They Don’t Need to Understand

Horse people.
Everyone has an opinion.
Some good. Some…not so much.
Me?
I listen to my horse.

The past 2 years, she’s worn a breakaway halter.
I’m home.
All.
The.
Time.

I’ve seen the images of horses who get caught up wearing a halter.
I’ve heard all the lectures.
Remember…horse people have opinions.
And, some are happy to beat you over the head with ’em.

Really, it’s no different from a horse wearing a fly mask…
Or a grazing muzzle…
Or a blanket 24/7…

But nobody lectures you or sends you shitty pictures of dead horses when you put those things on your horse.
Nope.
Just when you leave a (breakaway) halter on.
Makes me a bit prickly…thorny even…when I get the unsolicited “advice”.

Thankfully, Facebook has a block feature.
Heheh…
My block list is a veritable “who’s who” of the local horse world.
Everyone who has decided to take it upon themselves to “educate” me, for my own good, for my horse’s good.
They’re on that block list.
Because inevitably, what began as “I’m concerned” turned into “you’re a lazy idiot” when I explain why she still wore the breakaway.
Which is hilarious.
I am anything but lazy when it comes to these horses.
This horse.
You know what they say about opinions though…

For the record…

After a few months with the breakaway, the plan was to remove it.
I spent hours and hours and hours going out with a regular halter, practicing catch, love up and release.
It took time, but it was worth it.
Now?
I have exactly ZERO issues catching this horse.

And so, one day, I decided to pull off the breakaway too.
I took it off, gave her the “you’re free” command that let’s her know she can go be herself, and walked out of the pasture.
That was just about a year and a half ago…

She panicked.
She followed me to the gate.
She whinnied.
She tried to come out the gate with me.
When the gate was closed and I walked to the house, she ran to the back fence.
She whinnied again…and again…and again…
She ran that fence line, back and forth, working up a lather, calling the whole time.

It was ugly. And sad. And it broke my heart to see.
It went on for nearly a week.

Her coat got dull.
She wasn’t eating.
She was constantly pacing the fence line.
She was getting ribby.
I did what any sane person would do in an insane position…
I put the damn breakaway back on her.
And then we worked her way back to her healthy, fat as a tick, self.
Because the second I had that crown of leather over her ears, she relaxed…

I have, in all my life, never, ever heard of a horse acting like this.
Ever.
There is no precedent to follow, no training to use, no expert to help.
We were flying blind here, and I had to, simply put, listen to my horse.

Now, roughly a year and a half later, we’ve tried again.
After months (nigh onto years) of catch, love up and release.
I think, I hope, I pray to Epona…
This time, I think it has worked.

Behold!

“What made me tough almost killed me..at least that’s how I remember the story. Over the years I’ve forgotten how it was…”

We started out with her white leather halter going overtop…
Then, I undid the crown of the breakaway and dropped it.
Finally, I pulled the rest of it out and dropped it on the ground…

“But I survived and I won’t walk down the same old road that they all followed
It only leads to a life not meant for me…”

While wearing her white leather, I groomed her, cleaned her feet out, rubbed her down with bug juice…
And then came the moment of truth:

“We’re always running away and we don’t even stop to think about it
The worlds in our hands…
They don’t need to understand”

“We do it our own way, no matter what they try to say about it. We’ve got our own plans…”

“They don’t need to understand…”

And this morning?
A nickered greeting when I came out on the deck, she trotted over for her halter to go on for grooming(and a whole lotta loving ❤ ), and a relaxed, calm demeanor when I removed the halter again.
So far, so good.
She is as normal as she’s ever going to be.
That’s just fine with me.

Our musical inspiration for the day and this post:

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The Winter Blues

January can be a tough time.
We’ve just come out of the hustle and bustle of Yule, Orthodox Christmas has come and gone, we’ve eaten and drank ourselves into a stupor, and now we’re facing the long cold journey until the warm spring winds start to blow.
We all start to get a little stir crazy.
Humans and animals alike…

Especially the horses.
It’s cold, and all they want to do is eat…and then they get bored and want to play. Oh, but then, they’re tired and a nap sounds good. When the sun is out, a nice nap while the sun warms your coat is delightful. Enough to even lay out flat for a bit…ah, but the reality of the cold snow on the ground seeps in and they go back to napping on their feet.

If you happen to have kids, think of it this way…
Y’know how in winter they get snappish because they don’t get out to *do* stuff for long periods of time? Just look at your toddler with cabin fever and the crying starts, right? Fighting for no reason, throwing tantrums, and having hissy fits, just because they can.
That’s how the horses are in January.
And, well, my toddlers average 1200lbs and can smoosh me without even thinking.

Horses are very in tune with their circadian rhythms. Their bodies tell them the light is coming back, and to get ready for the coming spring. They are excitable for the new growth and the longer days.
However, the early dark (albeit later than in December…they’re not eating their beet pulp in the dark at 4:30pm) and the cold temperatures send a different message.

Which leads me back to…1200lb toddlers who are sleep deprived, cabin fevered, grumpy assed brats.
Oh yeah, we humans?
Feeling the same damn way.
*sigh*

So, what’s a Farm girl to do?
Ha!
She drops a bunch of high energy, super fun music on her phone, suits up in her winter gear, grabs a grooming kit and heads out to brush and maul the ponies. 😛
That’s when the fun starts…
Everyone wants to be groomed.
1 woman, 1 grooming kit, 4 horses…lol

I keep telling people to come out for a visit, I’ll give you a brush and you can brush a horse until your hands fall off (that’s right about when the Girls will decide they’re ready to go eat again.) Few have taken me up on the offer though…I muddle through. With music. Which inevitably leads to some crazy cantering games.
Which is good, because then the Girls stretch their legs, have a little fun, buck and kick and play. And I take pictures. From outside the fence. That was a lesson learned a couple of years ago. When the music gets them going and they’re going to run and play, then its time to step outside the gate and photograph them ripping it up.
Trust me, it’s much safer that way. 🙂

This first shot is from last week’s grooming/music/run like a fool session…

Go Cookie, go!

Go Cookie, go!

The next few shots are from yesterday…with all the snow and the bright sun, over exposure happens.
Sometimes, I like to go with it, and enhance that in editing.
Photography isn’t just capturing an amazing image, it’s art too… 🙂

Miss Lazy Pants when I first came outside...

Miss Lazy Pants when I first came outside…

Sable, blasting through the snow drifts...

Sable, blasting through the snow drifts…

Ruby and Astrid...

Ruby and Astrid…

My walking stomachs had Bif Naked’s “I love myself today” as their soundtrack…

Today, if weather allows for it, I’ll throw out the jolly ball for them.
Jolly balls always make for fun times and great photos.
Stay warm, my friends, and stay happy.
We’ve turned the corner, and we’re in the straight away on our way to Spring…we can do this.
And if you local folks need a little music/equine therapy to get you through, you just let me know. 😉
I can hook you up…

I Got It Honest

It ain’t nothin’ but a small frame house on an acre lot
It ain’t that much diff’rent from any other house on the block

aint-nothin-but-a-small-frame-house
And it may not look like we got all our share of the promise
But at least one thing’s for sure,
I got it honest

share-of-the-promise

Roll out of the sack every mornin’, head on down to the mill
Give ’em all I got for eight, ’cause that’s the deal

Hay2
If you’ll check out my paycheck
Well, you’ll see that there ain’t that much on it

My road sign...it's a simple picture, but one of my favorites that I've taken here.

But ev’ry single penny I’m paid,
I got it honest

 

I never had to hang my head in shame
For puttin’ a price tag on my name

bella-and-daddy
Never turned my back on what I believe
Or let my heart be ruled by greed
‘Cause buddy if I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it
That way I can always say,
I got it honest

My sweet mare...breakaway is back on, nose shoved into me for comfort.


Now you ain’t looking at some dude

That was born with a Silver spoon in his mouth

scythe9
And I might seem like some kind of low-life
To that highfalutin’ crowd

Hubby n Sable
But I’m plain spoken, straight talkin’
And damn proud of what I have accomplished

Screenshot - 101213 - 01:08:40 PM
Some folks appreciate that and some don’t
But, I got it honest

 

Shelter Peeking

Now when I die, I may not leave my kids a fortune
But I hope they know’d my life stood for things that were important

Happiness is
And I’ll hand out the same sturdy old values of my daddy and my momma

bella-and-her-girlIt made me every ounce of what I am and
I got it honest

I never had to hang my head in shame
For puttin’ a price tag on my name

Definitely worth the price we paid for it!

Never turned my back on what I believe
Or let my heart be ruled by greed

"Hello Mom Lady's person...got nummies for me?"

‘Cause brother if I didn’t earn it, I don’t want it

Such a smart and pretty girl!

That way I can always say,
I got it honest

Friend there ain’t no doubt about it,
I got it honest

Our house.

Our house.

© Bruce Burch, Marcus Franklin Johnson, Aaron Tippin
Released 1994 by Aaron Tippen