Where does my mind go drifting off to on a rainy days? I suppose that now, as compared to 6 months ago, it goes straight to the backyard.Prior to JoJo J. Pony becoming part of my life, I rather relished rainy days. Perfect for staying in, sipping tea, new magazine, crafting, drawing, catching up on cleaning, or organizing or just reading a good book. Now, in my mind's eye, I see two horses, standing outside in the rain, backed into their respective corners, heads held horizontally, sopping wet from top to mid belly; and looking so depressed you might suspect they'd lost their best friends. It's probably what horses the world over do on rainy days, but I never really gave it a thought until recently. Now I just feel sort of anxious on rainy days... willing them to go inside, and wishing they could just hunker into a nice pile of fresh shavings and read a good book. It's only the goat who has the good sense to stay inside when it precipitates. She'll have no part of getting wet, and is very content to stay inside and meditate while chewing her cud.
I'm sure that 'real' horse people would be chuckling and shaking their heads (at me), with a slight eye roll after reading this. "There horses"...I know, I know... They're fine. Well, just in case they are NOT fine with being wet, I towel him off with my giant beach towel when he comes in at night, and he seems to enjoy it! (this is what happens when amateurs own horses...)
I must say (not that anyone asked I realize) that in the last six months I have learned a lot. About myself, my husband, my friends and horses. The original title for this post was going to be "Of Horses and Husbands"... but just in case everyone out there read "Of Mice and Men"; I didn't want to give the mistaken impression anyone gets shot in this story. No, no, nothing like that.
When we got Cricket a few years ago, I didn't want a horse in our yard... I've always loved horses, but I didn't want to lose my garden... and couldn't grasp why we "needed" a miniature horse. Crazy husband...he doesn't think things thru.
Little did I know that a few years later I'd be digging up my entire back yard with a shovel, enlisting family and friends for hard labor too, and trying to re home my plants, making room for a pony for me. I should know me better by now. Even the most sensible among us apparently take leave of our senses every now and then. ...that day last summer when I met Traveler the big white Drum horse, and thought, "Awwww, he's so sweet you can hug his whole face!"....followed by, "I want one!" and so it began. Yes, that's right, it's all Travelers fault.
By the end of October, JoJo was ensconced in my former "garden" and was eating the last of my zinnias and flossing his behind on my pear tree. (less, literally ~ we have pictures...)
When you see horses on t.v., or in a field or in your friends back yard, or at a place that gives trail rides, or riding lessons, you don't think to yourself, "Wow, what an incredibly sensitive animal that is." At least I never did. I may have thought, "Wow, what a gorgeous creature!" or "Wow, he's HUGE" or even "Wow, so tiny and cute!" or the "*sigh*, maybe someday I'll have one..."
Horses look big, brave and strong from a distance.... but just beneath that seemingly tough exterior ~ there is a mooshy center. They are sensitive, emotional, moody, will push your buttons for sport, test you, step on you, try your patience, try to get away with things when they think you aren't looking...and whack you with their giant heads if you annoy them. (please, someone tell me I'm not the only one who sees the similarities between horses and husbands/men... except for the part about whacking you with their giant heads...) Yes, this is the part that almost gave this post it's title. I'm astounded by the similarities between them. One of them is enough, of horses and husbands. I just can't imagine having more than one of either, nor can I imagine ever replacing the ones I have.
To love such a sensitive creature, (human or animal) despite all the emotions, ups and downs, fears and uncertainties and in JoJo's case a serious language barrier.... well it's quite a thing. Much like having a significant other, the all encompassing emotional commitment of a horse is huge! Unlike your average dog, who loves you unconditionally a horse seems to have more human qualities and takes what you say to heart, and if you offend ~ it won't soon be forgotten. Everyone who knows horses says you have to be the herd leader, even if it's a herd of two. So, me being me ~ I explain to him quite regularly that we are a team, a partnership of sorts, BUT ~ I get 51%. I've toyed with having it put on a t-shirts for us.... That's probably not what "they" (the horse people) meant. One of the many things I've learned is I can't be someone I'm not. I'm not a dominant person... so "standing my ground" and acting bigger than I am doesn't come naturally. So instead, I talk to much, and explain things in full sentences (just like I do for the rest of the critters) and ask him nicely to pick up his feet, and then thank him and praise him profusely for it and every single other thing that goes even remotely well... little things DO mean a lot. Perhaps my approach to my new found horsewomanship is unorthodox, but it's all mine...
If you had asked me a few months ago how things were going, I'd have probably started sobbing....( yes, it's true ~ just ask my ever patient husband! (who, no, I would not replace)....) Now... I feel better about things... and JoJo ~ and the life altering decision to bring home a pony for me to ride... (I've no confidence, and am terrible at riding too, as it turns out, go figure.)
Such a big, huge, wide learning curve this thing called life is.
So I will end this rambling with words of thanks, to the friends and family and my wonderful Hubby for all the help and support (moral and otherwise) for getting me thru the last 6 or so months of my life altering decision to get myself a little pony.
Horses know nothing of money, status, beauty or accomplishment... Horses see only our hearts, and they accept or reject us based on what they find within. In short, horses do naturally what humans can pass a lifetime without ever mastering.
- Mary Midkiff