parent, you don’t receive many kudos.  Make that no kudos.  Society assumes you are Amish or hoarding an arsenal of weapons and cracked wheat.

Oh, well.  I’m used to being different. People homeschool for all kinds of reasons in this day and age.  There are millions of homeschooled kids, most of them successful, happy and can hope to be accepted to college and hold jobs.  If they really want to stockpile cracked wheat, they can do that, too.  The possibilities are endless.

But back to kudos.  One of my kids received awards in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition.  She likes to write and make art.   I submitted her work as her “teacher” because of course there has to be a teacher.

Today I received a lovely Made in China (yes, large letters informed me of that in case I had any ideas that the pin was manufactured elsewhere) Teacher Award Pin from Scholastic.

A nice letter thanked me for my “daily efforts in the classroom and the fundamental role I  play in the nurturing of the talents, abilities and personal vision of my students.”

Wow!!!  No one has ever thanked me for that before.  Well, Scholastic did last year.  But no one else ever has.  I don’t even have a classroom.  I think we will keep entering Scholastic as long as we homeschool.   I am feeling really important about now.

Yes, I know the pin is upside down.  Well, I know now. 

Where Katie Came From

8 Feb

DSC03127

Katie’s, like any horse’s story, is full of enough gaps to allow a storyteller to fill them in with magnificent drama.  But I won’t.  The bare bones are there.  I know where she was born, and when she came to Washington, and snatches before that.

So, being a writer by nature, I will tell her story doing the best to stick the facts, but I never let facts get in the way of storytelling.  An emptiness of facts is a chasm to fill with words.  It is a blank wall begging to be written or drawn on.  Was is a fact anyway?  Before we had books, cameras or recorders there was only word of mouth and drawing.  All of these things made the past a myth.  That was part of its magic.  The past was fluid, mobile, unconstraining– a playdough of possibility.  Just like the future.  Today, the past is a solid, stoic thing, written in stone, unrelenting, a heavy burden we all carry with bent backs.

Like so many things in the modern world, in our attempt to make things easier we have burdened ourselves with clutter.  Mental and physical.  We carry the past with us as if we could make it a tangible thing, bring it to life in some strange ceremony.  Boxes of photos, scrapbooks, memorabilia, old tax forms.  Even magazines.  Every person of a certain age has a backlog of National Geographics in the basement.

Our inability to let go of the past and let the past be the past, let the past be a story, a myth, an amorphous thing has prevented us from being light and free in the future.

But back to Katie.  I have some facts, courtesy of her registration papers.  The rest is a story told by her previous owner.  I also googled her ancestry.  My journalism degree haunts me- I must delve and research, possibly interview people in order to be happy.  I like stories.

Katie was born in Branson, Missouri in spring 1994 on a miniature horse farm.  Her mother had the auspicious name of Jandts Pinto Pantry.  The Jandt’s line has its own mythology – supposedly Mr. Jandt bred these miniature horses down from Arabians to create a mini Arab.  Katie has indeed been mistaken for an Arab- she has a true Arab head, as do many Welsh ponies.  In the mountains of Wales, Arabian studs were turned loose to improve the stocky native ponies.  To me Katie looks a like a Welsh Mountain pony with pinto coloring who has been shrunk down a bit.  Quite a bit, as she is about 34” at the last hair of her mane.

Next I have another fact.  She somehow made it to Idaho and lived there for a few years before ending up in a herd of 25 minis in Washington, where the lady I bought her from found her.  The minis basically ran wild.   Katie was apparently pregnant because she had a foal for the new owner.

The lady I bought Katie from, let’s call her Maggie, wanted a mini as a mascot for her stable.  She saw Katie in the herd of 25 miniature horses and wanted only her.   The owner refused to sell Katie–she was one of the five she was going to keep.  Maggie said she only wanted Katie and she’d leave if she couldn’t buy her.  The elderly owner’s husband said she needed to get rid of 20 minis,  so she finally she sold Katie to Maggie for $1500.

Maggie cleaned Katie up, bought her a blanket for winter, and used her as mascot for kids who were afraid of big horses.   Fast forward some years.  The riding stable had been retired and the horses, too.  We bought Katie.  (See previous post “Why I have Miniature Horses” for this part).

Katie’s story doesn’t end.  I decided one fall that every horse I owned needed a job and Katie would be better at a home where she’d be able to be more of a mascot again.  I wanted to drive (cart and horse), and Katie didn’t like to drive, though we had trained her.   I found her a home where she was supposed to be used for little 4-Hers, to help veterans and maybe have a foal.  I cried most every day the winter she was gone, but thought she would be happier there.  It was a beautiful property with a 4-H leader.

Emails said they loved her and she was doing well.

One day in Spring I got a call.  Come get Katie, they said.  They didn’t want her anymore.  They said she was a terror.  So I drove over and found a pathetic Katie all alone and dirty with overgrown, chipped hooves and scruffy coat.  She was in good health, though she looked nothing like the pampered pet I had dropped off in the fall.  She had no halter, fortunately I brought one.  I took her home and her old friend mini, Macho, whinnied for her and they began joyously grooming.  We gave a bath and braided her and gave her vitamins to improve her coat.

So, I have learned that every horse doesn’t have to be useful in our human definition of use.  Katie may not drive, but she has a use.  She is Katie.  She goes on walks.  She makes us smile.  A dog or cat (especially a cat) doesn’t have a real use, but we still love them.  I had to step out of the horse world into my own world to define how I see my animals.  Katie has taught me a lot.  My own mistakes have taught me the most.  In every area of my life, the most embarrassing mistakes of my past have been my greatest teachers.  My worst moments in hindsight may have been the best.  But I don’t want to carry the past as a solid thing, because then I can’t walk around it, through it and remold it into something positive.  I regret sending Katie to a new home.  But I did learn from it, and Katie is back to her old self.  She has had many travels and homes in her life.  I hope to keep her here from now on.

Maybe Katie is part Arab.  She’s a one-person horse.  I’m pretty much her person.  It’s another one of those journeys where you end up in a place that’s different than you intended to go, but it’s all good once you declutter the idea that you were supposed to end up somewhere else.   The detritus of modern living is more than just physical trash, it’s also the mental vestiges of what “should be” imposed upon “what is.”