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resume. beating. my. heart. (please.)

April 22, 2011

remember my last post?  have you noticed a considerable time lapse in the posting of this one?  there is a reason, my friends, and I’m finally ready to bring you up to date.

a normal heartbeat goes something like, thump-thump, thump-thump.  for many weeks mine went more like, flutter-flutter, flutter-flutter as we worked toward these pastoral scenes:


unfortunately, we enjoyed only five days of this blissful togetherness before a change was in the wind.  you see, we had done this:


followed by this:

and this:

and this:

clearly, middle horse child was ready to go to the trainer.  the timing was perfect–  it’s early spring, and this means that we have an entire summer of riding pleasure ahead of us.  we made the arrangements.  we borrowed a trailer.  and we took tireachan to be trained.

for the sake of brevity, i will simply say that emotionally i wasn’t quite ready to see him go.  this, combined with a “traumatic trailering incident” (there will be no photos here.  in my state of mind who could even THINK of a camera, let alone focus one?  i was banished from the scene by two offspring who deemed me “unhelpful” at that point.), put me in a bit of a funk.  so i won’t say more about that…**

fortunately we got there physically in one piece.  we got tir unloaded and went directly to the indoor arena.  within mere moments my heartbeat changed to something like, thud-thud, thud-thud.  cowboys are mean.  now, before this elicits a flurry of responses in defense of the cowboy, whoa up.  i get it.  i’m fully aware that they risk their own life and limb to ensure the safety of mine.  i admire that and am grateful for it.  they are also very good at what they do.  horses are 1100 pound beasts that must have manners.  there’s no question that a good trainer can work miracles in a short window of time.  it’s just that i’m a mother/grandmother/elementary educator, and in my line of work we do not immediately follow up one traumatic experience with another.  so when the look on tireachan’s face (and yes they do TOO have looks on their faces) begged the question “what fresh new hell is this?” i just didn’t know what to tell him.  for the next hour we watched him be taught ground manners, during which time my psyche slowly collapsed in on itself.

it took every ounce of self-discipline i had to drive away from there with an empty trailer.  my first thought the next morning was that one day was behind us, and surely the rest would pass more quickly than the first.  (this has proven to be only partially true).   we have returned to the ranch on the past two saturdays and seen with our own eyes the progress that has been made.  from having never had a bit in his mouth and never carried a rider (ok, we only sat on him), he has progressed to the point where the cowboy can ride him at a controlled walk, trot, and canter, can go through gates on him without dismounting, and can ride him  past, around, and through various obstacles like a reliable old cow pony.  tir’s response to having plastic jugs filled with rocks tied to his saddle was, rather than an explosive freak-out, a very controlled “hmm, i don’t care for the sound these make when i trot so i think i’ll just stand quietly”.

i love that horse.

so, our sweet, good-natured gypsy middle horse child has gone from being fluffed and adored on a daily basis to the equivalent of an equine dickensian boarding school, and this sassy mama had done a less than stellar job of dealing with that.  my offspring will vouch for that.  hoo, boy, will they vouch for that…  but hope is once again on the horizon.  we plan to bring tir home on april 30.  we just have to convince the cowboy…

so i’ll do my best to wrap this up on a positive note.  here is a photo of little quin practicing ground manners with his loving owners:


see the black and white coloration?  well, it no longer exists.  this little boy is truly a blue and white paint now that he is shedding out, and he is absolutely gorgeous!  there will be follow-up photos.

and just for laughs, here is tireachan doing his llama imitation for the sake of a neck scratch:


thanks for checking in.  for those of you who were hoping for more of an art update, i’ll have something coming right up!

happy earth day!

**  remember my circus horse, the one who can sit?  well, turns out he can also hang by his knees!!  who knew?  that boy is gonna be a money maker.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. mary kelly permalink
    June 1, 2011 11:36 pm

    Love the whole “Fairy Wind” thing. From the thing itself to the name for the horse. I love that you have horses in your life. However, having said that and seeing 4 white tails and 16 white FEATHERED giant legs I want to ask “Are You Out Of Your Mind?” I’m buying stock in the company that makes horse grooming tools. This from old an professional groom. I love the photos. I love the shot of Sara whispering to one of the horses and that horse is LISTENING. And can you really get a varto on Ebay? When you DO run away to the woods with your horse-drawn varto, I expect to be called so I can join you. We’ll dance bare-footed around a campfire under a big full moon and play with your fabulous horses. I love seeing all this, Jan.

    Thank you.

  2. wingedpaths permalink
    July 15, 2011 6:06 pm

    I don’t have much experience with horses, but I can empathize with your anxiety. I feel that protective about my three cats. Although they’ve never been to a Dickensian boarding school for kitties, they have had to endure my stepson for 6 weeks every summer.

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