Monday, August 30, 2010

Who said technology isn't wonderful?

I am sitting out under the stars after a wonderful evening with family and friends.

Typing from my iPhone!

It is a bright, quiet night in CowTown. The stars are out and the moon is directly above me. I can hear Trooper in the barn, bashing his head against his grain bucket and hoping fruitlessly that more grain will appear. I assure you that I am not about to leave my post at the picnic table and bring him more grain. But the sound of him bumping around is soothing in an odd way.

The pool pump is running and the crickets are chirping all around me. I think I just heard Tia kick in disgust at Trooper's rumbling.

We had such a wonderful day and night here at The Ranch. Everything about it was perfect.

It was one of those days that makes you think, This is exactly how my life should be.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ready, Set, And.... Go...

We are having dinner for sixteen people this evening, including Big Brother, his wife, their daughter, and their delightful twin babies! So much excitement in the air...

House is clean, hamburgers are made, hot dogs are waiting to be tossed on the grill. My new boyfriend (Bah! Isn't it hilarious for me to put that in writing? Not 'the guy I'm spending time with' or 'this individual I'm seeing but I'm not sure if it is anything' or any of the other terms I've used over the years on this blog, but 'my boyfriend') is going to be doing the grilling because my dad got called away to work and I don't know how to turn on the barbecue. Sometimes I am simply just a pretty face.

Dixie has had her semi-annual bath and is tied out on the porch right now looking mightily unimpressed. Dixie hates baths, she hates babies, she hates company, and she hates being tied up. I had to tie her, however, because elsewise she would have spent the day rolling in mud and dead things and this is no way for a proper CowTown Beagle to greet company.

Lucy, the five month old puppy has been given a place to be tied on the lawn where she will not knock babies unconscious with her exuberance. Tia and Trooper are munching happily in the pasture and I am contemplating: Wash, blow dry, and straighten my hair, applly makeup and put on clean clothes? Or greet fifteen people with a messy ponytail, an oversized T-shirt that is advertising the virtues of the dressage rider, and a pair of dirty blue jeans.


Off to shower.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy 700th Post, Blog....

How did we get here? Have I really been posting on this thing for going on five years now?

Clearly I need to get out more.

At any rate, here is a picture of my lease horse, Sargeant. Very nice fellow, this Sargeant character. Also with distinct markings and the uncanny ability to give me panic attacks with his vocalizations.

Regardless, things are going well:


Friday, August 20, 2010

I Keep Seeing Shooting Stars...

I've seen several shooting stars since Zydeco was put down.

I keep thinking I should be wishing on them but I can't think of any particular wishes I'd like to have granted at this point in time. Despite the loss of my horse, things are going pretty well.

The idea came to me last night, driving home when I saw another one. This sounds really, really hokey but I'm going to go ahead and post it anyways.

I think the shooting stars happen every time Zydo goes over a jump in heaven. He was born to jump; he was made to jump. Jumping was Zydeco's passion and when he saw a jump he would light up like a Christmas tree.

I truly believe that he is now jumping to his heart's content and I think, from now on, I won't be making wishes any more when I see shooting stars. He is either landing or taking off, in perfect form and always on the correct lead. That's just how my boy rolls.

Shooting stars are not longer something I will wish on: Instead, they make me smile and make me think of how how happy my Mr. Magnificent really is now.


In Quebec

I had a bit of a breakdown the other day and, as usual, I had to call Mal. Mal knows exactly what to say and what to do and I find this very comforting.

I called her and when she answered I couldn't speak very clearly. I took a deep breath and explained my situation as best as I could: I am in Quebec. There are children everywhere, I'm drinking caffeine free root beer, I haven't had a cigarette all day and I can't understand what anyone is saying.

Mal was all like, Dude! That would make any person cry! And why, pray tell, are you in Quebec? Don't you know they speak a different language there?

Instant laughter.



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

R.I.P Zydeco: June 18, 1991 - August 16, 2010

Zydeco was laid to rest today beneath the Manitoba Maples beside his pasture. My father continues to hate Manitoba Maples but they shade my horse's resting place, and so now they hold a dear place in my heart.

I don't know if this will be my last post about Zydeco. I do know that I would like to sit here and write for hours about every memory I have of him, every single thing he ever did for me. This post would be far too long, and so I won't be writing all that out here.

I said my final good bye to Zydeco on the fourteenth because I decided not to be here when he was put down. This tore my heart for weeks because I felt I should be here for my boy in his final moments; however, I was not sure if I wanted a picture of him laying on the ground, lifeless, as the last picture of him I hold in my mind.

My final good bye was full of sobbing, weeping, singing, and pouring my heart out. Zydo stood for all of this in his good-natured way. I don't know if he was listening or not. I went over him with a curry comb, I put show-sheen on his mane and tail. I brushed him until he was his shiny old self. I coated his sore knee with Blue Lotion and I kissed his face for as long as he would stand.

Mostly I was just saying thank you. Thank you for putting up with my mistakes, thank you for letting me learn. Thank you for letting me love you and thank you for loving me back.

Riding over the past three years has given me a freedom I have never known before. It has given me peace and given me power. I have found my passion in riding and in loving this horse. I feel like this horse has truly taught me the meaning of love and for that I am forever grateful.

Knowing Zydeco has taught me how to accept mistakes, how to overcome obstacles, how to pray, how to focus, how be at one with another force in this world. He taught me that love can come in many forms and that every love song on the radio can relate to him in some fashion. He taught me about power, persistence, and passion.

When my parents bought Zydeco for me, I was defeated by life. Depressed, jobless, supporting my mother through cancer, deflated over where life had taken me. Zydeco brought new meaning to my life and for the past three years I have been experiencing this new meaning in a multitude of ways.

He was put down by our veterinarian this morning. I had half hoped to myself that the vet would get here and say no, this horse can go for another year. Instead he had a lot to say about euthanasia, how he does not believe in it. He then went on to say that, judging by the X-rays we took at the beginning of May this year, it would be impossible for Zydo to comfortably make it through one more winter, even on the maximum amount of painkillers. My beautiful, magnificent Zydeco was in constant pain that even the strongest drugs could not counter.

We had a back hoe here to dig the hole, and Zydeco was brought out from the barn. He stood for the vet like the gentleman he is, not wincing a bit. My father then climbed into the hole, curling up each of Zydeco's feet and curling his head around his body so it appeared that he was sleeping. The back hoe driver was incredibly gracious and careful, so that my horse was laid to rest with not a mark on him. I am eternally grateful that my horse was in his perfect, shiny, Chestnut state when he was laid in the ground on this Ranch that I was born on.

I have shed many tears over the past several days and I'm sure that there are more tears to come. Every now and then it hits me: I will no longer have someone to visit after my long shifts at work, I will no longer honk my horn as I drive by him in his pasture in an attempt to make him run. I'll never kiss his velvet-y soft nose ever again in my life. I will never be able to lean on his withers and feel his fine Chestnut hair beneath my cheek. These thoughts hurt very, very much.

One thing I am hopeful for is this: love exists in this world, and it exists in many forms. While I am absolutely heartbroken over the loss of what I thought was my one true horse, I do have a firm belief that I will go on to find love while never forgetting about all that Zydeco has done for me.

I also believe in heaven. I truly, honestly believe that Zydeco has gone to heaven and that he has met a rider there. I believe that there are fields of jumps for him to go over, I believe that no butterflies will ever scare him up there. I believe that he is now free from the pain he was in and that he will exist forever, making other horse people in heaven as happy as he made me on Earth.

Today as I was driving home, I saw a shooting star. I couldn't come up with a concrete wish during that moment, so I just wished for Zydeco. I hope that now he can experience the peace that he so often brought to me.

I love you, Big Guy.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

On Yoga

Because I want to begin to meditate.

First, a quote from a book I am reading: "Yoga is about self mastery and the dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself". This is from page 122 of the novel Eat, Pray, Love. You should go buy it right this minute.

Another quote from a dear friend: When you are with your loved one (horse) you are in a state of meditation, a state of awareness that transcends the rest of your life, you are linked with a real force in which you communicate on many levels. You feel and understand the dynamics between the two of you. It is REAL. You don't have to think about it. That is meditation.

So, I already meditate, I just never knew that it was meditation until now.

I want to be in a state wherby I transcend the rest of my life and be linked to a real force.

It might sound kind of whacky and new-aged for a gun-toting, cigarette-smoking, beer-swilling redneck, but I'm going to give it a try.

Because sometimes I just have days where I need to transcend the rest of my life.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Not Another Horse!

So, Princess and I made leaps and bounds through the months of June and July. I was so proud of us!

However, I work at an insane job and as a result, my hours are insane. This interferes with riding time and another woman also is riding Princess three days a week. Not wanting to interfere with her riding times (Because I know how precious riding time is) I inquired as to whether or not she would be willing to change her schedule.

She seemed like she wanted to accomodate me, but really, she wants to keep her riding days.

And then the lovely owner of the lovely Princess stepped in and said, "Amanda, why don't you try out Sargeant?"

And I said "Sure!"

And now I'm in really, really big trouble.

Because I kind of love Sargeant. I love his colour and his build and his gender (I'm sorry to be sexist on my blog, but I really prefer a gelding to a mare. That's just me) and I also like his delightful personality.

Oh, and his movement, since this whole thing is not about a love affair and is actually about riding.

I'm going to call him Sargy-Pargy-Pumpkin-Pie and I am really, really going to master the three loop serpentine on this guy.

It is the times like these that I feel like I am on my way to being a rider. A real rider doesn't just ride one horse. A real rider has experience with a multitude of horses. A real rider can handle what all the different horses throw their way. A real rider learns something from each horse they ride, and applies it to the next horse to build their skills.

I don't know if I'll make any shows this summer or this fall. I don't know if I'll ever ride competitively.

But I do know that I am on my way to something here, even if I don't know what, exactly, that something is.

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