Wednesday, February 26, 2014


That's the word for my horse life these days. Simplified.

When Lily got her last float, my friend said that the change in her was remarkable. A year of natural farrier care (no more shoes), changing her diet to just oats and hay, all the work we did to get her teeth back in order, it's given Lily a whole new life.

She is sound. Her coat glows like a brand new penny. I ride her in a halter, we do simple things in the arena, just enough for both of us to keep in touch. She's out with a group of mares, they all get along.

"It took four years, but just look at her," my friend remarked, marveling at this 19 year old horse everyone thinks is 10.

It's funny, I was pouring over a horse magazine the other day and realized the articles that used to grab my attention no longer held any interest. I didn't need to know how to get my horse to respect me, how to stop her from jigging, how to get her sound.

That part of the journey is done. We are now on a long, quiet stretch, where we kick up some sand in the arena, dash through the poles, round the barrels that the other, more serious riders, work out on. We take them at a trot, sometimes a light canter, then run for the gate. Just for kicks.

Stephanie is coming out to ride Lily. She sold Cibolo to a good horse family. She needs to concentrate on college and work, and just wasn't having fun anymore.

It's supposed to be fun - that was something I had to be reminded of.

So now Stephanie will help me keep Lily ridden, she'll get her horse fix, I'll get a fitter mare. It takes a village to ride a horse these busy days.

I ride about once a week. I no longer worry that I can't ride more often. I've got kids, and right now they need me more than my horse. My horse doesn't need me to ride her 4-5 times a week, we aren't working on a goal. Our time together has no real purpose, it's just good for us. For me it gives me that place where I turn off my busy brain and remember to be in the present. For Lily it turns on her brain, she focuses in ways that are simultaneously unnatural and second nature.

I miss trail rides, long weekends with friends, all of that. But I have awakened to the realization that now is not that time. Maybe it will in 5 years. Maybe not.

But for now, it's just simple. Which is much more fun.


Unknown said...

Interesting, Laura Crum just posted about the same thing today, and you both are reminding me of what is really important!

Thank you!

50+ Horses said...

Riding because you WANT to not because you HAVE to. Riding just to ride.

Good Stuff!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Simple and fun. Seems like those two works sum up the best times we should be having with our horses.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

It is what it is. Back when I was working 80 hours a week, I had people pressuring me to do more with my horses, but unless someone uses horses every day for their livelihood, the reality is that most of us only have short bursts of opportunities to ride. And each time we get discouraged with our progress, it always helps to look back and see how far we've come.

Shirley said...

Glad to see you back, by the way!

Laura Crum said...

I am having a similar horse life (as Cindy D pointed out), and it works for me. Glad to hear you are having fun with Lily and enjoying her. And that she is enjoying life, too. That's what counts (or so I think). And I was happy to read your post--I wondered how you were doing. Good wishes.

Anonymous said...

It's lovely to hear from you.

Simplicity is much underrated in our modern world - we could all take a lesson from you.

aurora said...

Welcome back! Nice to hear you & Lily are enjoying your time together!!

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone! I plan on writing much more often. I've missed ya'll. Or is it y'all?