Of Horse

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Plan B?
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Plan B?

“I didn’t have a plan ‘B.’” –Waiting to Exhale

This old Whitney Houston movie is a story about how to go on in your life without the love of your life. Love is supposed to be forever but we all know it has a physical expiration date which is mentioned in wedding vows, “Til death do us part.”

Sadly death had suddenly and unexpectedly parted Sportie and me. Other girls at the stables rode a few different horses, but all I had ever wanted was him. I had only ridden another horse a couple of times in the past three years when Sportie had a bad cut from some kind of unknown horseplay out in the field.

“‘Only The Shadow knows’ what goes on in that pasture at night,” the owner of the stable laughed.

I had ridden Misty a couple of times since losing Sportie, but she already had a regular rider. Peaches didn’t, however. I gazed at her in her stall, as she stood at the window to her neighbor and best friend, Sunny. Over the years I had gotten serious attitude from mares and wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with that. Sportie had been a tall, dark gelding who instantly stole my heart and Peaches was just a short, cute strawberry roan. I didn’t see a future with her, but she hadn’t been ridden in a while and I wanted to ride so that’s what we did.

When I had groomed Misty last week, I automatically took extra time to scratch behind her front legs. Sportie always loved that, but Misty had turned to look at me as if asking, “What are you doing back there? Stop.” As I groomed Peaches for the first time and scratched that same spot enthusiastically, she stretched her neck out in pleasure. I find change very hard so was relieved that was one grooming habit I could keep doing.

Once I was in the saddle I found her a sweetheart to ride. She listened and was compliant as I steered with my legs and was soft with my hands. Even though her legs weren’t as long as those of my riding partner Mary’s gelding, she kept up with him at the trot and had a quick but smooth canter. By the time I dismounted she had completely dissolved my aversion to mares and redheads.

As I thanked her for the ride with a hug and a treat I thought, “Well that was easy, and easy is fun… I could get used to this. Maybe I could even like this riding thing again.”


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  1. The Chastain Farm
    I love this! I work alot with rescue horses. My way of destressing. My way of giving love back to a beautiful creature who so deserves to be loves. I read this one, as I have recently, on 12/23/17, lost my father to bladder cancer, complications from surgery. He was my best friend. And I, always a daddy's girl am heart broken. I've not yet had a chance to go work with my adopted children. With funeral planning, the service, trying to help my mother with everything, working full time and of course caring for my family, I just haven't been able to. My favorite horse to work with is a blind mare. Now, not all ofbthe horses I work with are rescues of course. But, I have a heart I suppose due to being an adult survivor of violence, at the hand of my birth mother. I know the feeling of abandonment, not being good enough, So I guess that is why I love them so much. She doesn't really work well with others, she's joined up with another horse and she is her seeing eye horse. But as far a people, she doesn't care to be around them, much less let them groom her. Her main and tail were so horribly knotted with burs that they wanted to cut it all off. Scalp her. I refused. I was told that either I get them out or it was coming off. Well, I worked for about three hours. Slowly, talking to her, whispering, loving on her. She never once pulled away. And by the time we were done, she had the most beautiful tail and mane of any of the others. It was sort of like she sensed it as well. She had a little more confidence. It's funny, she knows the sound of my vehicle. If I drive something different, she's out in the field and she will hear me holler my hello inside the door of the stable, and her she comes, her slow, graceful walk, her trail that she has made, without sight. My heart just melts. I can't wait to go get some of my horse therapy, and can't wait to open up my broken heart to her and another older gelding. When he looks at me, he sees my soul. Amazing gifts horses bring us, If only every one knew and could understand that... Thank you for sharing. Happy 2018 and Happy Horse Time! ?????
    1. Jayne Thurber-Smith
      Jayne Thurber-Smith
      No, I thank you for sharing. So sorry for your loss but so happy that you know the healing power of hanging out with horses. One of my favorite memes is a lady holding her adopted kitten, saying “He thinks I rescued him but he’s got it backwards.”

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