13

Monday was Cookie’s 13th birthday.
I had in my mind for a while, long before she passed, that I wanted to do a cake smash with her.
This was supposed to be her year for it…

Instead, her herdmates enjoyed her cake for her.
Seems like it should have been a bittersweet shoot, but it turned out to be great fun. ❀

Hubby offers some cake to Sable…

He mighta smooshed it into her muzzle a wee bit…being it’s a cake smash and all… πŸ˜‰

Ruby’s turn…you can see icing on Astrid’s muzzle…

That tongue…lol!

And then Hubby set the cake down, so all 3 could enjoy it at once…

Ruby:
“Y’know what I like?”

“CAAAAAAKKKKEEE!”

And then our dear sweet Blonde Girl had a moment with her friend’s halter…
πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, image-in-ing, and Create With Joy.

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The Thing About Heart Horses…

Last week, I read Anna Blake’s post on this very topic…
Heart Horses.

Initially, I had a very negative reaction to the post.
The angry monkeys in my head demanded their typewriters to bang out their thoughts…

And then I stepped back and thought about it all.
I came to this…

I have, since a month or so after bringing her Home, called Cookie my heart horse.
Why?
Because to me, she was/is/always will be the most special, most influential equine in my life.
It took a whole lotta *something* to get her and I together, and once it was done, there was only death to separate us.

So, does that mean my others…Ruby, Sable, Astrid…are any *less* special to me because they’re not Cookie?
I don’t think so.
They are who they are, and they are special in their own ways.

Sable is my accident prone, but rock solid, lean on me Mama I can hold you up, bombproof horse.
Ruby is my challenge Mama all day every day, if it ain’t my idea I ain’t doing it, horse.
Astrid is my happy Little Red who loves brushings and cuddles and forehead rubs and those rare times I let her lick me…dang that mare likes to lick things!! lol

They all hold a special place in my heart.

Unlike Cookie though, they were all pretty darn quick to come to the charm of The Food Lady.
Cookie was a force of her own, she gave nothing freely, and I earned every little thing she offered me.

When you have to spend hours on end sitting, waiting, leaving, and coming back day after day, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you have to stand and wait in -30*c cold, hands uncovered because gloves are an unknown, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you walk out the door one morning, after so many mornings like the ones above, and that horse calls and meets you at the gate…
When that horse drops her muzzle so you can gently blow and greet her…

So that was the foundation of our relationship.
Me being patient (for the most part), and her trying to decide if I was worth trusting.
And when she offered her trust, it was a high like nothing I have ever experienced.
How could I not love her a wee bit more than the others?
How could I not give her the biggest chunk of my heart?

But don’t think it was all pretty and rainbows, because it wasn’t.
It was hard work.
It was a lot of wanting to give up.
It was a lot of frustration for both of us.
It was her avoiding me for days on end.
It was a lot of heartache, as I wondered if I was in over my head (short answer? yes).
There was mud and blood(mostly mine) and bruises(also mine) and shit…and tears.
It was a lot of days ending in tears.

Oh, but those days, few and far between in the beginning, when she’d let slip some normal horse behaviour, or she’d show me a cheeky moment (nibbling my braid was a favorite), or she’d just choose to stand next to me and be…
I’ve said it over and over…it was like she was my dealer, and those bits of trust she let slip were the crack I lived for.

Yeah.
She was, and always will be, my Heart Horse.
There will never be another one like her.
And y’know what?
I’m glad for that.
Because I know and recognize that, I can love others, give them a spot in my heart, and give them what they need, without comparing them to HER.
My love for her does not diminish the love for the others…any others.
And, quite frankly, loving a horse like Cookie just plain ain’t easy…it is…well, it’s exhausting

At the end of the day, I know the term bugs people.
I see the eye rolls, the little laughs, the snorts of derision…
My favorite (said quietly, but within my hearing) “Only fluffy horse lovers call any horse that…” implying that I couldn’t possibly be a real horse person.
Meh.
That’s okay, because, truthfully, people bug me like the term bugs them. lol
I’d much rather be with the horses.
(Okay, I’ll grant, some people are okay. πŸ˜‰ )
When I use the term, I’m not using it for others.
I’m using it for me…for her…for us.

And if that bothers other people, or makes them think less of me as a horsewoman, that’s okay too.
I’ve never much cared what people think of me, so how someone else feels about my usage of a few simple words…not my problem.

When I got back into this life of horses, it was for her:

❀

It was always about her…
To the horse world here, she may not have been much to look at, she may not have been anything more than a broodmare, she may not have been anything more than a number run through at auction…
But to me, she was the world.
My Heart Horse.

Aaaaaand….
Now I’ll just take the typewriters away from the angry monkeys and go on about my day.

Sunrise, Sunset

Hey friends.
How are y’all doing?
I know posts have been sparse.
Sorry ’bout that.

We’re getting deeper into mud/puddle season.
Before we’re into full on mud season, we’re trying to move some snow away from the equine common areas, fill holes with straw, and make sure everyone has their hooves done. I really hate when mud season messes with their trim schedule… 😑

I’m still fighting my camera.
The urge to shoot has been…lackluster is the best way to put it.
And yet, I’m trying to force myself out into the farm yard with it.
Watch the side bar, because I’m trying to put up images on Instagram on a regular basis…or you can follow us over there.
Cookie’n’Cream Photography

In the meantime, the WordPress photo challenge for this week caught my eye…

Rise/Set

Ahh, now I do love me those early mornings, watching the sun come up and capturing the mares doing what they do best…being horses.
πŸ’ž

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Sable enjoys the warmth of the rising sun…

Cookie practices her unicorn poses as the sun rises.

Astrid

πŸ’ž

And those times I’ve caught them in the setting sun…

❀

Ruby

Cookie

The original 3

Hopefully, I’ll have more to share as I get out more and more with Spring.
Bear with me, friends.
I’m still adjusting.
πŸ’ž

Beloved

WordPress hosts daily themes, and weekly photo challenges that I enjoy jumping into when I can’t quite come up with something to write.
This week’s photo challenge is Beloved.
“Share a photo of something that is dearly loved…”

Cookie and her 3 birds.

Love never reasons, but profusely gives;
it gives like a thoughtless prodigal its all,
and then trembles least it has done to little.
– Hannah More

Who else? ❀
One of the times I was able to capture a grackle sitting on her.
There’s one under her head too (the black spot in the grass) and one farther down on her rump…
The obvious one was the best though…it sat there and trilled its song, while gobbling up bugs flying around.
πŸ™‚

‘Til We Meet Again

Here we are, at the end of January.
It’s been an exhausting winter.
Either way too cold, or bouncing up above freezing.
Honestly, I’ve spent the last month being rather unsure what I’m going to find in the pasture every morning…

Y’see, rapid weather changes are hard on horses.
Hard to believe that such large, powerful animals can be so damn delicate, but there it is…rapid weather changes can cause upset tummies in a flash. And, often before we humans know it’s coming.
To counter act that, I make sure everyone has a good pile of hay to munch from, salt blocks within easy reach of the waterer (plus one away from it, in case someone wants to hoard it from the others), and an extra dash of salt in their beet pulp daily.
The idea is, keep things moving in and out on schedule, and hope that’s enough to keep tummies settled and happy.
All 3 are doing well.
πŸ™‚

And me?

Well, I finally picked up my camera last week.
Between Astrid looking gorgeous in the snow:

Little Red ❀

Beautiful Girl ❀

And the urge to create something to honor my Cookie…
Well, the camera and I got reacquainted.

Take a blanket, halter, crown, Cookie Monster and a bottle of whiskey to the pasture…

Funny how the good ones go
Too soon, but the good lord knows
The reasons why I guess

And this is what I get…

Sometimes the greater plan is kinda hard to understand
Right now it don’t make sense
I can’t make it all make sense

And this…

So long my friend, until we meet again
I’ll remember you
And all the times we used to
Sit right here on the edge of this pier
Watch the sunset disappear
And drink a beer


Until we meet again, my Love.
Never goodbye.
We will be together again.

In the meantime, it’s time to stop the grief from stifling the creativity, and let it flow through and work with the creativity.
That’s the plan, anyways. πŸ˜‰

So, I think I’m back, friends.
At 11 weeks after Her death, I think I can finally breath enough to continue on without being a sobbing zombie mess.
Can’t guarantee there won’t be tears here and there (of course there will be) but instead of letting that stop me, I’m going to just go with it…
We’ll see what comes from that.
❀

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader Sparks:17

Today’s musical inspiration provided by:

And…
Did ya notice the new thing?
πŸ˜‰

Cookie’s Favorite Cookies

This face…


She could smell her favorite gingerbread cookies before they even hit the oven. πŸ˜‰
I don’t know what it was about that particular recipe, but that horse would call for them as soon as she smelled me baking them. And, if I happened to go out to the pasture with a few warm-from-the-oven ones for her, she’d love me for days and days afterwards.
❀

Cookie’s Gingerbread Cookies

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon 😘
1/4 tsp ground cloves ~ I used fresh ground nutmeg instead, because I have it on hand for egg nog.
6 tbsps unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsps vanilla

  1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper
  3. whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt ginger, cinnamon, and cloves (nutmeg)
  4. in large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and egg on medium speed until well blended
  5. add molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended
  6. gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth
  7. wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in fridge for 15 minutes

Now, from here you can leave the dough in the fridge for up to a week and bake as needed.

When it comes to baking, you can roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut into shapes, or you can do what I do…

  1. Roll a tbsp or so of dough into a ball.
  2. roll ball of dough in white sugar to coat
  3. place on parchment lined cookie sheet
  4. smoosh a wee bit flat
  5. bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes
  6. Enjoy!!

That’s it.
Simple, easy peasy gingerbread cookies that made my darling Paint lose her mind. πŸ˜‰

“Where’s my cookies, Food Lady?!?” ❀

Redemption

Over and over, in our time together, people told me how lucky Cookie was to have me.
My response was always the same…

“Nope. I’m the lucky one…”


Y’see, when you grow up being told that you’re not wanted, you believe that. You really do believe that you aren’t worthy of being loved.
By anyone.
And, it doesn’t matter how many people come along afterwards and try to tell you that you are worthy, there’s always that Little Voice in the back of your head that whispers “Don’t believe ’em. Don’t you dare believe them. People always lie.”
Heh. I’ll tell ya, my Hubby is a frickin’ Saint for sticking with me all these years! That little voice makes living with someone like me awful hard sometimes.

But, horses?
They don’t lie.
They’re as open and honest as any creature can be.
They’ll show you exactly what they see in you every time.

Cookie practices her unicorn poses as the sun rises.

So you see, it was always me that was the lucky one.
Because what she saw in me, she deemed worthy.
Not only of her absolute trust, but of her love.

Cookie EasterBunny

She offered me her heart and I gave her my everything.
She gave me redemption.
Proof that I was…I am…worthy of being loved.

“Oh! Hey Mama…whatcha doin'”
~Cookie

I always said that we came together as 2 broken creatures who needed each other to become whole again.

❀

That is 100% truth.
I didn’t realize how much so, until I lost her.
I may have adopted her from the Rescue that saved her from being on a plate, but Cookie rescued me from myself and that ugly little voice.

It’s funny, I have these moments where I swear, I’m not going to let any animal into my heart like this again.
This has been the worst grief I have ever carried.
And yet…
We all know.
I’ll do it again.
I’m going to let another one in, and that horse will never fill the space in my heart that went with Cookie, but instead, stand beside it and make me stronger.
And when I lose that horse, I’ll probably do it again.
And again.
And again.
I’m a sucker for punishment like that. πŸ˜‰

“Haha! You can’t seeeeeee me…I’m hiding behind this treeeeeee!!!”
~Cookie

Last week I did a photo shoot that reminded me, once again, the Power equines have in our lives.
Watching people, children, families, connect to their chosen horses cut through the grief and proved to me that this pain is a blip in the road.
We love them with such depth and passion, it’s so hard to lose them.
But they just don’t live as long as we do, and we have to make the most of our time with them. ❀

This holiday season, I’m going to work at getting out and taking some fresh picture with my Girls.
I haven’t taken anything new here since Cookie’s funeral pyre.
Not only was she my Heart Horse, she was my Muse.
All photo shoots were planned around whether or not I could convince her to do what I wanted.
Sable always goes first, because she’s easy.
Ask and done. No convincing, no worries, just a perfect model.
Cookie, well I had to reassure that it was safe, that I would always put her safety first, that we really could make beautiful pictures together.
And we did. Often.
I was always so proud of her for trusting me and wearing all those odd, scary little things for me.

Cookie wears the Canadian flag.

Now, I’m a little lost.
I had plans for her, for pictures.
Things that just didn’t get done.

Oh Ms Cookie!

I’m working on finding my way.
It’s a lonely path without her.
But I can do this. I know I can.
I’ve been redeemed by the love of a damn fine horse.
The best way to honor her is to continue on…and eventually find the next damn fine horse who needs a little redemption themselves.
❀