Archive for the 'everett' category

April 22nd, 2010

» now here

I spend a lot of time dreamy and far-off, thinking about horses. Window-shopping for horse stuff online, reading forums, watching videos. In the saddle in my head. But they are, in the end, a call to now. When it’s good, how it should be — which it is most of the time — you’re there with the horse, and you’re there. Present.

It’s about you and the horse, and it doesn’t have quite the same centering self-aware-ening as yoga, say, but when I’m riding — even when I’m frustrating us through a failed leg-yield, or trying Yet Again for that left bend I just can’t get — I can promise I’m not thinking about that problem at work, or what I’m going to have for dinner, or the dishes waiting in the sink. I’ve been riding Everett a couple times a week, and he is especially a call to the big wide world. It’s been beautiful, a fairytale April, all warmth and sunshine and tiny blossoms and things coming up green. We walk and I remember to breathe deeply and look far.

Baron Baptiste is in my head this morning. “We are either now here, or we’re nowhere,” he says. “Be present.”

March 25th, 2010

» reunion

Five months ago, give or take a few days, I handed over the leadrope of my first horse, and watched him walk into a trailer and off to his new life.

Yesterday, I saw him again. I’ve spent the last five months searching for his replacement (I rode twenty-five! before finding the new guy) and then getting back to training. From the looks of things, Ev’s spent the last five months in a pile of hay.

Part of it, I’m sure, is that I’ve been looking at Poe’s scrawny, tragic no-neck for the last three months — but Everett’s is looking particularly chunky. I’m very excited to hop on next week and see how much I’ve forgotten about how he goes.

November 11th, 2009

» the unexpected

I sold my horse.

It’s still weird, even now, three weeks later. It happened so abruptly.

I sold my horse.

One sunny Sunday I had a casual chat with my trainer, who knew a woman from the foxhunt looking for a new horse, and wouldn’t Everett be perfect? And there was no harm in talking to her, nothing to lose. I’ve known for a long time that he’d be happier hunting, that he hates the indoor arena, hates much flatwork in general. I’d been watching the days grow longer, the leaves turn, dreading the day we’d have to head back inside. Dreaming of a winter without ice, all bright fluffy snow, nothing but good footing so we could stay out. And two and a half weeks later he stepped onto a trailer and drove away to his new life.

It’s a good thing all around. I know that objectively. I’m good at living with my head; I like it. It’s comfortable there. The heart’s a messier matter. I miss him. I sold him on to a better home, and I’m happy for him, but I sold my best friend, and thinking of it that way — it’s a terrible feeling. Just gutting.

The last three weeks I’ve been horse shopping. A lot. And it’s been fun! I’ve ridden a lot of different horses — 18 at last count. From 15.1 to 17.2 (for you non horse people, that’s 5’1″ to 5’10″ measured to the withers — where the back and neck join), thoroughbreds just off the track to Novice event champs, wobbly babies to jumpers doing full courses with auto changes. And it’s frustrating, because it’s such a monumental decision. Last time I did this I had a very modest budget, which helped narrow the search quite a bit, and no one to really help me shop. This time I have the assistance of some excellent horse people, a bit more to spend, and a truly rotten economy driving down prices. There’s lots to choose from, and they’re all so different. And I just don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to be best, what’s the right choice for me.

I stand at this crossroads, and all I can think is that I sold my best friend.

I don’t regret it, and I don’t regret one moment we spent together over the last two years. I just don’t want to screw up this opportunity I have now, to make another good choice.

Rach & Ev

July 1st, 2009

» Pig Pond Classic

I need to sort out some pictures and more video, but in the mean time — here’s a little cross-country from Sunday. Everett was all kinds of awesome, and I am SO PROUD of him!

May 15th, 2009

» apology

I’m just coming in from running some mail out to the box; there is a warm spring breeze, the leading edge of a thunderstorm. It sifts through my hair and carries on it the strongest scent of blooming trees, of lilacs. I close my eyes and breathe, deeply.

I owe you a post, I know, but I am so exhausted. I can’t write when I’m this tired. I can’t convey what it’s like to steer him over our first little cross-country course, the momentousness of jumping up a bank, over a tiny log, a row of barrels, boulders set beneath a pipe, a ditch. How it feels to turn in the back corner of the field with him leaning against my leg, just waiting for it, waiting — to slide my hands forward along his neck and crouch low, lower, and for him to gallop, to fly, so fast that my eyes tear up against the wind. To be able to laugh and say Come on, and Is that it?, and for there to be more. I wish I could give you that most of all, the feeling of galloping up that hill.