"On the fourth day of Christmas,As my revamping of the 12 Days of Christmas continues, I can't pass up an opportunity to voice my gratitude for my four horses.
My true love gave to me:
4 calm equines,
3 fuzzy dogs,
2 flightless birds,
and an old farm in the country."
|Theo: My Big Buddy.|
Too often, upon discovering that I have horses, that I train them, or that I've written horse-themed books, someone will say, "Oh. I had horses once." (Occasionally, this sentence is modified to "I rode a horse once.") What follows inevitably is a tale of destruction, woe, and a near-death experience.
"It didn't want to leave the barn, see, 'cause that's where its friends were. We tried to take it out on the trail, but it took off for home. It ran about 56 miles an hour through an orchard. I held on for as long as I could, but..."
"He'd been a racehorse, see, so it didn't have any steering or brakes. Once I was riding it. My two little sisters and me were bareback on it. And the neighbor's dog came out and spooked it. It took off hell-bent for Sunday. We hung on as long as we could, but..."
The people who tell such tales come in all shapes, sizes and colors, but their stories are astoundingly similar. I always feel sorry for their lack of quality horse experience.
For me, the best part of having a horse is the relationship we have. I love walking out to the pasture and having a creature that weighs over a ton see me, leave his grass smorgasbord without a backward glance and come thundering up so I can scritch him.
Today, we have four fabulously Zen equines:
There are the two Percherons, Theo and Lily.
Hannah, the Quarter Horse / Paint, is my daughter's mare -- an honest babysitter if ever there was one.
And then there's butterball Birdie, a Welsh-something pony who rides and drives, and whose favorite place to be is in your pocket, looking for treats.
They're not deadheads -- far from it. All of them can get up and go far faster than I can move. But the wonderful thing is that when they choose to move, they do so as willing partners instead of trying to get away from me.
My horses are an integral part of my life. Their beauty, grace, strength, and trust provides me with a source of constant wonder. Every time I look out the window, my heart overflows with gratitude.