Friday, December 28, 2012

All the pretty ponies

It is a good thing I do not own a big hunk of land somewhere and am not independently wealthy. Or maybe it's not a good thing because if I did, it would be filled with so many Off-Track Thoroughbreds I could barely keep them straight.

And keeping them straight, learning each different horse and each fantastic personality, makes my days happy and full.

Of course, a certain brown OTTB would like to remind me who exactly I belong to--him, the great and wondrous Calabar and only to Calabar.

But there is Dixie (Ur My Dixie Girl), a sweet and dainty mare who is a complete stall piggy and is unfortunately stuck in said stall for another two months or so while she heals up from a hairline condylar fracture. She needs attention and mini-walks and acupressure to help combat tension from the confinement. She is adorable and quite playful. She even attempted to help with the stall cleaning tonight by bouncing the shovel handle for Katie. Too dark for a video, but there were tears of laughter at her antics.

Dixie looking at the arena: "What kind of track is that?"
And there is Cash (Cottonwood Cash), quite possibly the most mellow OTTB I've ever met. He is amazing. Doesn't spook, doesn't bit or nip, NO vices. Really. He is sweet, trusting and snuggly. Just don't try to put him in a stall. He doesn't freak out, he doesn't jig. He just flat out refuses with this look in his eye that says if you force it, bad things will happen. BAD things. But he thinks I am awesome because I just happened to be there when the farrier found the abscess in his front foot and then when the vet found the next one in his back foot. "It's a coincidence," I tell him. "But it doesn't hurt any more, so yay and thank you!" says the cute baby bay horse.

Christmas Cash--yes, he wears costumes well, too.
So.. yes. My time has been taken up with these two very lovely and very different horses. Cash never raced, not once. Dixie raced several times and was fairly successful. And yet both have been handled well and are trusting of people in general.

They are teaching me things that will give me insight into my own horse, have already given me insight into my own horse. This is good. Getting back in the saddle after all the holiday nonsense will also be good. Better in fact. Right, Calabar?

"Yes, more time with me, the #1 OTTB in your life, is crucial."
I love all the things these very different horses are teaching me. Thoroughbreds, particularly Off-Track Thoroughbreds, are not easy and they are certainly not all alike. But they do share something that engages me from the very first second--a life force, an energy, a presence. " What's next? What are you doing? How does it involve me?" In all honesty, they remind me of the cow horses I have met (and the cow horse I own) in the way they draw me in with their very being, their sensitivity, interest and attention to the world around them.

And what they give back when you reach out to them is nothing less than a gift.

Thank you to all the pretty ponies in my life for the gifts you bestow. Yes, that includes the messy stalls and the duct tape boots.

1 comment:

lmel said...

Yes, I too would have a farm full of OTTB's! Our 3 have such unique personalities and I love 'em all. The more we can share our success stories,the better we can promote after racing careers for them. Keep up the good work and Happy New Year to all!