Time shift.

1 Dec



we moved our humble herd of 3 to a new location that also functions as a horse rescue.  It is brighter, cleaner, and friendlier. Cash lives between a mini donkey and a rescue filly named Star.  


I have learned more about horses in the last two and a half weeks on the ground than I learned in thirteen years in the saddle. 


My nostrils and nail beds have compounded mystery dirt collections.


Today a coat of polish to the visual tunes of blue and purple hues helps me overlook

the concoctions buried in the ends of my fingers and the orifices of my face. 


The scent of peppermints, leather, and manure has happily reacquainted itself with my car seats and clothing. 


I have been riding since I was ten.

I have done Dressage tests for training and simple pleasure.

I have jumped, trailed, ridden cross-country courses, ridden bareback in water,participated in mounted games, and volunteered for therapeutic riding programs.

I have ridden draft horses to ponies.

I have ridden doornails to the spooktackular.


I was a good rider.

I was taught how to balance, bend and cue, collect, extend, propel, when to push, when to release.


I was taught how to be a good student, much like my experience with higher education. 


I got made fun of for my tight pants, tall boots, chaps, whips, whatever attire or equipment happened to be around, out of sync with acceptable  fashion, and in sight. 


A few years later every girl wants to get their hands on a pair of tight pants and tall boots because that has become the trend. 


I am currently looking down at my completely beaten up and broken in field boots. These are not an empty fashion statement for me. This is a lifestyle. I don’t do this because it makes me look good or fits with what Vanity Fair says is the fleeting flavor of the season. 


A couple weeks ago my barn buddy hopped into the car reading a text and relayed the message. There was a free horse to a good home near our barn. We were supposed to go window shopping for saddles that day, but quickly redirected our mission to window shop for free horses. 


I was met by a bay bundle of National Show Horse trying to fit himself into my pocket. 


We were told that he simply could not stand up to the rigors of being a school horse due to a previous injury that he had recovered from. Otherwise he was safe and sound with a fancy show record, pedigree, and thorough vet records. 


He practically floated through the field when I let him loose. 


I rode him once. He felt a little “off” though I was assured that he was healthy and was told his singular shoe was causing him to move awkwardly, but was certainly not a lameness issue. He moved forward willingly without fuss or change in tempo unless I asked for it. He seemed to be extremely cautious and fearful of the barn owner’s husband but responded to my cues as well as others without much hesitation.


Despite something telling me this was NOT a good idea, I felt he should be given a chance and I should not turn down this once in a lifetime opportunity. The barn seemed friendly and honest, though also in quite a hurry to get rid of him because they needed his stall for another horse.


A conversation with his  owner before the schooling barn revealed an unresolved medical history with lameness issues in both front legs.


I had his last lone shoe removed and a vet visit.


Our vet visit ended in an open, undetermined, although decidedly LAME diagnosis, prescription of stall rest, hand walking, bute, and tranquilizers, and recommendation of nerve blocks, x-rays, and ultrasounds.


I politely declined the tranquilizers and reluctantly took the bute.  


Stall rest for my 4 year old half Arab(which I do not like to use as a crutch personality tag, though fits the cliché bill some days) results in squirrels I lovingly refer to as Zipper and Mortimer taking over my horse’s brain that tell him to bolt, rear, bite, and then refuse to do anything involving his stall.


My years of riding experience barely prepared me for a horse of my very own. My “education” especially did not prepare me for an animal with possible serious leg issues that I have a sneaking suspicion are the cause of his unpleasant behavioral outbursts.  


My close friends, family, and knowledgeable strangers have been my guides in this crash course in horse ownership.  


I could not do this without their support and am forever grateful.  


Fortunately, consistent quality time with our horse has resulted in slow, but obvious progress. We are going to give the little man a break for the winter and work on ground manners and our relationship  while we figure out what’s going on with his health.  





6 Responses to “Time shift.”

  1. arlee December 3, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    my dear julie….
    you have done an amazing thing with cash.
    and i am so glad & feel blessed that i have been able to be by your side throughout our whole little ordeal hehe.
    now there will be somedays, probably lots of days just like i have, when you look at cash in his “zipper and mortimer” mode haha and think ‘what was i thinking when i bought him?!”
    but just like with moon, i honestly think that cash was meant to be in your life, just like how moon was thrown into mine.
    i know you and cash have many amazing days ahead of you.
    im so blessed to have you as a friend. i love you!

  2. Cheryl December 1, 2008 at 5:00 pm #

    I’m glad you did this. It’s lovely.

  3. Chris December 1, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    how proud i am that your words coagulated in such a beautiful and simple way.
    even knowing all this, it is wonderful to read like a story.

    i love you.

  4. seestor December 1, 2008 at 2:53 am #

    i wish we lived closer together….say the west coast….so that i could be an active part of daily living.


  1. Mr. Bump « - July 4, 2010

    […] Cash’s right front leg. We’ve had issues here before, but this past Tuesday he was brought in from the field with swelling that looked like a nerf […]

  2. A study in black, white, and grey. « - June 5, 2010

    […] have come a long way and I am excited to see where life leads us […]

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