It’s been quite a while since I last posted. In my defense I have been working, studying and overdosing on horses, which takes up a lot of my time. Plus I’ve been lazy.
Me and King during my first lesson a couple of weeks ago
My Sunday mornings are being swallowed up by horse riding lessons. I’m learning to ride on an ex-racehorse named Kingdom Come (IRE) … his friends call him King. He earned over $200,000 in his racing career and is now teaching green riders like me how to ride. At the same time, he is learning how to be ridden with a Western saddle and how to play horse soccer. Yes, you read that right … horse soccer.
My sister is riding with me, on another ex-racer named Devil on the Roof (aka Dev). This morning our trainer, T, and another friend of hers joined us in the arena and we all played horse soccer. Basically, there is a giant inflated ball (a Parelli ball) that the horses kick around with their legs. Our job is to steer them in the right direction; their job is to move the ball. King is pretty good at kicking the ball (he really lifts his front leg and connects with his knee) once I manage to get him to it. He tends to be on the lazy side … so much for the myth of the “hot-blooded” Thoroughbred!
Here’s a link to a video of my sister P and I practicing last weekend. The horses were extremely lazy because it was pretty hot; I think we ended up sweating more than they did, though!
This is a poem I wrote a couple of years ago. It’s about heartbreak, but not the typical kind, so it’s appropriate for Valentine’s Week, don’t you think?
Horses will break your heart
They can’t help it.
We want so much from them
See so much in them that isn’t there
Or at least is only there in
It’s no wonder they disappoint us
Dash our dreams
They are not perfect
Much as we wish them to be.
Sometimes they break our hearts
Not with loss and grief
But with beauty.
This is the good kind of broken heart
The kind that mends all the stronger
And makes you come back for more.
Even in defeat
We love them
For their strength and speed and grace
So much greater than our own.
We long to fly without wings
To make the ground shake with our passing
Horses remind us we are small
But they lend us their power so willingly.
It is a privilege to share the world with them.
And this is what breaks our hearts
For we shall never see perfection
But in them, in sharp timeless moments
That linger in memory
And bring us always back for more
We see it
Now and then.
Image via Wikipedia
It’s New Year’s Day but it doesn’t feel like New Year’s Day because there was no Tournament of Roses Parade this morning. Because the holiday falls on a Sunday, the parade (and the Rose Bowl football game) have been moved to tomorrow, in accordance with long standing tradition. I normally get up early on New Year’s Day to watch the parade live on TV but this year I got to sleep in. Now tomorrow is going to feel like New Year’s Day … as if I wasn’t already mixed up about what day it is because of being on Winter Break!
I do enjoy seeing the floats in the Rose Parade, but my favorite part is the equestrian units. Of course, they never show them long enough for my taste (I could certainly do with less marching band coverage) but it’s not often you get to see horses on TV so I take what I can get. I always watch the KTLA coverage with Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards because Bob knows horses and always makes sure to comment on the equestrian units.
Other than watching the parade, I really don’t have any New Year’s traditions. Some years I don’t even stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop in Times Square, although I did last night — mainly because I was pinned to the couch by a very happy, very heavy cat named Harry who has suddenly decided after almost 9 years of life that he is a lap cat.
It’s been a while since I last posted (so what else is new?) and in typical fashion, the first thing I did when arriving at the Blogger website was start playing around with templates. Maybe no one will notice if the blog posts are old if the site looks all shiny and new!
I’ve actually been pretty busy lately. I finished my online History of California class at Citrus College this week, our online fundraiser at work is going well, I hung out with my friend Sarah after work, and spent Friday helping move horses around at The Second Race’s foster facility so everyone had a chance to spend some time turned out in a paddock. I now know more about opening and closing gates than I ever thought possible!
Here is a closeup of Devil on the Roof, one of the lovely Thoroughbred ex-racehorses who is waiting for a new home. I just love the soulful look in a horse’s eye, especially an intelligent horse like this guy. And those eyelashes! We should all be so lucky.