How I Lost Heart, Then Gained Hope Through the Love of a Singular Horse
By Nancy Shulins, 258 pages, 2012 Da Capo Press
The author, an accomplished correspondent for the Associated Press, fills an unfulfilled need for children she is not biologically able to have, with of all things, a horse. The story follows her angst from making peace with what cannot be, through her angst in the adventure of first time horse ownership from 1996 through 2008.
I found the book so relatable on many levels. Her horse, a thoroughbred she names Eli […]
When I was a child I rode with no fear.
I would always ride without a saddle and sometimes even with just a halter. When I was a child I could ride with no hands. I rode with the wind. I would jump anything in my way. I was one with my best friend, my horse. With him I found my peace through the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It seems so unfair, as we age, no matter how often or how much we ride, that our […]
Snowman, the Horse that Inspired a Nation
By Elizabeth Letts 336 pages (includes notes, bibliography and index), 2012 Ballantine Books.
Much in the fashion of Secretariat and Seabiscuit, The Eighty Dollar Champion is a well documented historical non-fiction novel, this one written by an equestrienne.
I had originally read the original children’s book many years ago, Snowman by Rutherford Montgomery published in 1962. So while I was familiar with the story, this adult version tells the comprehensive tale of the symbiotic relationship between a horse and a man with extensive detail of […]
I have been asked, more than I ever expected, questions about my choice of arena footing.
As any horseperson is well aware, in the horse world, everyone has their own opinion about everything and their opinion is the only right one.
With that and one more caveat, I am taking a deep breath and going out on a limb to share with you my opinion on footings. The caveat is: this is the footing that works best for me. Your situation may be far different depending upon material availability, weather conditions, riding discipline and personal experience.
In the […]
His name was Jester. Actually it was Chester when I got him, but he quickly earned the name Jester.
His perfect black and white markings, and his entertaining personality made me think of a court jester.
He came with the farm. I didn’t want him, had too many cats already. But the seller had to leave him behind. He had come with the place when she bought it, and with her divorce, just one more thing she could not deal with. She smoothed over my objections, “He is just a barn cat, no trouble, doesn’t need […]
I absolutely love analogies, love them, couldn’t live without them. That which could take a novel to explain can be communicated quickly and simply with an analogy.
Definition: analogy (a-nal-o-gy /a’nalegee) Noun. Similarity in some respect between things that are otherwise dissimilar, a comparison based on such similarity. A resemblance, likeness or parallel.
So, I was having a lesson a few weeks ago and started describing the personalities of my herd (sigh, yes, a small herd, but still a herd) to my instructor. And all of a sudden it came to me that […]
The four letter word that brings fear to everyone, but hits especially hard to horse owners on rural farm property.
The smell of smoke in the dog days of summer is so out of place and unexpected that you question your nose and doubt the olfactory glands that are shooting adrenalin throughout your neurological system: FIRE!
Quickly, you instinctively move towards the closest window, pressing flesh against window screen, breathing deeply through your nose to convince yourself you really aren’t smelling smoke on this breezy summer morning. Not trusting just one of your five senses, your eyes […]
I had the most joyous of experiences last night, as I was cleaning stalls.
The barn swallows were putting on a show above the paddocks and pasture as the sun was setting. There must have been over fifty of them, swooping and soaring as they put on a show, it seemed, just for me. I found myself laughing out loud and clapping. I had to reach for the fence to keep my balance as my head tipped back to watch their wild flight.
Oh, how I love my swallows. I start looking forward to their arrival every year […]