Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In Treatment-Equine Edition

Thank you, again, everyone, for your sweet comments and emails. Every single one was lovely. There is still something...not quite right about day to day life without the dog I've had since I was 19 years old, but it's getting there. A new normal and all that.

Anyway. Tonight I rode Miles for the first time in a week. A year ago that was par for the course, but there's usually a reason if I don't get on him at least 3 times a week these days.

I've still been going out to the barn, though. I know you all know how amazing horses are for healing after something rocks your life. This is the first...life altering thing I've faced with Miles though. Tough times? We've done them, and he helped me then, too. There's something incredibly healing about Barn Time, though. I think it messes with the space-time continuum or something. Anyway, here's what it does for me.

It's been great the last few days to just go out to the barn, warm water in a gallon jug in tow. Mix up magikal beet pulp/alfalfa mash. Go out to the pasture where Miles (and usually LaShore) is waiting, ears up, nickering softly. The last couple of days chores at the barn were done early, and Miles had his nose deep in 2nd cutting hay-and he STILL walked over to me when I opened the gate. Sweet boy. I'm sure it has nothing to do with what comes next...

I bring him in and he slurps down his mash, some days with more gusto than others. I pull his blanket off and do our grooming ritual. I love the difference between his slick coat beneath the blanket and his fuzzy, teddy bear fur on his neck. I laugh when he takes breaks from his mash to sniff my hand for something yummier, or to snorfle my hair, leaving a big wet goober trail behind.

This ritual is better than medication, meditation, yoga, or just about any kind of therapy I can think of. I don't exist in my head when I'm at the barn. I'm very much in the moment. Even when doing something that comes automatically, like picking out his feet, I swear my mind is either calm and blank or thinking about that hoof-is it clean and smelling good? Was that crack there last week? I should probably do his thrush treatment just in case since it's been awhile....on and on. It may sound monotonous, but it's not. There is something wonderful about caring for a horse that lets you block out everything else without even trying. There is no world outside the barn. Let's put it this way-it's literally the only place I go without my cell phone, unless of course I want to take grainy pictures or video.

So, it's been nice just existing in peace with my pony. Last night I lunged him and tonight I rode. He's been great-a little ouchy yesterday after his recent trim, but much better with his Cavallo boots on tonight. He takes awhile to warm up still, but we ended the ride with him moving forward and relaxed, happy that a little mare came to join him for a lesson in the big scary nighttime indoor (daytime indoor is apparently completely safe).

A little birdie told me that we will be getting a couple plastic Block-type standards for ground poles to continue our quest to be Best Cross Rail Jumpers Ever. Until then, I'm happy to just Be, in the one place I'm able, with my favorite Furry Thoroughbred Goober.

If he was smart he would start charging me by the hour. I think the least I can do is bake him some of his favorite horse cookies for Christmas, to thank him for his services.

Professur Milez sayz ur tyme is up.


  1. mmm, i love his doberman coloring. Snorfle was funny. I'm sure hugging that sweet Chilean is helping heal the missing void of your puppy angel.

  2. Horses are the best medicine - sending good thoughts.

  3. Snorfle. Perhaps the next word to be added to Websters?

  4. I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. It seems as though Miles is doing a better job than any human could to help you with your pain.

    I know what you mean about the space-time vortex at the barn and the cell phone free zone. It drives my husband crazy that I don't carry my phone when I'm around my horses. I don't want a nagging phone to take away from my snuggle time.

  5. I so relate to this post. Barn time is the BEST therapy. I don't even have to actually touch a horse to feel better, I just need to be around them. I find doing general barn chores to be so relaxing...filling buckets, sweeping aisles, haying and graining, grooming and clipping are all some of the things I enjoy...crazy but true. It's also an excellent workout.

    Words can't express those feelings (losing someone that you love) and I hope that you're feeling just a little bit less sad with each passing day. :(

  6. Horses are the very best healers.

  7. Snorfle. That is EXACTLY how that word should be spelled. I've said it (and thought it mid goobering) but never written it. Thanks for the english lesson.

    Also, thanks for the inspiration. I was about to bail on the barn (I'm tired, I'm cold, I don't want to ride), but P has only seen me once since the engagement, and I owe her a good grooming, and myself some good barn time. :)

  8. I wwanted to thank you for the visit to my blog. Miles is very handsome. I rode as a teen but never had my own horse. I would love to ride again.

    I am so sorry about your dog. I had a similar experience to yours when I had to put my beautiful Samantha to sleep. It took a while for the other cats and me to adjust, but we all arrived at a new normal and so will you. It sounds like Miles is a wonderful helpmate for you.

  9. LOL, I'm so glad snorfle is a hit! Who says you can't make up words? With silly horse behavior, all bets are off!

    Thank you, again, everyone. You all make me smile like the big dork I am:) Also, I totally tell Miles everything you say;)

    e-you're so welcome, and thank YOU for stopping by with your kind words. Happy Holidays!

  10. My Maggie passed away last April, and I'm sure that she found Jones and is showing her around heaven. If dogs and horses aren't in heaven...I'm not sure I want to go (although the opposite doesn't sound appealing either.)

    I just found out that you lost Jones, I am so sorry!! Tell Miles I said to take care of you and be extra good!!

    Lots of love.

  11. Horses are certainly a comfort in times like this. I'm glad you're starting to heal.
    I've enjoyed reading your blog in 2010 as I learned about the blogging world. Thanks for dropping by my blog from time to time!
    Merry Christmas!

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