Monday, February 15, 2010

Always smiling, never sad, so fine

Once, I read a book about a woman who brought her horse into the house to live with her and her husband. I thought her husband was very kind to tolerate the whole situation. He made enormous changes to their home to accommodate the mare in the house. As I was leaving the barn this afternoon, I felt the usual pang I feel when I leave the horses behind. I would not go as far as the woman in the book, but I do think it is a shame that, especially in winter, I only get to spend a few hours a day with Pie and Sovereign. I dream about living in a tiny cottage that is plopped down in the middle of a horse pasture. All the outside doors will be Dutch doors so the horses can poke their heads inside if they want to. (I know, I know - what about the flies coming in? This little insect problem has always messed up my dream. How come when I go to England or watch an English movie no one has screens in the windows or doors? They can have Dutch doors to the outside. Are there no bugs in England?) But back to my situation now. I love Pie and Sovereign so much and I really hate when I have to leave them.
I have been riding both horses bareback at the walk on the driveway or in the tiny paths that I made with the snow blower. We got about 24 inches of snow so far and it has probably settled down to 16 inches in most spots. The drifts are still big around the back side of our barn. I rode Pie through some of the deeper snow on Saturday. He was good but I kept worrying that he would fold up at any minute to roll! He was carrying his head low like he was looking for a good rolling spot. That made me nervous.
It seems to me like both horses are getting a little bored with this deep snow cover. Our rides are short and predictable and even their pasture time seems a little tiresome. I put hay out for them, but they just stand around in the snow and look terribly bored. With the shallow snow (when I took these photos) they dug down for grass and mud and roots. They don't seem to burrow down in this deep stuff. Today I decided to try something different to liven up the party. First, I groomed Sovey in the forebay and then together (me on the ground) we walked laps in the driveway. The snow hasn't melted even on the edges, so there is no place at all to graze. I threw some hay down for him so we could pretend like we were out for a grazing walk. I could tell he loved the change. Of course he wanted to cross the road to the church and auto auction. He is certain that it is a racetrack, I think. Next, I repeated the whole routine with Pie. Pie was good, too, but he was very annoyed that there was no grass on this walk. He would periodically dive into snow mounds "just to double check" that there wasn't any grass hiding in there. When Pie and I were walking, Sovereign started racing around and whinnying and bucking and doing the cutest little bunny hops with his front legs that I have ever seen. Pie and I just stopped and stared at him. It was really funny because it didn't seem like Sovey was actually upset. We weren't leaving him - we were in plain view. It was more like he wanted another turn on the driveway again. For some reason, both horses were really affectionate today during their grooming and walks. Grooming Thoroughbreds is usually like grooming a tickly, prickly, wiggly monster. Today, I groomed two quiet, calm, thick-skinned lovebugs. If only I could bring them home with me.


  1. Yes, yes! I remember that book well. You sure loved it. You read it in Florida, right? And I know in Room of the Veiw the other day that's all you were thinking about... "Oh they have there doors open and their not worried about flies!" and "Oh I wish I could do that with horses!". Pride and Prejudice is like that, too. So is Sense and Sensibility. I suppose Howard's End is, too, but I never watched it so I don't know. I'll have to watch it.

  2. Meme - you are so adorable with your references! I love you. Feel better little honey! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Cute post Juliette! I do wonder about those flies in England, too?
    Glad you found something different to do with your boys. Very creative! Snow won't stop you from spending time with them. I bet Sovey was just hoping for another round of hay munchies!

  4. Maybe if you look closely in English housers with the dutch doors, in all the corners are little fly traps with yucky ole flied stuck to them!Or maybe they secretly have pet toads lounging around gobbling them up!
    I still think the best thing about having all that snow around is that it is like riding around a sea of mattresses and big fluffy pillows! Your Pie and Sovey are so lucky to have found their place with you!

  5. Looks very chilly in those pictures. Similar weather here. Sounds like Pie and Sovey enjoyed your attention.

  6. What a lovely day, Juliette! I'm sure your OTTB Babes really enjoyed that mental change. Perhaps the reward were two calm babies while grooming. That is always a nice alternative to the wiggle monster.
    I agree with the wanting to live among the horses. I actually did that once, for a summer while I worked at a Ranch in Michigan. Us, 'wranglers' lived in a house all together that was literally in the middle of the horse fields were they would graze in the evening. We would be awoken by the whinnies, nickering urges of hunger BRIGHT and early at 4:45 am. Way better than an alarm clock.
    Perhaps in your English Cottage, you could have a small bat colony that could help with the bugs? lol! :)

  7. Ha, what a cute post. The book sounds like a fun one. I often wish I could bring my cats to work with me. Although, I think I would enjoy it more than they would.



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