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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." (Colossians 3:15a NIV)I would love to hear from you, if you don't have a blog you can still comment, join google it's free. I appreciate hearing from you.

Friday, October 14, 2011

More about Lady..............

My horse was named Lady....and she was NOT!!!!. A lady that is. We have had some good times together her and I. When I was almost 40 I decided I would like to learn to ride. I signed up for a few lessons for myself and also my kids. We only went a few times before the boarding place was sold. The horses too. So I bought Lady who was my lesson horse, for 600 dollars. I was told she was 16 years old. I also bought a 1/2 share in another horse named Spyder. My friend Mary was the co-owner and said mine was the back half.
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Well, we had some good rides and some not so good rides. Spyder was more of a gentleman but the boys rode him. It was great taking the boys out and watching them learn to ride. Sometimes Laura came too, but not often as she was married by then. We would go out on the trails and fields around Golden Valley and I can still see us all in my minds eye. The kids grew up and my friend and I shared Spyder until he died at a good old age. I remember once he had "an impaction"....the vet said go get enemas and so I did. Six of them, I felt compelled to tell the cashier that they were not for me. Anyway, never having had the need of an enema I was not aware that you should get the air out of the syringe before sticking it up the horses butt. Well I think I almost blew out Spyders eyeballs with the first couple the pressure was that great, but he was very good about it and it did the trick too. We had to take turns walking him around and around, and I also had to put my hand/arm up his bum a few times to drag stuff out to move the blockage, but in the end it worked really well but was not one of my prouder moments. Poor old Spyder.
Lady and I with my friend Mary would go on trail rides through the woods. We would plod along on the way out with lady and Captain both eating the leaves along the way very relaxed and contented. There was an alterior motive for that because when they let go of the branch it would wipe us across the face. Did I say she had a sense of humour? well she did!!!. I am sure she would say to Captain "watch this" and snicker. Like when I started to learn to jump........we always started at a trot and would come up to the jump all enthusiastic and nicely balanced to go over and she would stop dead and start eating grass. Lucky for me I was balanced enough to stop too and looking like a limpet on a log, unlike my friend Mary who would sail over the jump without her horse. Captain and Lady shared the same humour you see. The little kids at the stable held a wedding for them they had been together so long. So it was that Lady and Captain got married. She even had a veil and Captain a bow tie.
Captain would enjoy it when we went out into the fields for our lessons instead of the arena. We would go around nicely in a circle learning to perfect the moves we were learning or whatever it was we were practicing then all of a sudden Captain would stop and casually eat grass. Mary would very elegantly slide down his neck and plop to the ground in front of him whereapon he would give a huff and snort and trot off as if to say "you just dont learn do you". She didn't either. I dont know how many times Mary was told not to feed the horse in the tie stall while grooming but she knew best and continued to do that until one day I saw her come sailing out into the barn landing on her bum in the aisle. "Well" she said." He has never done that before." as she walked off nursing her bruised posterior and ego.

Lady on the other hand was always trying to out wit me, not too difficult really......but I was a little more aware than Mary. I never did learn to canter. Lady would get going nicely until I was almost confident and then she would quickly change direction, run into the center of the arena and stop dead with me hanging on her side. "Dont let her so that" my instructor would say...........well listen woman the horse is bigger than me and she does what she wants. Not exactly true because I have seen 6 year olds canter the old bag with no trouble whatsoever. Its just me she has fun with.
Her relationship with me?. She was always the boss and was paid in carrots and apples upon demand.
I have to say that I thought that riding would come natural, it looks so easy. Then I got on for the first time and found out its not that simple. I am still puzzled about that. You are not a passenger you are supposed to be in control, to guide, to command.
It was not at all as I thought I mean, you have to learn another language. I ride English and its all control with seat and leg......well its supposed to be. Lady learned English really well especially the word NO........ as in "You want me to do what? NO!!!"....shes not so good with the rest of the language unless it involves food. I do know this........she could read my mind. On the positive side we never ever had a problem catching our horses to come inside to "work". They knew there would be lots of carrots and apples and other treats. In fact the other horses would volunteer to come in as well.
I must confess I have a problem with forcing my will upon an animal. She knew it. She took advantage of it and she laughed. I loved being with her, grooming her, the smell of her. I love that warm furry smell of hay and horse sweat. Walking with her. Yes some days when she was older I would just walk with her and not ride at all, so we would both get exercize. She was a large puppy on a leash. Just being with her was a privilege.

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Lady had a great life and she lived to be 41. When I would clean the stalls I would leave her loose outside and when she was done with her breakfast she would come back inside to bug me until I give her more food or a treat. She lived at a friends house at the end of her days with two nice big fields and two friends. So there were just 3 stalls to clean and she would come in and hang out with me. Go through my pockets if she could........and get into the hay and grain bins if she could before I saw her. Nothing like bending over and having a horse push your butt so you almost fall flat.

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I wonder if she remembered our days out on the trails, jumping logs and exploring places with Spyder and Captain. Both of them have been gone now for quite some time. She would be very slow and plodding on the way out and we would ride for an hour, sometimes longer, but the witch knew when we changed direction and would try to rush home. So the ride back consisted of lots of tight little circles and running up hills to get her to slow up some. I loved her running up the hills but admit that I hated coming down again and we would ride as much along the tops as we could until I could find the gentlest slope back to even ground.
I remember one day she ran away with me I have no idea why. I actually got a good canter going and thought "hey this is great" except that the barn was swiftly coming upon us along with the main road and the log yard and I knew that we would not make the turn, well I knew she would.......I would not and did not relish coming off at speed. I was very proud of myself that I was calm and could reach forwards to grab her rein close enough to turn her up the next hill and turn around. I got off and walked back shaking and glaring at her. Mary had already abandoned ship and was walking back beside Captain. Mary didnt want any of that. Anyway, I made Lady walk really slow the rest of the way so she had to wait for supper. I know, I hear you ...shame ...shame ...shame..........she won again. Sigh......my instructor said I should have got back on and ridden her home but, well, I am a coward. Mary spent a lot of trail time walking. If she saw or thought she saw a deer off she would hop. Not me I could not hop back on like she could I needed something to climb on. She always said that Captain would spook if he saw a deer. It was Mary who spooked most of the time, but Captain had been known to do some good spooks. Lady always stopped and thought about it long enough for me to reassure her.
One thing I must say in her defense, not that she needs it. She trusted me. If I asked her to walk over something scary, she would stare at it and stop when I would say "go on its OK" she believed me and would step over or onto anything. She would never spook, she might tuck her butt under but she would always go and when Captain had a fit she would always be reassured by me.
My instructor said if I wanted to learn to ride well I should get a different horse. I could not do that. She was mine for better or worse and I loved every moment of it. We were friends. I never became a good rider and I am not unhappy with that. Lady has been gone three years now and I still miss her and the smell of horses and all that goes with it.

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