Who Wants One #9: Autumn is a second spring...
Going a little seasonal this time, but I have a couple of other ideas floating around in my head. If you would like to request this tag please put the request in a comment below. Name change only, offer open until 9 p.m. on Monday, September 17.
So, last time I wrote we were getting ready for the Hot August Nights concert with Eric Burdon. There were four acts that night, three local bands entertained us before Eric took the stage. It would be unfair to compare any of the locals to Eric. But of the three bands, two understood the importance of practicing and one...well let's just say either they just formed two days before the concert, or they were having a painfully bad night. Eric Burdon, on the other hand, rocked the park, performing for almost two hours. He played almost all his oldies, but leaned more toward his 2006 blues album, much to the disappointment of the crowd. I wasn't disappointed and really enjoyed how he reworked some of the oldies, but apparently I was in the minority because a lot of people got up and left before he ended the show. They came to hear him sing his 60s catalog, he came to promote his new album. Ah well, it is his music and not everyone understands or appreciates the quality of artistic license.
The next morning was an early one, as I had a date with several Morgan horses...it's been a very, very long time since I've been in the saddle. Twenty-five years if you count a brief trail ride at a Rent A Horse stable in Sacramento, thirty years if you count the free-spirited do what I want, go where I want rides I enjoyed as a teen. This time, I was a little nervous and apprehensive at first and took it easy, spending only a half an hour in the saddle; no point overdoing it this early. For so long I've put aside my wishes to ride again...my life has changed and that's that. But the winds of change blew in a fortunate twist when the daughter of a friend married a farmer who also raises Morgans (America's first horse). Oh, they are so perfectly beautiful and I've been away from the company of horses for much too long. Our friends have nine horses, three stallions, five mares and one foal (sooooo cute!). Mirzay, Carlos, Marty, Elvira, Flaming Ember, Coalette, Martina, Susanna, and Tia.
At 23 years old, Mirzay is picture of health and beauty. He is a three time National reining and cutting champion (American Morgan Horse Association title) and many time halter class winner. Isn't he gorgeous...the black stallion, Morgan style. In his time he has sired dozens of prized foals, but his days as a stud will soon be over. Then he'll enjoy a long life of leisure grazing in the pasture mixed with occasional trail rides. His owner Cary adores his Mirzay...they've been together since the beginning and share a bond that is strong and tender.
This is Leeann and her 12 year old bay mare, Ember. Ember thinks and acts like a princess. I've been around a few princesses in my life, but they pale by comparison to Ember. She's a bit lazy, but very well trained and once she got into the groove of things, Ember became poetry in motion.
Barb and her 13 year old black mare, Elvira...a birthday present to herself this past January. Elvira is a lively stepper and is, without a doubt, the best trained horse I have ever rode.
Me and Elvira taking a leisurely walk in the pen...that's Mirzay watching us in the background. Funny thing about getting on a horse after a twenty five year absence, along with those years came just about as many extra pounds and well, my first attempt to 'hop' onto the saddle was, ummm, less than graceful, lol!!! Okay, I couldn't even pull myself onto the saddle! Oye! What a weakling!!! What happened!!! I used to be so good at this...it was second nature. Heck, I used to ride bare back! Oh dear, what have I got myself into? Second try was a little better if you don't count the part where I grunted as I tried to hoist and balance an extra twenty pounds of body weight on a fifty year old frame while swinging an equally heavy right leg over Ember's back without kicking her. Good thing no one had a video camera! Geez, that was a wake up call. Luckily, after that it got easier as my mind and body began to syncronize and remember that yes, we know how to do this. We've done it hundreds of times before. I can't wait to go back...hopefully this weekend. :) I should mention I did go faster than a walk...Morgans have such a easy gait at any speed...and I was amazed at how quickly some of my riding skills returned to me. I've still got much to relearn and master and it will take hours of riding before I regain the skill level I once possessed. Leeann's husband Cary offered words of encouragement by telling me 'It's just like riding a bike, once you learn, you never forget.' True, I'll admit, except bikes don't have a mind of their own, lol!
Two month old filly, Tia and her 15 year old black mother, Coalette. Tia is 'blowing' her milk coat and the soft baby fuzz stands out against the sleeker undercoat.
Susanna, a four year old bay mare. She's a real beauty. Next time I visit the farm, she'll be at the trainers.
Carlos, a two year old chestnut stallion. He's for sale by the way.
Susanna (left) and Marty, a one year old bay stallion following me as I walk around the pasture to visit and photograph Carlos, whose stall and pasture is on the opposite side of the barn. Marty is the farm's future junior stallion.
Not pictured is Martina, a thirteen year old bay mare. She was at the trainer's getting another 30 days training and riding.
I truly enjoyed my day on the farm...it was much needed food for this old soul.
I've been down with some bug for over a week. Ugh! Started as a sore throat a week ago Monday and it just got worse. Was off work last week, but didn't feel up to doing much of anything short of sleeping. I'm finally feeling better, and returned to work this week, but I'm not quite back to 100% yet. By two o'clock I start fading, so I'm taking it easy for now.
There's more to tell, but it's late and I need to get some rest. Hopefully I'll have time to write some more after work tonight.
Horses are nature in its finest form. ~Pat Parelli