Sunday, March 6, 2016

Horse Ruminations

Thanks, Margaret!
I never thought of using this as a slice today....

Our "horse lives" were mainly in Minnesota, and began as newlyweds. Neither of us had ever owned a horse before that time.  We bought a small farm and began our adventure.

Misty was our fourth horse, a sturdy Appaloosa mare, maybe 15H (hands), so a good height for me at 5'4".  She was level-headed, sweetheart unless she encountered a mailbox.  When one of them would sneak up on her, she would veer out into the road, no matter what speed she was going, which made riding on our country road a bit of a problem.  A gallop by a mailbox meant you could be leaping into the center of the road suddenly.  Slower gaits were safer around mailboxes!  Field riding was the best.  I don't know what in the world had happened in her previous life that set off this reaction.  We got her when she was about 10 and already trained to the Western saddle, though I rode both English and Western. 
I loved her trot.  It was even and pretty easy to sit her trot (which is what you'd do in a Western saddle vs posting in English).  And her canter had a nice rocking motion (oh, yeah, except when the mailboxes attacked).
She had a mostly white coat with flecks of rust all over.  If I had been the one to name her I might have been tempted to name her Cinnamon or Cinnamon Cookie, as she looked like she had been sprinkled with cinnamon! She was a well muscled horse; smooth silk coat, especially on her neck. 
In winter, we left the horses out in the cornfields to forage, and they came by the barn mornings and evenings for water, hay and a bit of grain.  Their coats would grow long, like a fuzzy kitten's.  Misty's coat would be about an inch and a half long and so you could rub your hands in it.  I loved putting my face on her shoulder and loved blowing on her nose; it was like horse kisses.  She'd often blow back softly and nuzzle you so you'd rub her face and withers. 
Bareback in winter... oh, the warmth of the horse's back...
Now I'm craving the smell of a steaming barn and the touch of a soft, warm muzzle!
Maybe I need to write some stuff about those days to tuck away for my grandchildren.  As long as I make a promise to myself NOT to get a horse!
Thanks for nudging these memories, Margaret!


  1. Margaret made me remember past good times too. I rode all my life, and finally bought a horse for Sarah to learn to ride, and me to ride again. I gave her up when I went back to teaching again, but both my kids learned to ride well, a good thing to know, and I loved my time with her. She was an arab palomino mare, and I won't ever forget her. Like you, the memories are keen.

  2. This was such vividly captured memories, Donna. I rode a lot as a child, and miss it now.

  3. This was such vividly captured memories, Donna. I rode a lot as a child, and miss it now.

  4. My sister had a horse for many years, but I never caught the horse bug. I loved reading about your lovely Misty. Maybe her first owner was a Marguerite Henry fan!

  5. I love the description of a "steaming barn and the touch of a soft, warm muzzle." I love horses, but have never been able to have relationships like you had with them. Thanks for letting me live vicariously!


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