Thursday, January 21, 2010

a few of my favorite things

January 1st, 2010 was a gloriously sunny, but cold day. Nonetheless, we found a little spot of sunshine, a brush and some quality time with April.

Sammy Jo, Becky's daughter, is a very bright and cheerful six year old little girl. She and Eddie play well together and took turns riding April nicely too.

April was appreciative of her clean, shiny coat and adored the children as much as a cranky old pony can adore children.

April patronized Sammy Jo and Eddie as they tried to steer her around the round pen, and graciously carried them around and around, with frequent looks to me as if to say, "how long do I have to be good"? She stood patiently while they switched positions and then gratefully endured another half-hour of grooming after the riding was done.

I anticipate that they will be actually riding her on their own and steering her with good results by the end of summer. They are both the perfect size for her, so that I will not worry that she's having to work too hard, or carry too much weight.

What a blessing to be able to teach children to love and ride horses, while spending time with said horses. These are a few of my favorite things.

It is January 21st, 2010, far too long since the kids rode April. It's amazing to me how quickly time gallops by.

It has been several years since I've ridden April, and while I believe she's strong enough to carry me, I won't ride her again. It's been bittersweet realizing that she is no longer the pony of my youth. No longer will we fly down the trails (look ma, no hands) with her mane and tail flying in the wind....we will now saunter. But! she will carry Eddie, my son and that is a really, really cool memory I'm looking forward to making.

When I was 9 years old, my Mom traded Bubbles - one of her young fillies she was starting - for April, who was in foal. "Little bit o' November was born the 22nd of (yes, you guessed it,...) November. I don't remember what happened to the filly, but I can tell you that April has been in the family for 27 years. She was 7 years old when we got her.

Tonight, as I look outside, it is dark, and raining. The mud sloshes onto the hems of my jeans as I walk up the saturated driveway to feed the horses. I hear them nickering in the dark. They know what time it is, why I am in the barn, and now that they've heard me, they are suddenly starving.

In the dark I measure out the hay, pour water to soak the pellets, get the specials (supplements) and check the water.

Tomorrow morning I'll pick up poop right after they get fed, and do some grooming. They like to roll and the mud sticks to them - while I groom them I look over both horses for anything out of the ordinary (a cut, scrape, bellyache, limp, whatever...) and then sigh a big sigh.

Later in the morning, I'll sneak up on April laying flat out in the corral. She will be sleeping soundly, and sometimes moving her hooves as though dreaming. I'll feel a big lump in my throat and my heart will swell, and I have to catch my breath.

These are a few of my favorite things.

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