Tag Archives: horses

I rode again!

I rode a horse yesterday and found out just how much muscle I have lost due to the months of anemia. I couldn’t get my butt up in the saddle even with a step up.  How embarrassing.  I have never been graceful getting on a horse but I can do it.  Dnag.  I guess I need to work on my quad and glute muscles.  I had to stand on a barrel to get my leg over the horse.  I felt like such a horse noob!!!

And oh my word!!! My legs are sore today!!! The handsome horse I was riding is part Percheron and he definitely showed his draft side.  Definitely!!!  Lots of sore muscles today for me but I am happy with that, it means that I have muscles there starting to remember they can do things.

So now I have a new goal…. Get my legs back so I can ride. I have an area I can concentrate on and work hard at.  Somehow when my goals are around riding horses, they get done.  A horse is my motivation and it works.

I am excited about this. 🙂


Back to Being Me

I am at a crossroads. Things have changed again, but this time for the good.  Heck this time for the great!  I am feeling so good.  Since I go the anemia shot and started acupuncture I am back to me.  I feel like me.  I think back to the me of the past 3 months and cringe.  She was so unhappy, so hopeless.

Now with this beautiful weather the northeast is getting (heck it was 75F yesterday… in FEBRUARY!!) I am just itching to do stuff. I am itching to be in paddocks with horses.  I am itching to get muddy.  I want to move.  At nights I am no long going to bed at 6:30 like I had for months.  Heck I do not know what to do with myself after 6:30.

I just want to be on the move all the time. I am convinced that acupuncture is helping me.  I was starting to drag yesterday and then had acupuncture.  Now I am rip roaring ready to go.  It could be because I am visiting Dill this afternoon.

I haven’t seen my boy (yeah he is my boy… still possessive of that huge boy) since I said good bye in December. I can’t wait to see his eye rolls and sighs at seeing me.  I can’t wait to hug his neck (no matter how much he thinks that is a stupid thing to do) and smell his horsey smell.  I am bouncing out of my chair right now to get to go and see him.

If you would have asked me 4 weeks if I could go to see him, I would have told you it would take too much energy. I hope this lasts.  I hope I can keep feeling like me.  This is me, bouncing around with joy and horrible jokes.  I don’t want to go back to that hopeless version of me.  I want to stay this obnoxiously joyful person that I am.

I don’t think about death any more. I don’t think about where my path might lead.  I am in the present again.  Oh it feels so good.  Oh hope feels so great!


Life has been a whirlwind recently. Been ups and downs.  Good news and bad news.  But the last few weeks over all have been good.  I feel like I am on the right path.  But I have been negligent in saying one thing that has been wonderful in my life.

A friend of mine who has horses is letting me work with her horses. Giving up Dill was so hard.  She and I had talked about Dill and horses before everything happened.  The day after I said good bye to Dill, she asked if I would come over and spend some time with one of her horses who just needed some extra attention.

And of course I jumped at the opportunity. And for the past two weeks I have been enjoying helping out with some barn chores and just loving on her beautiful horses.  The beautiful buckskin cross draft is so much fun.  Typical gelding, heck typical horse, he likes to test his limits.  He likes to see what he can get away with.  But most horses are that way.  They are a herd animal and they want to know where they stand in the herd.  If they can get higher in the herd, they will.

So he likes to test the situation but I think he is figuring out where I fit. Last night I just had so much fun loving on him.  I had so much fun cleaning off his well-earned mud.  I had fun getting him to pick up his hooves.  Last night he didn’t really test me.  He just enjoyed the loving, the praise and the attention.

Horses mimic your attitude and feelings. That is why they are so great with therapy.  You get back what you give.  They can sense so much about you that it is like looking into a mirror.  If you are nervous, the horse gets nervous.  Etc.  They are amazing animals.

Last night was the first night where I spent time just loving on him. I could see him loving it.  I could see him appreciating it.  It wasn’t an “okay I will tolerate this human” mentality that I would get occasionally from Dill.  It was, “ohh this is nice!” I got lots of licks with no teeth showing.  I got his head nuzzling up against me.  I had his attention, even when he was eating.  He was paying attention to me.  He was curious about what I was up to.

Having a horse’s curiosity is like them offering up their mind. They are not watching out of fear.  They are not bored with your presence.  But rather they are interested in what you are doing.  They are interested in what you will do next.

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There really is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man, or woman, as the saying goes. There is something about the smell of horse on your hands.  I kept breathing it in all night.  I didn’t want to wash my hands because I knew I would remove the smell.  My heart was content for the experience.  I went home with a sense of joy.  Went home happy for my time with the beautiful buckskin.  I felt accepted because of how he responded to me.

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To this friend, and you know who you are. You have given me a gift beyond monetary value.  You have given me a blessing I never thought of asking for.  I know I say Thank You a lot to you.  But it is because I cannot think of a better phrase for my appreciation.  I love my time mucking or carrying water buckets.  I love scraping mud off from a coat.  I love it all.  And you have given this tired heart so much joy.  You have given me a purpose, a project.  You have given me something to concentrate on rather than my illness.  I feel whole with horses and you have given me time to feel whole.  I am forever in your debt.

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With much love, THANK YOU!

My Dill. Good Bye for now.

I went to see my Dill last night. I cried into his neck and he looked at me like there was something seriously wrong with this human.

It was hilarious, I walked into the cold muddy paddock. I made the clicking noise I always did to get his attention in the field.  He turned his giant quarterhorse head to me.  I could see the typical eye roll that I get from him.  It says “great, Human has come to interrupt my eating time.”  I called “Hi Dilbert” (my affectionate name for Dill).  It is like I could see him make a huge sigh and resigned himself to walk over to me, away from the hay he was so happily enjoying.  This made me so happy.

This is his “Mommy I had fun in the mud.. don’t be mad at me” face.


Back flash here: When I first started leasing Dill he did not want out of the pasture and he would do everything in his power to not be caught.  My first time trying to catch him, he had me running all over the massive paddock trying to catch a fast horse who wanted none of it.  There are initiations in barns.  There are times when people let you learn lessons because you need to… just the hard way. Well I learned how to catch him the hard way.  But he made me work for it, for a while.  So having him come over to me was a demonstration of how far he and I had come.  That or he could smell the treats in my pocket… My treat monster….

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He came over and I gave him a huge hug around his neck. He really doesn’t like these because they do not result in treats.  They confuse him.  I cried into his neck saying how much I would miss him.  And then he started smelling the pockets of my coat.  The treat monster… Granted I did have his favorite molasses treats.  He went pocket to pocket to make sure which one had the treats.  I started laughing and that was the end of the tears.  He and I were back to how we had been before I got too tired to visit him.

I figured I would test him to see if he remembered his tricks I had been working on. I tapped my nose and said “kiss”.  And he did it right away.  Pride in something so simple but we worked hard on that.  He got his treat and from there on he was doing non-stop kisses with a wet muddy nose on my face.  He’d stretch his neck out as far as possible to make sure to get a kiss in.  He did get more treats than I normally would.  He even did a few flexes for me and did his “yes” trick for me where I get him to nod his head.  It was just back to all of our goofy things.

I said Good Bye for now. I know I will be back to visit my Dilbert. And I know he will give me that eye roll and sigh that signals he has resigned himself to me.

One of my favorite pictures of him. 

Saying Good Bye to My Dill

Today I say good bye to Dill. Today I say good bye to my refuge.  I have been quiet on him for the last month because it breaks my heart, but my body doesn’t have the energy for the drive to go and see him.  He was my “first” horse.  He was the first one that wasn’t just a lesson horse to me.  He taught me so much.  He has taught me how much work it is to form a bond with a horse.  He taught me that I have to fight for the right of him to trust me.  I learned how to fight against the fear that going on trails can give.  He taught me that falling off a horse hurts.  He has taught me how to sit out spooks and has given me a better seat for it.  He has taught me that I have some skill with horses.  That my demeanor works well with horses.  He has taught me that I am stuck with loving and wanting horses for the rest of my life.


I have no disillusionment that he will be just at happy sitting the pasture not having to deal with humans. That is who he is.  He doesn’t crave that interaction.  He does crave treats though.   Oh that is another thing he taught me… limit the treats or a horse can get very pestering for them.  And having a 1200 lb animal wanting more treats is not what you want.


I have learned that I love ground work. I love teaching tricks and grazing him.  Just sitting there watching him eat the pretty grass that isn’t in the pasture.


I have learned that horses and barns are in my blood. And once it is there, nothing will change that.

I have learned that a barn family is as close as a family. I love and adore my barn family.  It breaks my heart as much to leave them.  They have been with me through thick and thin.  They never laughed at me when I asked for help.  They were always encouraging to this green gal.  They laughed and enjoyed all the silly tricks I taught Dill.  I would sit in the barn for an hour after being done with Dill and him being in the pasture.  I would sit there and hang out with my barn family.  That was part of the ritual.  That was part of what I enjoyed so much.

So now I have to go and say good bye to my beloved horse. And I know there will be another in my future, but he will always hold a special part of my heart.  He didn’t make it easy for me.  He made me work for everything.  And while it frustrated me time to time, I am so glad he did that.  I am a better person (not just a horse person) because of him.

So here is to moving forward on the path that God has created. And hoping that the joy on the other will be more than worth it.


Day 12 of thankfulness.  
Dill. Oh my Dill. He is one of two times where I forget completely about being sick. Those moments of completely forgetting about cancer and my struggles are SO precious to me. The joy Dill gives me. When I see him doing tricks that I’m teaching him. When we ride better each time. When I see him and I working as a team. I listen to him, he listens to me. He knows what I expect and I’ve learned to ask so he knows what I want. An example is I stand beside him and ask verbally for the hoof and he picks it up nicely so I can just slide my hand to support the front of the hoof. And by the time I walk to the next hoof it’s up for me. I’m still amazed that I partial lease such a huge animal, such huge responsibility. And I just love it more each day.