Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sharing of thoughts...

Triggered by raindrops.

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




  1. wow, Melody, this post comes at such a perfect time! You must watch the movie 'Buck' if you haven't already!! Check my blog a few days ago for a review and the trailer. This man talks exactly about what you're's all about love and emotions.
    When we board horses here in the summer I always lead them into the barn when it rains. I guess I'm like you thinking "aren't you tired of getting rained on?". And our goats would run a mile to get out of the rain with their heads bowed down so as not to get wet!! So silly!
    I never thought about it but yes husbands can be quite similar.

  2. Well said Mel ... look at the change you've gone through. I am impressed. I never thought of horses and men having the same ways to manipulate you but when you described JoJo I thought you were talking about men ;-))))
    Anyway, it's nice to read that you are more comfortable with JoJo now and that you finally stopped sobbing on a daily basis. Can't wait for the next horse to join your family, or cow, or pig, or elephant .. ;-)

  3. Hi Melody,
    It looks as if you have found a friend for life in Jo Jo... Enjoy!
    What a great story... Thank you for sharing

  4. Hi Melody - its been a pleasure watching your journey from afar (and hearing your story when you have been more confident to tell of the downs and ups!)
    I'm sure I'd feel the same about the rain if I'd a beautiful creature in my back garden!
    Ali x

  5. Melody, What a great post of pure expression about you and your journey of understanding Jojo and perhaps even yourself better. So well said from the heart. You and your lovely beautiful sensitive pony have bonded immensely in this journey . Its good for you both to be accepted for who you are with the mutual meeting in the middle as that seems to work well for both of you ... I having always been a fan of unorthodox myself . Don't sell yourself short in your abilities you've made great strides and stayed true to your own nature, and taken Jojo's nature into account too. I just saw your riding helper, whom I happen to know personally , and she said YOU ARE doing a wonderful job riding and doing thing even some of her seasoned horse friend can't (hmm) She firmly said you are coming right along spledidily and even do figure eights calmly between meandering chickens. She also said Mr Jojo very much adores you . Cheers to you and Jojo and your journey ! Ps if dote on your hubby as well as you care for and try to understand your pony ... your hubby is a lucky man indeed. Such a wonderful sensitive soul you are :)

  6. Well that sounds like an emotional roller coaster of a ride you've been on these past months. I'm not a huge horse fan, as in horses in general, after being clonked on the head by one(as you describe) and also experiencing my first horseride, in which he decided he was going the opposite way down the road to everyone else, off we trotted along a busy road :) But I can appreciate how heart rending it can be. I do admire you with your little zoo, because I know it must take some doing, it must be very hard work and emotional too. I struggle with one ageing dog, who decides he might just sit out in the rain?? never done this before?? COME IN, looks at me with big brown eyes, I think, there's something wrong, then as soon as the biscuit packet rustles, whiz, he's in like a flash, all puppyfied and ready to do any trick! Hope you enjoy wonderful new experiences this spring/summer with all the menagerie!

  7. Wow....what a time of it...and it sounds like JoJo was meant to be. So glad you found each other! (and if it makes you feel better to pull out a towel after the rain, well, I bet he loves it too!)

  8. Hi Melody - what a great post about the beginning of a wonderful relationship! I really enjoyed it. I've never had a horse but I have enjoyed horse riding in the past and I think it's wonderful to have the opportunity to do it right "in your own backyard!" Guess what - the bags came! Yaaaaaay!!! They're awesome, and one will be going to my Mom for mother's day. Really pleased and just love your darling artwork!

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  10. Hi Melody....thanks for coming by my blog and for your lovely comment and kind words. I just finished reading your post above and I have to tell you this is absolutely soooooooooooo SWEET!!!! You have touched my heart and knowing so much more now about how sensitive and sweet horses are and your end quote....well....I just needed to read that today and it is oh,so true.
    You write so beautifully and your words bring thoughts of my own melancholy and rainy day things that I do too. Also, your flower photos in your other post are just gorgeous....Spring has finally arrived here in Maine and I'm loving every minute of it. Someday maybe if we are out your way I'd love to stop and see your sweet and loving horse. Have a beautiful day.