Monday, March 14, 2011

the animals we love.

It was a bad weekend, fighting off fever and chills, while riding two horses around cross country courses on Sunday, was not fun. in hindsight i probably should have just stayed home, but i didn't,and survived the experience anyway. both horses did their best with a rider that was definitely not on her 'A' game. it's also that time of year, when you having trouble remembering if that all elusive thing called 'sleep' really exists. Weekends involve early mornings and late nights, weekdays involve early mornings long hours, trying to catch up on all the work that is slipping by, due to constantly competing. It does get exhausting at times.

I'm not sure if its because I'm still under the weather, but i feel like curling up on a couch and sleeping, and hoping someone else will miraculously do all the jobs on the farm and feed all my horses for me...this unfortunately is not going to happen. Its only only me on the farm, so its only me who can do all the chores. But on days like theses, their is always something to keep me going. Whether its my constant companion and source of endless love and affection, Lucy the dog, or the cat that accompanies on all farm jobs, or at the moment, the wild stallion who's grazing in the backyard and keeps trying to climb the porch to come in and say "hi". these animals, with there very simple needs keep me going. I know its sounds cheesy, but its true. I think most animal lovers know what i mean to.

I do feel guilty, because i have done nothing with Matai, the wild stallion, since his show, a few weeks ago. Sure he gets handled and fed and a few pats each day but other than that hes had no further training, riding or handling. Yet everyday he waits and gives a big neigh of greeting from his paddock, and comes up for his cuddles and scratches. If you are to busy and walk by him, he gives you this huge doe eyed look, that melts even the most hardened of souls. Now the wild mare Fern, neighs to you, and does her best ' butter wouldn't melt in my mouth expression', but I'm not fooled by her, she wants food. Shes not to fussed if you don't pay her attention, as long as you don't forget to drop off her feed bucket or hay as you go. the stallion, never really seems interested in food at all, he comes to hang out with you, feed bucket or not, and genuinely seems curious and happy to be around you, content with life.

These little things when you put some much, blood, sweat, lets be honest tears and money into these creatures, does make all the difference. Because unlike my lovely Lucy, horses aren't really prone to emotional displays of affection toward you, in the way that dogs are. It makes me laugh that out of all my horses, the wild stallion, and one old crazy Arab, are the two most affectionate. The only two that seem to go right out of their way to come and be with you.They make up for the others that really only want the food and the occasional scratch.

So yesterday, I arrived home from the show, exhausted, disappointed with myself and my performance, feeling like i was burning from the inside out with the flu, pretty much like i wanted to have a big cry and a bit of a very rare for me 'female meltdown' that all girls seem to have when we get a bit too stressed. But the stallion gave me a huge whinny of greeting as soon as my car came to a stop, trotting all the way to the fence to say hi. This cheered me a bit. i unloaded the horses, dumped them in their paddock, did a rough job of finishing everything so i could go curl up inside for the night. The last job for the day was to top up a big bucket of water, for the stallion and his mate, who are grazing, what is supposed to be a backyard, but really is just knee high grass, with a few ornamental plants and fruit trees scattered around.

While waiting for the bucket to fill, i gave up all energy, and sat, then finally lay down on the grass to wait, arm over my eyes. As i lay there i heard the shuffling, soft thud of hooves, as Matai came to investigate my strange behaviour. Peeking out from under my arm, i saw the obviously perplexed expression of one little brown stallion, as he snuffled at my boots, then worked his way up,to breathe is hot, earthy breath in my face. After convincing himself it was only mum being weird, he stood happily over me, stomping at the occasional fly, while i gazed half comatose from the grass underneath, thinking to myself that no matter what " at least one horse loves me". No matter how bad i felt he was still happy to seee me.

Eventually i did manage to drag myself off the ground, the stallion still there, only giving me his big doe eyes again as i stood up. The doe eyes, work anytime, i went and gave him a big hug around his thick hairy neck. as well as a a good itch under his mane where i know he likes.

This morning again as i ventured outside i got, a huge whinny of greeting, as if to say " I'm so Happy to see you again", as the wild stallion trotted up to say hello. Even in my sorry state it put a big smile on my face, you cant stay sulking inside when you get that kind of greeting in the mornings. So somehow I'm going to get through the day, because its true, those animals we love and the little things they do, sometimes make everything possible.