An Opinion, an Apology

There was a thing going around on Facebook about a Clinton Anderson horse training video. He makes reference to tree hugger idiot not agree with his trading methods. In the video he was riding a paint horse named Titan who was at the time his NRHA futury prospect. I’ve been around Reining some and have seen this type of horse traing before.   I barely watched a minute of the video till I saw Clinton, abruptly snatch at the horse’s face, which was clearly a punishment for the horse hoping for freedom from what has always looked to me like a uncomfortable way to have to carry your head, some call collection. 

I maybe still have some opnions after all. Here was my comments (just in case you weren’t clear about where I stand on horse-man relationships. lol) 
“Well, never thought of myself as a tree hugger, idiot or not but I do have a lot of respect for horses. Not trying to puff myself but just to let you know that maybe I do have a leg to stand when I express my opinion I’d like to preface my comments with this. I’ve started a few young horses in my life and made my living on horseback for 15 years or so with a lot of 10 hour days in the saddle, rain or shine. I spent a few months working for a reining horse trainer, had the privilege of scribing for John Snoblen which was a great learning opportunity but I discovered quickly it wasn’t an industry that held much draw for me; I like to see a horse given some freedom to think for themselves and some of the movements they were requiring seems unnatural and forced. 
I personally, believe in partnership not punishment. It took me a long time to learn that one thing, one of my greatest regrets. For me, the master/slave relationship that the first snatch up on those reins portrayed, reminded me of how it used to be in the horse industry. A lot of atrocities were commited on horses in the name of training, which then was literally breaking a horse. That snatch was no where near the level I have witnessed but still you can see the mindset behind it. 
Ok, enough rambling on. I guess my point here is that I believe there’s a better way and my respect is saved for trainers whose main focus is: what’s best for the horse, so I’m kind on the side of folks who were a little offended. I like to think the best of folks and I hope it’s a perspective that, if Clinton can keep humble, he’ll eventually see himself.
A fellow replied. 

sometimes we have to do whatever it takes to get the message across, a good friend and successful horse had a saying that I thought summed it up “demand nothing more, accept nothing less”

From me again. 

“My point was kind of about learning it’s not a demand or accept type of thing. It’s really not all about only what we as horsemen want but about how we can teach ourselves and our horse to be on the the same page. I’ve learned there’s a way to take in the “voice” of the horse and consider his opinion about the whole thing. Just one little example: my husband was asked to put some time on an older Zan Par Bar bed stud that had been used just for breeding for many years. His owners were not comfortable riding him because of some of his history. My husband wouldn’t let me ride out with him when he used this horse having been forewarned. He came back one day really happy about a breakthrough he had with the horse. It was such a simple thing really. He’d asked the horse to cross some running water but the horse was not cooperative so he chose to ride him upstream to a spot that actually was a safer place to cross and asked again. He had to encourage (mind you nothing like demand but ask more than once) and when the horse realized the footing was safe he went through. The horse changed from that moment on and I witnessed a relation of trust between that man and that horse that isn’t very often seen and that I envied. That horse would have done anything that particular man asked of him. I have the privilege of being married to that man and feel the same way.”

I’d forgotten about the hero part of who I am married to and have, of late, just seen the flaws. I think because town puts everything in a darker light for me, cut off from all those things that have given me so much joy. It darkens my vision and life goes bleak. 

So, in tears this morning, I apologized to my cowboy even though he was sitting there in his cursed baseball hat playing on his iPhone. I’ve seen who he really is. The man that his horse, Buddy (and Buddy’s Dad, Big Doc), trusted and loved so much. 

So, there’s the last apology/forgiveness on my long (silly) list. Hopefully it’s enough to get me Home. 

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Some things are better read out loud. I love the way this glides off my tongue.  

My Turn

My last picture with Pic, last day, last few moments. I didn’t understand until today how big a kindness it was that day. 


I wish it was as simple for people. Just one quick bullet from a kind hand. 

Then you get to run free across the heavens over the prairie.

Pshaw

Such a sweet little dog, it would have been hard to imagine the comfort she would bring. 

My Old Clothes

A short while back we went to the Maple Creek Horse Sale. It’s kind of an annually looked forward to event for us. There’s a cowboy poetry gathering and a western art show and Sale held in conjction with the horse sale. Behind me is a sculpture I was quite enamoured with. All made of old rusty metal scraps and tools. If you can make the picture larger you can see how truly remarkable it is. 

For me, it was just good to be able to wear my old clothes, my This-is-who-I-really-am duds. Not much call for clothes like these in the city. 

Goodness, the hours and miles a horseback those old clothes have seen. I haven’t washed them since I had to part with my old horse Pic. They still smell of him and my old dog too, of sage, and Alberta Wild rose, of my old life. The people around me here in the city probably wouldn’t understand that, the value of old unwashed clothes or maybe even the life they represent. I wouldn’t trade either for a suit of solid gold. 

A Love Story

This one is a little out of the ordinary, if any love story is ever ordinary. This one certainly isn't.

About 6 years ago I posted this post about being forced to find homes for our dogs: my dog Gus and my Cowboy's dog Pshaw. Broke both our hearts.

I prayed really hard that my Gus would go to someone that he would love as much as he loved me. That little pup who picked me and wouldn't give me up in spite of me wanting the red and white colored pup I had picked out.

My prayers were answered; a Cowgirl angel named Deb took my Gus and my Cowboy's little Pshaw to work cows for her on a place up by Longview. Gus found the very love I prayed for him.

My cowboy and I often talked about getting our dogs back somehow but we just didn't have the means or the work for them. It was all we could do to take care of our deaf dog, Pojke and my old dog, Blue till it was their time to go. My, but it's been so lonely since Blue left.

You all know I'm not well. The next step for me isn't far off and it's been hard on my cowboy, harder on him than me. He's the one who has to stay behind and be lonely while I get to move on to my next grand adventure.

I've done everything I could possibly think of to make sure he's taken care of after I'm gone. Somethings maybe didn't seem the kindest but they needed doing while I was here to help him through it.

I prayed to God to please send him someone to love in my place. I could have never imagined in my wildest figurings how that prayer would be answered.

Well, a couple of days ago while I was in the hospital I got a call right out of the blue from Deb who I don't think I've talked to for 3 or 4 years telling me her situation had changed and she was looking for a home for our dogs. Did I know anyone? I could hardly speak.

All I could think of was this picture.

Pretty much says it all. Today she came home. No eyes for me but a lot hugs and face lickings for our Cowboy.

Tonight, I am so thankful to the Lord for that little dog and for that Cowgirl angel who listens to Him.

Silver linings

I’m a firm believer in silver linings, not that I don’t welcome big dark welcome rain bringer clouds but wet and shivering sometimes I have to remind myself about silver linings and how nothing lasts forever, good or bad (thank Heaven for that). 

About the time I feel at my lowest the Lord steps in (just in time) parts the clouds and let’s the sun shine warm on my face. 

Ashamed

Days when I just wish it was all over are the days I feel ashamed. 

Life is such great gift, there is so much beautiful and heartwarming on this Earth, so many good people. 

I’m just so miserable some days with no energy to fight back the pain, physical and emotional. 

But Life’s what you make it. The problem is I really feel like I didn’t make mine very good. For that, I’m ashamed, ashamed I wasn’t more loveable, that I didn’t win against my ADD, that I didn’t use the talents I was blessed with better, ashamed I didn’t help others more, ashamed of my anger. 

There are things I am not ashamed of: my sweet relationship with our Lord, and our Father in Heaven, my desire to stand up for the right, for wanting to be good, for seeing evil for the enslavement it is. 

I wished it could have been said of me like it was of my hero, Captain Moroni: “if all men were and ever would be like unto Moroni, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever and Satan would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.”

Just in in case you don’t know who captain Moroni was. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GId51ugocZg

You might have to copy and paste this link as I can’t seem to get the sound with it when I just click on it. But it’s well worth the extra effort. 

Blue Sky

I saw a movie today dedicated to: Blue Sky Running Wild on the Open Range.  How cool is that? With my limited knowledge of Cree I couldn’t figure out how to say it in the only Native language I know. 

It made me think of what I wish my name was. Kind of something like: Cloud Maker Over Her Prairie Home. Referring to my future life.

I always thought I would ask my Maker if I could have that job when I get to the other side: sculpting animals out of the clouds in Heaven.  So those I love and that love me could look up into the sky on those bright days with gathering white clouds and say: looks like she’s having fun today. 

You better believe I’ll ask and if I know my Maker, He’ll smile and tell me: oh yes, my daughter, for as long as you want. And maybe He’ll even change my name to Cloud Maker Over Her Prairie Home. 

Lilly

Just my cat. She doesn’t look like much but she’s been through a lot with me. The day I saw her facing down a big old rattler she earned  my undying admiration not just my love. I think she’s still trying to figure out this city life thing (like me).  

We have this cool futon on the front porch her and I sleep on sometimes. She’s very insistent on having that particular end and I have to take the other. Which is all good with me.

She gives awesome paws-around-your-neck hugs and somehow can always cheer me up. And she brings me presents (I know she’s doing it out of love and I haven’t had the heart to tell her I don’t eat mice. Lol)