Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wild Horses

Today I am missing the beautiful horses I grew up with. In my life I have had 2 of my own horses,but was raised with many. I am longing for the feeling of riding a running horse through a open pasture. so I'd like to talk about a few of the gentle souls I've loved through the years. I wish I had a few pictures to share but words will just have to do for now
Jenny was my father's horse whom he had her entire life. She was so sweet and kind and would break away from the other horses and come stand over him and I all night in camp. She was as much a mama to me as my real mother was. She was born a few years before I was and when I was only 6 days old my father took me for my first horse back ride swaddled in his coat on her. Every time one of the other horses would have a baby she too would milk up, nuzzle and help care for the tiny ones. Many times my father tried to breed her, knowing what an amazing mother she would be but of the 8 or so times her tried she was never able to have her own.I am quite sure my father cried all night long when she passed, as I know I did.
Tess was the kind of horse that no man could truly own. She had a wild streak that would be her demise. I remember watching my father patiently cleaning her terrible leg wounds after she ran through a barbed wire fence. she had a beautiful cinnamon colored coat and mane that almost glowed in the sunlight. Tess reminded me of a wild horse whose trust and love had to be earned and deserved. She was our Flicka.
Roger was a horse my father rescued from a negligent owner. He was a 17 year old gelding when we brought him home. He was my first horse and despite how little I knew about riding he was always obedient and gentle allowing anyone to ride him if they could catch him. His previous neglect was considerably worse than what we had thought. His body was riddled with worms and on my 10th birthday his eye fell out. As it turns out although we had treated him with wormer he had one die behind his eye long before we ever got him. After getting him all patched up I had the kindest one eyed horse a little girl could ask for. Raja, as I called him went to live with another little girl whom he could share his gentle care with. Today he would be over 30 so I am sure he has long since passed, I hope he went surrounded by love.
Then there was the horse we only had for a short while. I think my father took him knowing he was sick, but I was so young then I hardly even remember his name. I think he came to our house to die in peace and with people around him. I remember my father coming home at in the evenings and dumping cans and cans of beer into a bucket for the horse. As a child I never understood but now I know it was to ease his awful pain. When he died he was buried in the field alongside the others who had lived full lives and died in peace.
Little horse was the only offspring of Tess. The most beautiful buck skin mare I have ever seen to this day. She had a gracefulness and presence of so much more than just a beast of burden. She loved to run, and would convince the rest of the herd to run along with her. There is something about seeing a herd of horses running that speaks to some quiet primitive part of me. Little was also my horse, and as I look back through the years I wish I would have spent more time exploring the mountains and creeks with her than wasting my time with childish boys. She died with valor on the trail, and as I type I can barley see the screen through my tears. I will forever lament losing my Little, although I will always remember her majestically galloping across the fields.
I guess since nobody reads this I am just saying all this as a way of remembering my own sweet childhood. The love and companionship of a horse is more than any human could hope for let alone deserve, So real and loyal. Hopefully someday my children will understand what it is like to jump on a horse and disappear into the wilderness, Or sleep under the stars and wake up to your loyalist friend quietly munching grass next to your bedroll.

Peace in the pasture

1 comment:

  1. So timely! The last few days I've been missing the wonder of the horses I grew up with too. Yesterday, I wondered if I will ever have a chance to ride again and the thought of not getting to made me almost cry. Our mares were passed on to other little girls when I went to college 15 years ago and I haven't been around a horse since. They are such amazing creatures and we were both very lucky girls to get to appreciate them!


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