Monday, November 21, 2011

Anticipation of War Horse and reminiscing

It's been almost 10 years since I owned a horse. My horse friends always ask me, "Don't you miss it?  .....the showing, the competition, the horses?"  I always say, "No. I don't miss the work that comes with owning horses. I just don't think my back could take it anymore. But my daughters do."

If you don't show or own horses, that means, mucking out stalls, hooking and unhooking giant trailers, feeding in the hot summer and on cold winter mornings, loading and unloading feed, and the bills!  Oh my, I don't know how I ever did it. Bills for vets, bills for farriers (the horses had more expensive shoes than I did), feed bills, show fees, gas bills to shows.

Even though I won a horse trailer in 2001 and had a living quarters area, shows were expensive.  And staying in that tiny space with a high school senior was not fun. My youngest daughter was a pain that last year we showed, but maybe it was worth it. She is the one who still misses it. So does my middle child Hayley.  She's the one who ran barrels and made my heart start skipping beats. Maybe that's what's wrong with me.

Olivia and Gray Up Sonny in 2001, her senior year.

But if you look at my DVD collection, you might not know that I'm not interested in horses anymore. There you will find Secretariat, Seabiscuit, The Horse Whisperer (that one may be because of Robert Redford. I know he's getting older, but so am I), and Dreamer, just to name a few. If you look in my blog archives, you'll see quite a few that mention horses.

I guess if I'm totally honest, I do miss horses. I don't miss the things in the above paragraphs, but I miss the smell of a well-fed, clean horse. When you put your arms around his neck, your nose automatically goes to that space where the neck joins the chest. You inhale. Trainers will tell you to only pat horses on their rump or neck and never pet their faces. Since I once had a biter, I know that is good advice. But every once in awhile you can work in a hug.

I miss the rhythm of horses. Nothing better than riding at a good working walk to calm the nerves. And circles. You lunge in circles, ride in circles, reverse and ride in the other direction. I like circles.

Hayley, the day after we brought her pleasure horse, Impress Claude, home. You can still see saddle sweat. 

The smell of saddle leather is intoxicating. It reminds me of my Daddy and his leather shop, and of upscale fancy tack shops and of plain old work saddles.

Uh oh!  I feel a nostalgic tear starting to well in my eye. My husband is thinking, "Oh no!" And my daughter is thinking, "Yeah!"

Me showing GUS and hoping he wouldn't bite my arm off. 
I have a friend who occasionally goes to Brazil for training in her chosen horse discipline. I won't mention names (SW), but she says there a well-dressed stable hand grooms the horse, saddles and and helps you up from a mounting block.  When the ride is over, he greets you, holds the horse, helps you off the mounting block, and hands you a glass of wine. THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

I got off track with this emotional stuff. The real reason for this blog is to urge you to make plans to go see War Horse, opening in theaters Dec. 25.  Whether you are a fan of horses, a war buff, or just like Steven Speilberg movies, this sounds like the perfect Christmas gift. Can't wait to add it to my DVD collection.  Take a look.   Happy Trails.


  1. SW has also found a place in Portugal where they treat you almost as well. On top of that, while you are astride, they teach you cool things like half pass, canter pirouette, piaffe and passage! Wanna join me?

  2. Don't tempt me. You might be surprised. Except I can't ride in an English saddle, or I should say I haven't ridden English.