A Horse’s Thanksgiving

What a horse is thankful for
Good food
Clean water
A job to do
A safe environment
Shoes when my feet hurt
Shade when it’s hot
Breezes in summer
Sun in winter

Translation for humans
Good food – You’re late.
Clean water – Water tastes so much better after being carried in a bucket.
A job to do – A job that I understand, not what you think I ought to understand by now. Or even what I understood yesterday.
A safe environment – You would be amazed what I can hurt myself on.
Company – Alert! Alert! Abandoned foal in barn! Come back! Come back!
Carrots – More. Now. Let me check your pockets to be sure.
Scratchies – Don’t stop!
Shoes when my feet hurt – Custom-fitted by an expert who still makes housecalls.
Grass – Onion breath.
Shade when it’s hot – Nap time!
Breezes in summer – A fan will do nicely thank you.
Sun in winter – Pit stains when it’s too cold to bathe.

What is your horse (cat, dog, spouse) thankful for this year?
Gratutious Kitten Pic


Pictured, a temporary splint made of Vetrap to keep me from using my swollen thumb. Effect on my life:

Typing: Not a problem since I’ve never been a 10-fingered typist.

Writing with implements: Completely problematic. Using my thumb for lateral pressure is exactly what I can’t do. Well, I can. but I deeply do not wish to. This doesn’t affect work since I draft on the keyboard. It does affect list-making, which means no TO DO list and therefore no illusion of control over my universe.

Barn: Don’t even notice it. I guess I’m not doing very much opposable at the barn these days.

Riding: Right out. I would have ridden Previous Horse with a few fingers on the reins but not Rodney (if I was), nor Mathilda (when I was), nor any American Saddlebred I just met.

The annoying part, aside from the pain and loss of function, is that I have NO idea what I did to cause this. No bug bite, no odd motions in retrospect, no gentle tap that shouldn’t merit this level of repercussion. I did that recently to a finger. I caught it at an awkward angle against the kitchen counter. It was a tiny tug but in a direction fingers are not designed to go. Took days to heal. None of this happened to my thumb. Just a slow-growing, out-of-proportion level of pain that started around bedtime Saturday night. Weird.

Your most bizarre injury?
Gratuitous Kitten Pic


Percy (striped face, right) had no interest in the door until Rhyme tried it over the weekend.

Sense of Smell, Sense of Place

Now that the horses are living in, we are discovering the wonderful world of shavings. It’s amazing how fast a new bag of fresh shavings time warps me back to horse show stabling. Even the smell of pine in a lumber yard will do.

Leather is another classic horse smell. I get a little punchy in tack stores, or even upscale shoe stores.

The flip side of a stall fluffed with fresh shavings is that same stall the next morning. Mathilda has a divot in her pen that collects and concentrates her effluvium. After only a day or two, the bottom can smell like an week-long overdue stall. This transports me nowhere. There is a desperate here and now feeling to offensive smells.

Where do smells take you?
Gratuitous Kitten Pic

Top ‘O The World

Do We Even Know What Is Good For Us?

new horse. I’m convinced it will revitalize my life. What if I’m wrong?

Part of the momentum behind my epic, two-year tailspin with Rodney is that he was brought on as a solution. At that point, my life, in a word, sucked. A few bits were okay, but many sectors of my life were floating at the top of the tank. Nothing that doesn’t happen every day, but they happened to me and they happened all at once. I couldn’t use B to distract myself from A, while trying to adjust to C at the same time.

So, I would throw money at a big, fancy horse and submerge my pain under a pile of blue acetate. Even if we ignore the superficial & materialist elements of that plan, it wasn’t a long shot. An active competition horse would give me a reason to drag myself out of the house on a daily basis, expose me to like-minded people at lessons & shows, and give the screaming monkeys new poo to fling. If nothing else, riding would wear me out. Never underestimate exhaustion as a distraction from angst. Instead, Rodney brought a whole host of new reasons to ratchet up the anxiety & self-doubt, while still leaving me time to gnaw on old bones.

Was it fair to expect any horse to solve all my problems then? Is it fair to expect so now? I remember being happy with a horse to ride. What if my memory is faulty? Perhaps I am selectively remembering the few moments of harmony and repressing the numerous frustrating days of bad weather, bad footing, &/or bad riding. What if I get a horse & nothing changes? What if I’m simply at a point in my life where I’m cranky and grumpy about everything, new horse included? Human nature has been known to seek false solutions or crave that which is not good for us.

OTOH, I have been continuously involved with horses for 35 years, and intermittently prior to that. People who love me & have my best interests at heart believe that a new horse would make me happy. Hubby is convinced that my having a useful horse would make his life immeasurably better. I see no way forward other than to get a horse & find out if that was the answer. Still, it’s a question worth asking.

When you got what you wanted, did it help?
Gratuitous Kitten Pic