Friday, January 24, 2014

Lena and her opposite friend Calabar

Prior to our day of dentistry today, I took Miss Lena Rey out for a little play time in the arena. She obliged my camera habit by being her lovely and photogenic self and obliged herself by rolling extensively in several corners of the arena. Watching her reminded me--again--how different our two horses are.

Watching me watching her
Almost like a reflection of their personalities, their mouths and their attitudes towards being drugged and doctored differ, too.

Calabar's mouth is still a work in progress. The first time we got his teeth done, Leslie said, "If he's ever had his teeth done, I can't tell." That was many years and many floatings ago and we are finally in maintenance mode with him. No ulcers on his cheeks this time, no nasty hook on his back tooth. He is, however, certain that while he is weakened by whatever we've injected into him, SOMETHING will happen. And it is likely to be very, very bad. It is no matter that nothing really bad has actually ever happened to him while in our care. Lena has room to worry, having had Leslie's arm up her rear once and a tube down her nose shortly thereafter. Calabar has had no such experiences and yet his defensiveness persists.

Lena has a mouth as good as her big, thick-walled hooves. She had some hooks today, but she had gone longer between dentist appointments while we did a little in-between work to clean up Calabar's mouth. Leslie was still in and out in maybe 30 minutes. Tops. She was well-drugged, yes, but she still approaches things with a confidence that it will all turn out okay. It probably means she has had many less reasons to doubt her humans than Calabar does, though we have made many (very) long strides in our journey together.

Calabar goes under but is never quite relaxed, still holding his jaw tight and biting the floats Leslie uses at the end to do the final clean up, pushing his tongue into her way. Lena, on the other hand, descends into her happy place and lets Leslie get in and work, no fuss, no argument.

They have had different paths to our family and it shows. I love them both for who they are, as different as they are.

I love Calabar for the many things he has taught me and the many things we have yet to learn.

And I love Lena for her open honesty and trust, as reflected in her lovely and beautiful face.

The lovely Lena Rey

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Once upon a time

It's amazing what technology can do.

For instance, linking my new phone to various accounts means my photo gallery contains gems from the photo archives I might have forgotten about.

Like the face of the horse I fell in love with back in 2007. He looks younger, different, than he does now. And I love him even more now after what all we've learned together.

Oh, that sweet face. Little did I know. :)
And a more typical expression.
Or the first time we took Lena to the beach all by her lonesome. Well, except for Katie, Steve and me, of course. This is Lena demonstrating her athletic abilities against those fearful logs.

Logs.. less scary than waves.
As I scroll back in time, there are many photos reminding me of roads we've all traveled with the horses. There is also hindsight--a look of confusion or anxiety on Calabar's face that I missed way back then. Or a smile on my face that reminds me I have always loved both horses in spite of sometimes less than stellar behavior on their parts.

Aw, so cute. Right before they broke my ribs in 2010.
I rode through an antic last night--one of those unexplained spooks that make no sense to anyone but the horse spooking--and realized my butt is stickier than it used to be. Or perhaps my balance is better. Or maybe I just know my horse well enough now to stay with him during the anticipated squirt forward in "that corner" of the arena.

"What was that?" I asked.

"Um, two big trucks leaving at the same time?" said Calabar. (Last time it was a bird screeching outside the arena.)

"Oh. Can we get back to what we were doing, now?"

And we do. Or we take a few moments to do something familiar, something we both know, so the focus comes back.

Pretending we know what we're doing.
Because the great thing about horses is there is always now, which means you are always moving forward--even if you have to step backwards to do it.

The great thing about my horses is they always keep it interesting.

"Are we done dressing up, yet?"

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Year of the Horse

Welcome to 2014--the Year of the Horse according to Chinese astrology.

It's been the year of the horse for me for over eight years, since that August afternoon in 2005 when Lena Rey Flo stepped off the trailer and into our lives for good. Or for evil, depending on her mood. Since then, we have added to our equine family as well as introduced extended our reach to include the Neigh Savers horses that have passed through on their way to new homes.

Here are some of my favorite shots from 2013, including a fitting one of Lena with her Christmas crown:

"Finally an appropriate outfit," she says.

Dixie (a successful NS adoptee) at her first show
Another NS adoptee, Clyde, with his new mom Mary Sue. I got a friend out of this deal, too!

My darling daughter was busy this year and is on her way to
exciting adventures in the land of EMT-ness.
Calabar made friends with Allie who lets him jump over things.

A horse-free vacation diving in Belize also occurred.
And another horse-free interlude in Catalina.
Star Nicholas, aptly named, came in October...
Got dressed up once..
And again for the holidays..
And moved to LA to pursue an acting career.
My own horse sporting feathers. "Really, Mom?"
We had a lot of adventures in 2013--no wonder the year flew by! Things may look a little different for 2014 but it will, astrologically speaking or not, still be a year of horses for us.

Happy New Year!