Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Riding a giraffe

I've discovered a great horsey community over at Neigh-Bours, a cool EQUINE social networking site for us horse-mad types. I've also set up a li'l blog over there. Honestly, you'd be forgiven for thinking I am a serial blogger, but that really isn't the case. Yesterday was interesting for this reason. While you're taking a look around the site, keep an eye open for one of my PetPawtrait Giveaways. Sign up as a member, and start blogging, we all think our horses are quirky, so share their eccentricities with other horse lovers. It's a great community. Go look.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Goose pimples in the spring sunshine

Today was one of those beautiful days - sunny, blue-skied and filled with music. It was also serendipitous in the most delightful way. What now feels like a long, long time ago, I blogged about Alwyn Hewson. I think about him and his family often. Even now, two years later, one of them will pop into my thoughts. I've continued to wonder how his wife and kids were doing... and today was the day I found out. We were picnicing at the Walter Sisulu Gardens when I noticed a red-headed boy running past me clutching a dirty, stuffed toy dog by the ear. Boyfriend Ben's son (also a red head) ran off with him. When none of them returned, I went looking for the boys. The teenage girl taking care of the red-head turned out to be Alwyn's daughter and Liam was the baby I'd last seen three years ago. Alwyn's wife, Daryl, was nearby and we had a goose-pimple, warm hugging reunion. That was when she told me that the post I'd written so long ago had been discovered by her brother who lived in the States and distributed through their family. She thanked me because it meant so much to them all. This left me trying to swallow the huge lump in my throat. Standing there in the warm spring sunshine I was filled with goose bumps. Boyfriend Ben poined out how something I'd written had touched people, some of which I don't even know.

This made me realise the power of writing. That sometimes you just have to write, the reason you're doing it is less important.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

yearning for spring

I have roses blooming outside my front door.
It's still really bone-achingly cold.
I'm hoping it'll be over soon...
The delicate fragrance of these flowers
suggest the promise of spring

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lucky Me

A beautiful gift from a beautiful friend. I spotted hers hanging around her neck and immediately wanted one for myself. She plopped the gorgeous Jenna Clifford bag in my lap a few weeks later and there it was, my very own angel's signature - sterling silver feather. I LOVE IT!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Stranger and stranger," cried Alice

A couple of Sundays ago a small group of us got together to drum in the solstice. I blogged about the weird effects seen in the last photo I took that day. Now, a couple of weeks later, I was having a look at the photos taken by my boyfriend's daughter when I noticed this small purple haze just above the place where we sat. These were taken about an hour before we started drumming, and that purple shape is the same colour as all the other purple blobs we've captured over this labyrinth.

The first time this happened was in 2005. It had been a year after my mare Melody had crossed, roughly the same period of time had elapsed since the Indonesian tsunami disaster. My mom had just built her Labyrinth of Animal Remembrance and she'd asked me to take some photos. I'd conducted a simple ritual at the centre of the labyrinth and painted a stone with Melody's name on it, placing it along the path. About a week later I downloaded the photos and discovered this:

A milky white haze on the left and the now familiar amethyst blob to the right (not sure how clear it is on this pic). There are three photos from this batch where you can see the haze and the purple blob in varying densities. They are all in more or less the same place, even though the photos were taken from different angles. The purple blob in the solstice photo is about 40˚ to the right of where it is in the above photo, but they were both taken from the same place.

There has been some heated debate regarding the phenomena in these photos. The purists insist that it's merely lens flare, or dust particles. I'd have been the first to agree with that, had I not taken these and seen this for myself. Since 2005 there is a lot more info available regarding orbs, or blobs of "light" which show up mysteriously in photographs.

The instant I saw this photo on my screen I knew that something special had taken place. The purple orb caught my eye first and then the grey haze. My skin prickled with goosebumps as I took it all in... the amethyst coloured orb appears above the spot where I placed Melody's stone. If you look carefully at the grey orb, soften your focus, you'll see a horse's head in there. I didn't notice this initially - it was pointed out to me by the editor of Renaissance Magazine. She saw "an animal" when she looked at it. I studied the photo on another screen and could clearly make out the horse's head.

It all seems so matter of fact to me now. At the time though, it was like there was a thundering explosion in my head. Melody had been my soul mate, my mirror and teacher - the horse who taught me more than any teacher had. I'd been devastated when I made the decision to let her go. I spent the year after her death in some kind of bubble, I could barley feel anything, the grief was so solid, it was lodged in my chest like a lump of cement. December 23rd 2005 was the anniversary of her passing. I'd felt nothing, experienced nothing, not even a glimmer that she might be around me in her spiritual form throughout the year.

During my good bye ritual I asked that she send me a sign that she was ok. I just needed to know that my beautiful mare was out there somewhere and that the connection we had shared had not evaporated into nothing... this photo was the result.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Definition of a door

I read somewhere that the definition of a door is something a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of. Cats can climb through windows, and clever cats can jump up to grab at a door handle and open a door... The same can't be said for dogs. Except probably clever dogs. I don't have one of those. Well, I suppose shouldn't say that about Velvette, she is after all the quintessential Lab - loves food and swimming, but not necessarily in that order. She also has this annoying habit of sitting JUST outside a door and giving a low grunt to have it opened WIDE enough for her to get through! Joe just barges in, shoves the door aside and doesn't care if he has to slither through a narrow opening. Not Velvette. Nope. She'll sit and grunt until I get up and do it for her. This the breed who pulled heavy nets full of fish from frozen waters. It drives me nuts when she does'nt show any initiative . Especially in this weather, it's up and down and in and out the whole day. Sometimes it feels like that's all I do: open the door, close the door and feed the dogs. Maybe she's not as dim as I think as she has me trained and she doesn't even need a remote control!

Friday, June 26, 2009

He wasn't a Beatle

The first words I heard when I woke up this morning were that Michael Jackson had died. I can remember what I was doing the day I heard that Michael Hutchence, Kurt Cobain and Princess Diana died. I can recall what I was doing when I heard about the passing of Hansie Cronje and Heath Ledger...

My earliest such memory though, is hearing the news of John Lennon's death. I was eight years old and on the way to school. I was with my family in our Toyota Corolla, driving up the hill past the Ohenimuri Country Club, in Walkerville where I grew up. We'd missed the bus again. The 7.30am news came on the radio and we heard that he'd been shot. I have no idea why that memory stood out so clearly for me. It wasn't like my folks were ardent fans of the Beatles or anything.

What is interesting though, is how much I came to love and admire Lennon, by the time I was 18 I had declared him my hero and searched for the books he'd written. I consumed his biographies and lost myself in his lyrics.

The media went beserk today with the news of Jackson's passing, and I couldn't help but wonder what the hooha was about - I mean, it's not like he WAS a Beatle, or anything. I can't say that I was surprised though, by all the reminiscing that went on. What with being an 80's child, I was there when Thriller was foisted upon the airwaves, but I just didn't get it. Not then and not now.

The only Michael Jackson song that I ever really liked was "Librarian Girl" - so I thought I'd make some smart-arsed comment to that effect on Twitter. But first, I checked the lyrics – you know... to be sure, to be sure... Only to discover that the song is in fact titled "LibERian Girl," and has nothing to do with falling in love with a bookish type at the library...

There goes that fantasy. I was clearly in some other tent when the Michael Jackson circus went thundering past...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My first Blog Award

I was a bit on the slow side to realising that I'd been given a Gold Hydrant Award for this post, from Life With Dogs - THE funniest dog blog on the Net. Thanks to Chester for putting me straight on the fact that I was "a worthy recipient of this coveted award," and pointing out where it came from!!

This is so cool, thanks Nigel and Co. I try to take my Animal Antics writing seriously and I can only hope to emulate the hilarity quotient of your blog! This is still one of the funniest things I've ever read, and is a fairly typical enactment of what goes on in my life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Whoever said global warming was a myth didn't know what they were talking about. Today's weather was distinctly odd, especially for this time of the year. We really haven't had a cold winter so far despite the Incoming Cold Front threat which is mentioned on a weekly basis. Except for one acutely cold spell a few weeks ago, it's been T-shirt weather during the day. I'm guessing that winter has finally arrived in my part of the southern hemisphere, with rain and snow forecast elsewhere for the rest of this week. The clouds and unseasonal rain cleared this morning revealing a bright, sunny day... but the cool wind turned and now you can feel the bone-aching cold creeping in. A necessity, I know, but not my favourite thing. If I were a bear, I'd be well-fed and hibernating with another three months of sleep ahead of me!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

sunday solstice

My mom decided to participate in the Canadian Prayer Quest: 8000 Drums. Apparently there is an ancient prophecy which states that when 8000 drums beat, Mother Earth will be cleansed and rejuvenated. We added our own intentions and prayers to the day and walked the Animal Labyrinth of Remembrance too. The labyrinth was my mom's brainchild too.

This is the last pic I took before my camera's card was full... It's interesting for a couple of reasons: Apart from the huge Orb like blob on the left of the pic, my mom appears to be seated beneath an amethyst-coloured shower of light with that horizontal rainbow above her head.

Yes, I know i took it straight into the sun, and that those are 'flares' and blobs of 'dust' or suchlike. However, if you are into Orbs and odd photographic effects, then you tend to view such photos in a different light.

I did a similar ritual to this a year after I lost my mare Melody. When I took the first photos of the then new Labyrinth, some interesting things showed up in the pics. They were also taken from a similar angle to where these were taken from.

Amethyst is my mom's favourite colour, there she is dressed in purple, drumming away, something she loves doing. I'm guessing that when your actions match your intentions, the Universe will use any means possible to give you a thumbs-up, letting you know that your efforts are appreciated.

I'm wondering who the Orb belongs to...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why bother...

... being anything EXCEPT a dog? There must be some unwritten law of nature which predicts that if you live with dogs, they WILL expect you to get out of bed at an ungodly hour. If you don't, then playing 3-a-side bed rugby is bound to get you up.

I've just figured out why it feels like I have weird indigestion. Weird only because when I located my indigestion area, it felt BRUISED. Only then did I remember how my day started – with a Jack Russell using my chest as a spring board to referee the Labs as they tackled each other. On the bed. Where I was still sleeping. In the dark. At 5.30am. Dark because it's mid-winter!

This is Jackie now, doing what Jackie does best: sleeping. Throughout the day, while her human walks around, bleary-eyed, stumbling over sleeping dog bodies.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hazy shades of winter

South Africans are funny people - as soon as we get a bout of weather it makes the news. Of course, summer on the highveld is super hot with thunderous storms and thirst quenching rain. Winter is another story though. Usually bright, clear, cold and sunny days are the norm. Except when we have unseasonal rain, like we had yesterday. It really whacks the temperature down, but it's pretty to wake up to. The mist sets in and creates monochrome scenes reminiscent of London.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

S'no goose

I'm really having a hard time of it, trying to organise the chaos in my head. Manic thoughts are having head-on collisions and that pure stream of consciousness that we should all be plugged into seems to have been hi-jacked by the pins-and-needles party in my brain's frontal lobe.

Basically, by now, I of all people, should have my thoughts under control. I should be thinking useful things to help me create my reality. As opposed to those thoughts that resist reality and continue to wreak havoc with my daily existence. Our spiritual gurus remind us that thoughts are things, and by focusing on the negative ones, or rather, on the reality that we DON'T want, we bring into existence the very situations we are trying so desperately to avoid.

My dog Joe acts as a good Colleen-Reflector. Always up for a laugh, I think his job in life is to show me where my thinking has taken a wrong turn.

Yesterday he chewed through my only pair of warm winter thermals, the ones a friend brought me from the States. This morning he bit the goose. That goose drives me crazy. Every morning he charges at us when we get to the stables. Wearing wellies is fine, but when I forget that I have naked legs under my jeans, his beak attack leaves me looking like I've been crawling around the floor of a heroin hostel.

The goose and Joe have gotten personal before. I've seen the bird run his beak up and down Joe's neck and back while he just stood there, taking it. Instead of getting the hell out of the way, he stays within beak-biting proximity. This has been going on for months until this morning, when the dog must have decided he'd had enough. I heard a commotion and when I looked again, the goose was clucking forlornly to itself, waddling away from the stables. That animal NEVER waddles, it's no Jemima Puddle Duck. It usually swaggers, wings outstretched, hurtling towards you...

Anyway, the goose looks ok, still yelling at the top of it's voice. Doesn't look like there's too much damage. I put an emergency call through to my mom – she's used to getting frantic requests for help with our animals. She's sending healing energy and I'm praying to the goose gods that they spare the noisy duck, while I promise to never allow Joe within biting distance again.

What does this have to do with thinking mean thoughts about geese then, you ask. Well, the noise that goose makes is enough to rattle the teeth in my head. I must be honest and admit to wondering when it would shuffle off it's mortal coil and leave me in peace. His rooster companion must surely be deaf, talk about being hen pecked. I'm figuring this is what the Universe delivers when you allow aimless thoughts to run rampant inside a busy head. Darling Joe, being a steadfast co-conspirator, no doubt thought he'd help out and put a sock in it, so to speak. Which takes me back to yesterday's stocking fiasco. If I moan incessantly about how cold it is, my Reflector Dog is going to help create that reality for me and keep me cold...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The damage is done

Joe just chewed through my thermal stockings. It wasn't really a surprise as I'd already taken them away from him once this afternoon. The resulting tennis-ball-size hole renders them useless in the freezing cold weather we're experiencing in Jozi right now.

He has this thing with socks – carries them around in his mouth. At the beginning of winter he left a small hole in my long grey socks. Yes, I wear LONG socks in winter. I'm allergic to the cold and go to great lengths to convince my brain that my body is warm. Wearing long socks under my jeans is NOT super sexy, I know. Especially when BFB runs his hand up my leg, expecting the smooth, silky, shaven limb one expects to find, as illustrated by lady-razor tv ads. It does however, ensure that the object of his desire is not the same temperature as a forgotten pork chop stuck to the bottom of a vegetarian's freezer.

I'm not sure why my dog has a sock fetish. As a puppy he shredded some really important things - like my riding boots, the strap on my crash-cap, my NEW gloves and my favourite Bach Flower Remedies book. I thought he'd gotten over that, but clearly he hasn't.

It's not enough that my dog causes unnecessary damage - my glasses and cell phone have been through the ringer too. A couple of weeks back I made the mistake of leaving my jacket hanging on the fence behind which a mischievous pony was corralled. I'd had carrots in the pockets the night before, and she was making sure that there were none left. By the time someone noticed my jacket, the sleeve was on its way down her throat. I didn't think anything of it until I was walking home... when I put my hand in the pocket, I noticed the unmistakable grass-green gobby sleeve. With a sinking feeling I extracted my glasses and phone from the mess... Glasses were in two pieces and the phone – well, it still works, but the screen was crunched by some heavy duty horse teeth.

BFB came to the rescue, yet again. He popped the lens back into their frame and gave me his spare R200 replacement phone. I'm guessing he's glad the stockings were made redundant and probably wont be replacing those anytime soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dogs have souls, but you already knew that

Great article published in The Seattle Times, quoting Marc Bekoff, one of my favourite human beings. Imagine trying to convince your peers that the earth was in fact round. This is similar to the gargantuan task that scientists such as Bekoff and Sheldrake have taken on. They would surely have been burned at the stake as heretics by their fellows for acknowledging concepts such as animals having souls, or using ESP. I for one am glad these guys are sticking their necks out to prove what animal lovers have always known, in their hearts and souls. That the love we feel for our furry and feathered friends is much, much more than anthropomorphism (a word they can delete from the English language as far as I'm concerned).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time spent in the company of canines...

Is always time well spent.

I was asked by a portrait client to take some photos of her new puppy Emma and while I was at it, to give her some advice on integrating the newbie with long-time resident Bambi. Even though Emma had been in residence for 3 months, Bambi still didn't look like she was happy with the snappy li'l space invader.

Emma is incredibly busy, which can be expected for someone so small and so young. Being a miniature Dachshund, her tiny size makes her a hazard, she gets under your feet when you try walking anywhere and it appears that she is driving poor Bambi nuts. Her typical puppy behaviour includes biting with razor sharp teeth, jumping up incessantly and running around at top speed until I wanted to take her batteries out!

I spent about ten minutes TTouching her little wriggly body. She experienced mouth work for the first time and we fashioned a body wrap for her out of a Build-A-Bear T-shirt. She gave a couple of yawns and then settled between my knees on my lap, giving me a chance to finish my tea and show her mom how to do the simple TTouches. During the photo shoot she climbed into my lap and refused to go to her mom when called. It's always interesting to see how a body responds to this gentle work. She was more relaxed and much calmer after only a short time!

This is the favourite part of a day, when I gett to photograph one of my favourite subjects, do a bit of healing and connect with like-minded animal lovers!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Zoopy vid – online fame

It was really cool having Zoopy come round to video myself and Fly for their online and mobile social media community. I got to chat about animal communication, and although you don't get to see it, Fly kept coming over, breathing and snuffling through my hair. Funny horse.
My dogs make an appearance too :)
Enjoy the vid and give me a shout if you have any questions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Collecting stuff...

I spent the morning scanning reference material for the Dubai exhibition. Rather fortuitously, I'd been loaned a pile of books on falconry from my landlord. Several books on Salukis arrived on my desk from a breeder/friend and the photographer of Animaltalk Magazine kindly agreed to allow me to use some of his images of Arabian horses... I didn't even have to leave home to collect all this stuff!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Extended family

My horse needs a friend, of the equine persuasion. Until then, these two will have to suffice. The goose and rooster go everywhere together, the goose protects his rooster, chases the dogs, chases humans at a foot-slapping run and generally makes enough noise to raise the dead.
The Grooster, as I've named them, sleep beneath Fly's stable window and are currently his only animal companions. I just wonder if they give him a headache when they start yelling as the sun rises every morning.

Friday, February 6, 2009

the whirling week that was

Clicker training with Joe has been interesting. Not really because it's been WITH Joe, but really because I'd forgotten how hard it is to learn new tricks, especially as I'm not the dog!

Learning to CLICK, PAUSE, TREAT all without adding a verbal command is incredibly difficult. For me, anyway. It reminds me of being back at school... where the other kids caught on quicker and I was still trying to understand what happened at the beginning of class.

I thought Joe would enjoy it, him being ADHD and all. And he is. Loving all those treats, pity I'm all thumbs... And it's so left brained in it's approach, it's made me realise how much I depend on my intuition to read my dog. Adding new equipment, body language and a different environment to the mix is really challenging...

But more on my week tomorrow. It's off to la-la-land for me now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The wonders of medical science

It was back to the vet with Jackie (or Jacket Rabbit as she is also known). Still off her food, and unable to get her to eat, we went to the Hound Homeopath. He is kind enough to allow dog-moms into the dark room where the ultrasounds are done (or perhaps he's wise enough to know that the dogs are calmer with their humans alongside?). At any rate, today I got to see the blood flow in a couple of healthy kidneys and watch as he inserted a needle into the spleen to do a biopsy!! Needless to say, the fact that my maths and science marks were so bad that I took art instead was probably a good idea...

The prognosis is good, the diagnosis is scary: hepatitis with a liver reading through the roof! There'a a brown paper bag of medicine in the kitchen and a tray of feline food, nice and bland and good for liver issues, despite the patient being a dog.

She's more her bright jack russell self already. All the vet did was smile when I requested something for my nerves...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So Sunday

The right idea for a rainy Sunday afternoon... sigh, if only I could do that too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Delicious birthday pressie

My li'l sis really does know how to shop for me...I stumbled across this image on the Net a few years back and used it as my desktop pic for a while, i loved it so much! I had no idea who the artist was... until I opened it on my birthday. She'd found this lovely old frame at the Rooftop market in Rosebank, after running around the mall all morning searching for one. They are the perfect match!

The print is "a reproduction of an original painting by Briar and Shannon Digby Curtis, two of England's leading mythological and fantasy artists..." I can't find a website for them, only tons of links where their work is showcased and sold.

This one is called Rhiannon a favourite horse goddess, of course. My interest in this character was probably fueled by my love of Stevie Nicks' brilliant song by the same name. Spine tingling, goosebump stuff!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Only in the country

Whilst tootling down a country road in my zippy suburban car, I noticed a small carriage pulled by two ponies trotting towards me. Not an unusual sight, given that I live in "horse-country". The carriage was being driven by a stalwart of the equine community here. She is noted for hurtling around the place and scaring the hell out of horses under saddle. For the non-horsey among you reading this, ridden horses cannot understand why on earth carriage horses are being chased by a noisy vehicle on wheels, and no matter how fast they go, they can't escape it. Being on the back of a horse when a carriage comes past you down the road, is NOT a fun thing to have happen to you. It usually means the horse you're on will either try and run away, run backwards or simply turn to stone from sheer fear.

The riders of our community are convinced that this particular individual takes great delight in scaring the hell out of everyone. On this sunny morning, I notice a black dog running alongside the carriage. All quite normal, except that he has something odd in his mouth. Eventually I realise it's a dead chicken! This dog is trotting alongside the carriage, happy as Larry, proudly bearing his prize. The two people in the carriage are completely unaware of what their canine companion has done.

This jaunty group were closely followed by a clutch of cyclists, all peddling along with their eyes the size of saucers, their mouths hanging open... having just seen a dog swoop down on a poor fowl and sweep it off its feet. As they disappeared down the road behind me, I noticed a few lone feathers on the side of the road, where the poor chicken had no doubt been minding his own business before he realised he was in the wrong place at the wrong time!

I sometimes see the strangest things.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The advent of horses in my life was no surprise, really. My dad had dabbled as a kid, and my aunt had a couple on her farm. It was always presumed that I'd end up riding, which I did when I was ten years-old. My parents agreed to riding lessons as a birthday present. They held back on actually getting me pony, saying that if I was still riding by June that year they'd consider getting me one. They kept their word, and later that year Smokey joined our family.

This is quite an apt full-circle kind of post. In that tomorrow is my birthday, and I had my first riding lesson exactly 27 years ago! I was your typical horse-mad kid. My folks always said I ate, slept and drank horses, and if I wasn't out riding then I had my nose stuck in a pony novel.

It was a couple of years after that that I discovered PONY magazine. It was a Saturday like today - grey and damp with drizzle. I was rummaging through a box of magazines at the SPCA book sale, when I unearthed this treasure. I still remember the cover - a two colour job in green and grey midtones. I was enraptured. If it had a horse on it, it got my attention, and here was an entire magazine full of horsey photos, stories and articles, written and designed especially for the girl who was crazy about horses. That was the day I fell in love with magazines. It was 1984 and the closest to a horse magazine our country had was the Farmer's Weekly, and ancient title which only seemed to focus on Saddlebreds.

That craving to create and organise beautiful editorial – words and pictures – led me to follow a career in layout and design, and finally, twenty years on, I came to do the layout and design for HQ, South Africa's premier equestrian magazine. Issue 46 includes, not only my layout, but also an article I wrote on one of my many passions: the horse-human relationship. It features Megan Jakson and her story of how she discovered the Tao Of Equus and The Way Of The Horse, that sole source of inspiration for so many equestriennes.

Horses have been my true north, guiding and influencing me for a lifetime thus far.

How have horses shaped your life?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sheer joy

Dogs really should be tasked with teaching life lessons. They are natural teachers, if only we'd be willing to learn from them.

Joe embodies the the words Enthusiasm, Intent and Humour. He's always up for a joke, making me smile by stealing my socks, but not chewing them. This is not the same as when he shreds something I hold dear, like my riding boots or hat, or my new gloves... or my favourite Bach Flower Remedy book - he knows exactly what to chew if he's been left home alone, when in his opinion, he should have been included in my plans.

He's six years-old now, and still suffers bouts of Puppy Hysteria. A term coined by my mom, which describes a blast of energy from a young dog, where it looks like it's lost it's mind, as it hurtles around whatever space is available. This might be the kitchen, or in Joe's case, my parent's front lawn. This is his best Greyhound Impersonation. Running for the sheer joy of it - he does it so well.

Taking time out to do something I love - for the sheer joy of it. Another lesson I could learn from my dog !

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

With age comes wisdom – and memory loss

This is much harder than I remember it... Day three and I'm exhausted. Why are Thoroughbreds so difficult? I requested that the grass be kept a longer length in Fly's new paddock, thinking he'd appreciate and enjoy that, given just how much he LOVES eating. Alas, the best part of the past 36 hours have been spent pacing up and down the fence and churning up the grass and soft ground, thanks to all the rain we've had.

At least he's eating everything else, and all that is going in the front end, appears to be coming out the back end... a good thing. Despite how stressed he looks, he did give me some deep sighs when I did some TTEAM work with him. And he was quite good in the new arena, considering that the neighbour chose that moment to drive his tractor past us. Poor Fly, I could feel his heart beating against my leg.

A roll in the mud and he seemed much happier. I guess we all love routine, and figuring all this out as I go isn't as routine as I expected it to be.

I'm off to lie in a warm bath - my response to a roll in the mud.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Fly has landed

Fly, aka Flying Promise, has arrived. In true Thoroughbred style, he is alternating between trotting up and down the paddock fence, grabbing a mouthful of grass, yelling at the top of his lungs and wondering, no doubt, why he's in a strange place.

I'm hoping he'll settle soon, and in time, I'll have to look at getting him some equine company... In the mean time, its odd having at horse at home again. First time in 20 years! I was just thinking about everything I have to re-learn. All the quantities, qualities and food brands; remembering to call the farrier, order food, not forgetting to deworm... A list which grows with time and becomes embedded in the mind of any horse-owning individual, until it is stored in an easily retrievable memory vault.

It's a tad daunting, but I guess it's like riding a bike. I'm hoping it all comes back to me as I go.