Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Wally says, "Excuse me, but wouldn't it be far more festive if I were 'treated' to something besides chopped carrots?"
I'm not sure why I still get all excited about Halloween. I mean, it's not like I dress up anymore. The highlight of the holiday is that I'm forced to surrender my stockpile of "fun sized" Kit Kat bars to a bunch of neighborhood kids I wouldn't even recognize out of their costumes. Perhaps my delight in Halloween is a trained response. When I was a kid-- okay, if truth be told, even through much of my teen years-- I relished a chance to dress up so I could pretend to be someone else for one night. Naturally, being a horse crazy girl, that meant my costume was always something that related to horses. Except for one or two years when I tried being a princess or a witch, I stuck with alter egos like Race Horse Jockey (easy with white dressage breeches and a hastily crafted set of colorful silks) or Cowgirl (I already had the boots and chaps). One year, during my college days, I worked as the head hostess and cashier at a major dinner house in swanky Newport Beach. My shift included Halloween night, and my good natured manager suggested I come in costume for Halloween. Since I wanted something elaborate for the high falutin' restaurant, I sewed myself an entire scarecrow outfit. I figured a scarecrow remained true to my traditional theme in costumes, with it being an agricultural character. Of course, I had to go all-out when it came to "stuffing" the inside of my scarecrow costume: I used a mixture of oat hay and alfalfa, straight from the haystack at home. I must say, I looked quite authentic, especially when I added make-up, a straw hat and a pair of floppy work gloves. The only problem? For the entire night I left a trail of oats and alfalfa leaves wherever I went. I'd seat a group of people, hand them their menus, and then unapologetically swipe my gingham sleeve and canvas glove across their tabletop in order to brush off a sprinkling of hay dust. Most of the time the customers just laughed. Others, however, didn't seem to take too kindly to having hay residue in their lobster. And they let my manager know. Thus that was the last time I ever played Scarecrow on Halloween.
Regardless of your plans for Halloween, Wally and I hope that you have fun. Your comments are always welcomed. Just click on "comments" below. Meanwhile, I'll be hoarding some fun-sized Kit Kat bars for myself.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun With Clippers

I am not a professional horse groomer, nor do I play one on TV. And yet I decided to body shave Wally all on my own.

Just to keep the record straight, I can braid a hunter's mane and tail with the best of 'em. Truly. I can whip a wayward mane into 30 or 40 braids in less than an hour. I can even weave in a lucky charm, mid-mane, if desired. But I've never made any claims to being a body shaving genius. If you look closely at Wally's new haircut, you'd see why.

I could've just hired Casey, the local professional horse groomer. She's really not expensive. In fact, I've told her numerous times that she charges too little for her services. But I figured what the heck. My arm is doing better since the last surgery, and my sister has a pair of heavy-duty clippers that lie dormant year after year, so why not do it myself?

Well, after I paid $50 to have the clippers cleaned, the gears greased, and the blades sharpened, I was more than halfway to paying out what it would've cost me to hire Casey. Then I had to purchase clipper oil and a jug of blade wash to rinse the hair from the blades at regular intervals. Ka-ching! There went another dozen dollars.


I made sure I did the correct preparation. Wally got a sudsy bath and once he dried I saturated him with Show Sheen, so that the blades would glide through the hair. (Or so I'm told).

Then I began clipping. Immediately I discovered that Wally had his own "Don't Go There, Sister, with Those Big Clippers" zone. If I got within 10 inches of his head he'd begin to lurch back against the hitching post, threatening to bolt. Alrighty then. I grabbed the battery-operated smaller clippers, switched them to a comparable blade size (or so I thought) and clipped the Forbidden Zone. Unfortunately when I finished the entire Wally Project I could discern a definite line of demarcation between the two sets of clippers. Thanks to my clipper expertise, or lack thereof, I had a patchwork Paint gelding.

Double sigh.

At that point I comforted myself by saying, "Hey, look, he's not a show horse. He's a trail horse. Half the time when I'm riding I only encounter other riders at a distance. Who'll notice? And, in a week or two, it'll all even out. It is hair. It does grow."

That's when I stood back and realized that I had yet to clip Wally's ears and the area surrounding his poll. He looked like he was wearing a hair hat. But there wasn't any way that Wally was going to allow me to advance any set of clippers in that direction. So I did what any woman would do: I summoned my husband.

"Honey," I said plaintively, "will you come out here and just hold Wally while I clip his ears?"

You have to appreciate how I winsomely beckoned Ron. The poor guy was totally clueless as to what "holding Wally while I clip his ears" meant.

A few minutes later, Ron was holding the stud chain at arm's length while I stood on a stool attempting to clip a moving target. Most of the time I was successful, which meant that tufts of orange hair rained down on my husband. Add to that the fact that every time Wally tried to dance away I'd call out over the motor, "Honey, tug on the chain more. More! No, more!"

Several times Ron spat out horse hair and declared flatly, "This is fun."

Did I ever promise him "fun" when we moved here and brought a horse into our backyard? Perhaps he misunderstood me. At any rate, Wally is now body shaved, for better or worse. Just don't look at him too closely.
Have a body shaving story or any other comment? Just click on "comments" below or email me at:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Jeans? Good Luck!

Can you find the one pair of jeans that fit me perfectly in this photo? They're buried in there, someplace. By the way, apparently I collect ball caps, only a few of which fit my head properly. But I guess that's a topic for another blog.
Just recently I mentioned on my blog how hard it was for me to find a great pair of jeans that fit my body-- imperfect as it is-- and allow me to ride comfortably. Apparently I am not alone. I heard from several readers that they, too, are haplessly searching for decent denim. Over the many years I have written for Horse Illustrated, I have also heard the same sentiment: "Where are all those wonderful jeans I see in all the ads? None of them seem to fit me like they fit the models." My reply is usually, "I feel your pain." Worse news? I've been a model and most of those jeans don't fit me, either. So here's the latest chapter in Cindy's Never Ending Search for Decent Denim. Hitch up your pants and sit down because it's sort of a long story.
There's this really nice lady who manages a cute, boutique-like western wear store a few blocks from my house. I will never forgive my trail riding friend, Natalie, for introducing me to this little store. I'm like a barn sour horse every time I drive past the open door and catch a glimpse of the racks of pearl button shirts in the window. I simply cannot stay out of that store! Anyway, the lady who runs it carries many different brands of jeans and she's an expert on which brand fits which figure types. And thus I threw myself on her mercy and begged for guidance, lest I be forced to rummage through stacks and stacks of denim scrounging for that One Great Pair.
I explained my criteria to this Queen of Jeans: I didn't want jeans that were relaxed fit, as my thighs (though expanding with age) are slim, and my calves and ankles are the circumference of rigatoni. Too generous of a boot cut and I end up with a pound of denim swirling above my toes. Yet I didn't want the jeans to be so tight that my legs looked like a pair of summer sausages. One other concern? I am long waisted. Low rise-- especially the current rage of super low rise-- was not going to work for me. I've tried them and when I climb into the saddle my low rise jeans don't always come with me.
After all that discourse, Madame Jeanswear simply took a few steps to one shelf and handed me a pair of dark blue jeans. "Try these," she said calmly.
The brand was called Posted, a name I hadn't heard of before. I put them on and I was in love! They were PERFECT! I bought one pair for riding (36" inseam) and one for street wear (34" inseam).
I went home and added them to my collection of jeans. Immediately they took the coveted spot of Best Loved Jeans. The other jeans in my stable of denim?
Levis 505: Good enough for hunt seat riding, as the straight leg and lightweight denim fits easily underneath my half chaps. But they are not available in long enough inseams for western riding. And they are almost too low in the rise for me. I have to wear a belt with them or I'm forever yanking them up above my hip bones, sort of like my grandpa.
Wrangler Slim Fit with Stretch: Great for western riding because they're extremely durable and available in the proper inseam. But that industrial strength denim makes them a little unsuitable for Date Night with The Husband.
Wrangler Aura Jeans: Tailored enough to wear out (my husband loves that they don't look like "horse jeans") and they have enough stretch to be comfortable. Problem? I cannot ride in them because I end up with a skirt of denim ballooning around my stirrup. (See note, above, about my skinny ankles).
Cruel Girl: I want to wear them. But they don't want to fit my body, regardless of what style I buy on impulse. At some point I have to accept that I am not a 19-year-old barrel racer and sell them on ebay.
Once I got to enjoy the Posted brand jeans, I decided that I needed to add more to my Mountain of Denim. So I went back to the castle of jeans and consulted with the queen. But guess what? SHE DIDN'T HAVE ANY MORE! This has happened to me many times in the past: I find a good pair of jeans and that's a sure sign they'll become extinct. The reasons are varied. The manufacturer goes bankrupt. Or another company buys the brand and changes it. Or trends pass and the company decides that they cannot afford to be making jeans just for Cindy Hale's bizarre tastes.

Of course, I went home in a state of panic and searched online. Every western wear store that claimed they carried Posted jeans were selling out of them. As in, "We don't think we're going to be getting any more of these jeans, so sizes are limited." Naturally, those would be the sizes that I wear.

On page 3 of my frenzied Googling I unearthed some tack store in Canada. I called. Yes, they had Posted jeans. Yes, they had my size, but they only had ONE PAIR. I considered consulting Map Quest to determine just how far it was to drive to British Columbia, but then I figured, what the heck, just entrust the sacred jeans to the whims of the mail service. However, once the price of the jeans was added to the shipping from Canada-- which is considered "international"-- this one pair of jeans became a luxury item. The grand total was nearly $70!
And you know me. I quickly calculated how many bales of hay that would buy. So I cancelled the order and hung up the phone.
And thus I cradle my pair of Posted jeans each time before I put them on. They are that rare treasure: a pair of soft, moderately stretchy, functional yet flattering jeans. Denim I can ride in! Denim that won't embarrass my husband when we're out on the town! Denim that doesn't make me look like either a rodeo rat or a little girl playing dress up in Daddy's clothes! But they are rare indeed. In fact, I may never find another pair again. However, I shall wear them to my heart's delight, enjoying every moment that allows me to realize that I own a great pair of jeans. And then, when they are finally ready to be euthanized, I can begin the search once more. Perhaps the Queen of Jeans will be able to conjure up something new by then.
******If you'd like to contribute to a jeans discussion, click on "comments" below. I'll commiserate with you! ******

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Is he a Rodeo Horse?"

I got sidetracked whacking back the overgrown clumps of drought tolerant, native grasses that we planted on our slopes. Since I had to do the same task last year, I have decided to call it The Annual Whacking of the Grasses. But that meant that Wally didn't get his morning ride. Instead, I finally got around to tacking him up just as the sun settled behind the hills. To Wally, the setting sun was the cue for his dinner, not for his saddle. So when I hopped on board he was, to put it mildly, a little distracted. And perturbed. When I rode past a pair of riders, each one mounted on a dusky palomino, Wally began to strut and shake his head. He arched his neck, humped his back and sashayed like a sea serpent. He was displaying both his evening friskiness and his displeasure at missing his regularly scheduled meal.

At that moment, the man aboard the taller of the palominos looked at Wally and said, quite seriously, "Is he a rodeo horse?"

I wanted to reply, "Now what gave you that idea?" but I was too busy bending Wally around my left leg to re-focus his attention on me. Instead I laughed, "No, he's just acting like a rodeo horse."

Wally's impression of Midnight: Champion Rodeo Horse only resulted in him having to work in the arena for 20 minutes. Once I got back Wally: Treasured Trail Horse and Pleasure Mount, I headed back home. Wally got a good grooming session by the dim light of an autumn sunset, and then he got his dinner. And once more, everything was right in his world.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ain't Nobody Perfect

Wally says, "Huh. I always thought that the fact that my butt was disproportionately larger than the rest of my body was an attribute. And now you're telling me that's a fault?"
When you're young you are painfully aware of how Nature did you wrong. For me it was my thin, bony shoulders, my wider-than-what-seemed-appropriate hip bones, my Extra Large front teeth and my ape arms. Trying to find a pair of jeans that would be long enough for my coltish legs without enveloping my waist like a feed sack was also an ordeal. Fortunately, with age comes a bit of wisdom. I began to realize that my grandmother was indeed correct: "Ain't nobody perfect." About that time I also discovered that you can buy jeans in various lengths, providing you don't mind mixing cowgirl denim with cashmere sweaters and silk blouses. I also began to look around. Not to point fingers, but by the time I hit 25 I was fully aware that my peers were also stuck with their own level of gawkishness. What freedom! What comfort I found in acknowledging that they were imperfect, too!
It's the same way with our horses. When I was younger... Okay, up until a decade or so ago... It was always very difficult for me to accept any kind of criticism about my horses. Period. I loved them all, and I didn't want to hear from some horse show judge that my hunter had crummy jumping style or my pleasure horse was an iffy mover at the trot. I once had a black Dutch warmblood mare who, in my mind, looked like Black Beauty. She shone like polished obsidian. Yet one day I was sitting on her at the backgate of a show ring and some stranger asked me, "What kind of horse is she? Her head is so, so, so funky looking." I think what she meant was, "She's so long-earred and plain-headed she resembles a mule." I took great offense at that.
But now, whether it's because I've had the joy of riding so many horses or because I've judged a lot of horse shows (or maybe I'm just getting more mellow in my "mature years") I'm alright with the notion that no horse is perfect. They all have flaws, just like us. For example, Wally is a bit too long in the back. He tends to grow more toe than heel, a fact that keeps me familiar with my farrier. He's also a little parrot-mouthed, which means that Wally and I both have semi-annual dental appointments. Though I can accept and deal with these conformational faults--hey, at least he doesn't have to shop for jeans--I would like to change an aspect of his disposition. I'd like to make him more, well, more charming. More of a sweetheart. I'd like him to be the kind of horse where I could sit on the fence and he'd come over and rest his head on my shoulder. But instead, he'd be chewing off the sleeve of my shirt. Then again, I suppose if I changed his disposition, Wally wouldn't be Wally, and that would be sad. The world needs at least a few flashy red horses with pompous attitudes.
What would you fix in your horse? Click on this link to go back to Horse Channel, where you'll find the latest offering of HI Spy: Fix a Flaw Then you can leave your comments there. You'll also find it interesting to read what other horse lovers would fix in their own beasties. Once again, it seems, ain't nobody perfect!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winds, Heat, Fire... Can We Just Have Winter?

And thus it came to pass that Autumn, 2008 began just as Autumn, 2007: Cold winds, hot winds, and raging wildfires...

It's almost sad that Wally has become used to empty pizza boxes flying through the air. He doesn't seem to care much anymore when the branches of the trees surrounding his turnout paddock are waving furiously like kites tethered by the merest of strings.

"Ho-hum," Wally seems to say. "Another windy October day in Southern California. Now on to more important matters. When is Cindy serving the carrots?"

Of course, the advent of the windy season means that Ron and I are scrambling along our hillsides, double-checking to make sure our young trees are anchored to stakes and poles. Several times, while trying to push against a trunk while Ron straightened it in the wind, I felt like I was doing some weird mime impression: "Woman Attempting to Remain Upright while Facing Headlong into 80 mph Wind."

Meanwhile, property owners in the areas to the north, south and east of us were attempting to win battles against a crop of wildfires. If you live in Southern California, you know fire season comes every autumn. You sort of prepare for it. The only uncertainty is where the first flames will erupt. For a couple of days the network news was filled with images of people fleeing their homes. But there were also plenty of images of horses being rescued and then, fortunately, cared for at evacuation centers. Each horse wore a wide strip of silver duct tape all the way around its neck. On the tape was written the owner's contact information. That tactic helps eliminate the confusion when one horse's personalized halter is "borrowed" a dozen or more times to aid in rescuing other equines.

If you didn't catch Horse Channel's coverage of the first edition of West Coast Wildfires, 2008, you can click on this link: Welcome to Autumn

For now, the wildfire danger has passed, although we're still dealing with very hot, dry, breezy conditions. Personally, I'd just as soon transition directly into winter. Seriously. Rain and cold snaps I can deal with. I just snuggle into my parka, lace up my waterproof boots and drink a lot of hot apple cider. Wally, I think, would agree with me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Have Parka, Will Judge

Here I am, in non-parka mode, posing with Kristin. She served as my announcer once she finished showing in the other arena.
Just when I thought I was finished judging horse shows for the year, I got a call to fill in for another judge who had to bow out of her assignment. I had nothing on my social calendar (ha!) for Sunday, so I accepted. And why not? First, it was at a showground not all that far from my home. Second, I know the management crew and they're a very competent, fun bunch. And third, Wally's orchard grass/alfalfa hay mix is about $22.00 a bale. As I've mentioned before, I equate every little job with how many bales of hay I can buy with the paycheck. I wasn't about to turn down the gig! The only drawback to this particular judging duty was that a brisk, cold wind started blowing the night before. By early morning it was howling! All I could think of was, "Well, I wouldn't be sending any of my little lesson kids to a horse show in this kind of weather." I truly thought the show would be cancelled. But since I hadn't received a phone call by 7:00 a.m., I snuggled into my down parka (for the first time since last February) and headed to the show. Guess what? The wind there was reduced to nothing more than a breeze. The temperature was a bit nippy until the afternoon--- well, nippy by Southern California standards-- but overall it was very pleasant weather.

For most of the day I was teamed up with Kristin, a congenial young woman who served as my announcer. I'd worked with her before. Kristin is a kindergarten teacher, and I used to teach school, so during any lulls in the action (like while the arena was being watered) we'd share anecdotes about the classroom. I always find it interesting that schoolteachers, in general, are very verbally expressive. We like to chat! Plus we're very positive by nature, forever acting as cheerleaders for our students. I think that's how I approach judging: I truly want the riders to put in a good performance. I'd like everyone to get an "A".


Kristin had competed earlier in the day in the other arena, under the other judge, who happened to be Meg Schulman. She is a USEF "R" (large R) judge, which is a testament to her skill, training and experience. In the past I've interviewed Meg for Horse Illustrated, so naturally I had to make use of this time together and get some interesting quotes and insights from her for future use in the magazine and on Horse Channel. Meg is a genuinely nice lady. She is also expressive and articulate. She probably would've made a wonderful schoolteacher!


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Friday, October 10, 2008

If the Shoe Fits...

If the shoe fits, then wear it, dang it!

Wally has a propensity for growing long toes and not enough heel. Many modern day American Quarter horses and Paints are prone to this predilection. In fact, when I bought Wally, his ex-owner told me three times, "Have your farrier take off lots of toe every time." How do I know she told me this three times? I counted.

I stay on top of it. Wally gets shod routinely every six weeks, which makes a considerable impact on my horsekeeping budget. I tried stretching farrier appointments to 7 or even (*gulp!*) 8 weeks, but Wally's toes got long and I didn't want to court disaster. Or a vet bill. So for the last few shoeing sessions, his feet look awesome. He's sound, he's comfortable, and I'm happy... if a bit poorer.

Yesterday I rode Wally on a long trail ride, all the way up to the golf course and back, and then down through the neighborhood. I figured he should have a nice, cushiony bed instead of sleeping in The Great Outdoors as usual. So last night I decided to put Wally inside his big covered and matted pen.Since I removed the divider, which once separated it into two smaller pens, the enclosure is quite roomy: 32 x 16. I also had heavy-duty wire stretched across the inside of the pen to make it even more secure, since Wally has a tendency to scratch himself on the fence rails and roll vigorously when he lies down. Plus I bedded it heavily.

To make certain that he didn't get the wire stuck underneath any of his EXPENSIVE SHOES when he rolled or slept, I put bell boots on all 4 of his feet. That way, I figured, he couldn't possibly yank any of those shoes off.


I came out this morning-- the first brisk morning of the autumn, I might add-- and my husband presented me with a slightly tweaked horse shoe.

"Is this Wally's?" Ron asked.

I believe the answer was obvious.

You know, there was a moment last night, during the application of the bell boots, when I considered slapping a round or two of duct tape across the heels of Wally's shoes, just so the wire couldn't possibly get underneath them. But did I do it? No.

"What's the likelihood that'll happen," I thought. "I mean, seriously, he's wearing bell boots that go all the way over his heels and to the ground."

Next time, I'll listen to that little voice in my head, the one that warns me about Wally's proclivity for mischief.

And thus I made a frantic, plaintive call to my farrier this morning.
If you have any comments-- shoe-related or otherwise-- feel free to click on "comments" below!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Gunky Side of Horse Care

I have been a mare person most of my life. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because so many mares possess a whole lot of personality. With mares, you know what horse you're saddling as soon as you pull it out of its corral. They let you know right away their opinion on whatever you're about to do with them. Fortunately, I've had many good mares and only a few that made me want to pull my hair out.

But now that I have Wally I'm coming to appreciate yet another aspect of mares: they don't need their sheaths cleaned. Boy horses, on the other hand, require some frequent maintenance in a very sensitive area. And, quite frankly, since I spent so many decades with mares, this is one area where I'm not anxious to get up to my elbows in my work. (If you know what I mean).

Twice now I've had to summon Jennifer, my vet and friend, to sedate Wally so he could have his sheath cleaned professionally. That was the only way to get it done because Wally had decided that he was not going to let anyone get up close and personal with him. Yet over the last couple of months I've slowly been working up to doing the procedure myself, without sedating Wally at all. Since he trusts and respects me-- most of the time-- I felt like today was my chance to forge ahead with the ol' bucket of warm soapy water.

Eureka! Success!

I was so proud of myself, and so glad that I'd saved myself another vet call this winter for Wally's semi-annual sheath cleaning, that I wanted to tell someone. But who? I mean, it's not like I could run into the house and tell Ron. He'll muck Wally's corral for me and unload feed, but he's really not interested in comprehending the definition of "smegma." Trust me on this.

And thus I add "Sheath Cleaning" to the list of Things that Make the Average Non-Horse Person Cringe. In my mind, the list would be:
1. Expressing pus from an abscess (distemper related or otherwise)
2. Handling the placenta after a mare foals
3. Sheath cleaning
4. Mucking a stall 24 hours after a parasite-infested horse has been dosed with a de-wormer
5. Participating in the after care of a recently gelded colt

Yup, that about sums up the gunky side of horse care. And people say the horsey lifestyle is glamorous. Ha!
You're welcome to click on "comments" below to share your thoughts. Just please, wash your hands first!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Topper Jones, Lesson Horse

Like many horse owners, my sister Jill and I are in the habit of assigning our last names to our horses. Hence, Wally becomes "Wally Hale." And my sister's horse becomes "Topper Jones."
Today I hauled Topper Jones over to Sue's so that I could put him to use as a school horse for one of my lesson kids. Sue and I are still shopping for another school horse since saintly Cassie died, but we haven't found a suitable replacement yet. So when duty calls, Topper answers. Topper has the perfect personality to be a lesson horse understudy. He's extremely tolerant. Physically he's blessed with smooth gaits and a soft jumping style (the kids don't get tossed out of the tack). He doesn't intimidate the kids because he's not in any big hurry to go anywhere. And he's had nothing but good rides since he came off the racetrack, so he's dependable and safe.
It would never occur to Topper to do anything bad or naughty. Mischievous? Yes. But never naughty. He'll flap his lips when he's bored. If you're not watching he'll grab his reins in his teeth. And once in a while he'll simply walk right up to whichever human is standing in the center of the arena and make a pest of himself, but he's never truly naughty.
Topper pauses between jumps to have his photo taken. His rider, Cameron, is about the size of a twig. That doesn't matter to Topper. He explains it this way: "As a former racehorse, I am quite used to being piloted by short, wispy riders."

Here Topper and Cameron stand alongside one of my other students, Siegen, and her pony Amanda. As you can tell, there's a contentious relationship between Amanda Pony and Topper. Amanda doesn't seem to appreciate Topper's flirtatious behavior. "How many times do I have to tell you," Amanda says, "I'm not interested in having a carrot juice cocktail with you!"


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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Time Gallops Onward

Did my behind ever actually fit in a saddle this small? And not that I have huge feet, but were they ever so petite that I rode in stirrups not much larger than your average coffee mug?
Oh my gosh! It's October! This shouldn't really surprise me because I've had a gigantic plastic bowl of "fun-sized" Kit Kat bars sitting on my kitchen counter for a week. They were supposed to be for the annual herd of trick-or-treaters, but you know how that goes. I end up grazing through them long before the Witching Hour. The realization that the year is passing so quickly (wasn't it just Fourth of July?) has left me feeling rather melancholy. Why? Because as time passes I'm getting older. And I'm beginning to feel it.That point was driven home last weekend. Not only did I judge a horse show populated primarily with children, but the day before that I taught my Saturday slate of riding lessons. For one hour I played the role of teacher to a trio of horse crazy girls who never demonstrated any ebb to their reservoirs of energy and enthusiasm. Meanwhile, I trudged around the arena on foot like a sweaty plow horse. When the lessons were finished for the day, I grabbed a bottle of water out of Sue's refrigerator in the tack room and guzzled it like a thirsty endurance horse. Or like an endurance horse without much endurance. The kids? They were zigzagging from crossties to wash rack, shampooing horses, cleaning tack and sweeping up. That's when it dawned on me: Maybe it's not just their youthful age, but their diminutive size that accounts for their boundless energy. It must be so easy to move through space when you're a kid the size of a pea pod.
Put down that Kit Kat bar and click on "comments" to share your thoughts. I love to read them!