Posts Tagged ‘horse gentling’

BEST (HORSE) FRIEND EVER

May 8, 2018

My Misty (2)

Although Misty doesn’t look his best here, he was always his best. And he looks a lot better than this Dandi anyway, if you ask me. I remember the day Dad took this picture. I’d rushed home from school to see Misty. As usual, my friend met me at the fence and put his head in my lap for a snuggle and a good scratching. Later, I’m sure I brushed that mud from his winter coat and went for a ride, bareback. We likely stayed out until supper. We would have stayed out longer if it hadn’t been for that annoying activity called homework.

In the Winnie the Horse Gentler: The Early Years series, Winnie forms a deep friendship with a big ol’ plow horse named Chief. Winnie often climbs the top rung of the fence so Chief will join her and put his head in her lap for a snuggle and a good scratch. Sound familiar?

I hope I never took Misty for granted. I remember being grateful for the gift of Misty’s friendship. But I didn’t know then that all good gifts come from God. And it was only later that I came to understand friendship with God through Christ. I’m still thankful for Misty. And now I’m not only thankful, but I know the One I’m thanking. I know Who deserves my thanks.

ANGEL?

April 19, 2018

Angel and Dandi

We loved our “Angel” and delighted in every new sign of growth. Our colt liked to be brushed. This picture is of our pasture, where Angel loved running with Rocket. He wasn’t easy to catch, and he did not like to be led. When he grew big enough, we tried to teach him to pull a little cart, but he kicked it to pieces. Still, we loved him. I didn’t know then what I know now, and I let him get away with too many bad habits. I remember when my two great-aunts came to visit from Illinois. I couldn’t wait to show off my sweet Angel. They came with me to the pasture and watched as I expertly caught little Angel. Angel, probably expecting to be fed, even allowed me to lead him up to them. I gave him a hug and let him nuzzle my face as I pressed my cheek into his. He bit me. I put my hand to my cheek to make sure it wasn’t bleeding, but that smile never left my face. The aunts never knew. There was not an ounce of bravery in me. I was just too embarrassed to admit the Angel bit me. Take a look at Angel’s ears, flat back. That’s a sign of anger, one I’ve used a lot in Backyard Horses and the Winnie books.

ROCKET HORSE

April 10, 2018

Rocket

Once I took over Sugar the Pinto, my big sister, Maureen, lobbied my parents to get another horse so we could ride together. They found a gentle Buckskin mare, and Maureen named her Rocket, though I don’t remember speed as one of her best qualities. What I do remember is how hard she was to catch when she was in the pasture. After a while, we discovered that we’d have better luck catching her if we played “hard to get” ourselves. One of us would act as if she were headed for Sugar, or for an invisible horse if Sugar wasn’t around. Only when we got close enough, would we gently reach for her halter. I used this little “trick” in several Winnie the Horse Gentler books and in the first book of Backyard Horses. That reminds me that I just might use it in Book 3 of the upcoming prequel series: Winnie: The Early Years.

In this photo, Rocket is eating out of her food box in our backyard pen. And it looks like Maureen needs to get out the brushes. Often, we’d bring along the transistor radio and tune to Kansas City’s WHB station to listen to the Top Forty songs of the week while we groomed our Top Two horses.