Sunday, August 5, 2012

Notes for July 2012

Callie's new Soft Ride orthopaedic boots have arrived.  She's been some lame to plumb lame off and on for several months.  Our vet prescribed them and told us that her soles seem to be thin and that the problem is made worse by stomping flies and by her confirmation.  She is very deep chested and carries more weight on her front hooves than most horses.

Callie is not a difficult horse except when you ask her to actually do something, so she stepped into her new boots as though they were a pair of well-worn house shoes.  She made us laugh when she high-stepped across the pasture the first time but soon reverted to her normal foot dragging, stumbling gait, the one we know and love.

Stormy is on the verge of spinning and is learning more ranch horse moves.  Until she spins, my favorite will be the transition from a walk to a canter.  On her first try she took two steps before she cantered, and on the second try, well, I am predjudiced, but she was perfect.  She is a muscular little horse with a daisy-clipping gate, and when her mane flies and her flag is up her movement is almost breath-taking.

We sometimes call Stormy "Lefty," because when she is impatient (which is most of the time) she paws the ground with her left front hoof.  Here is a picture taken last fall when we appeared with Rick Lamb, host of The Horse Show, and Judy Reynolds, Phd. a nutritionist with ADM.  She's upset because we are standing around and there are cattle in the pastures behind the trees.  This segment appeared in June 2012 and will repeat in September.

We didn't sell tickets, but we used Stormy for pony rides in the heat of early July.  It was more than 95 degrees when my granddaughters, their mother, aunt and her four children came to our place for a "horse experience."  For more than two hours we rode Stormy, who weighs no more than 950 pounds, double, longed her with little kids aboard and led her with even smaller kids on her back.  She did it all without a complaint.  Her reward: lots of carrots, serious petting from the little ones and a shower from the garden hose, which she loves.  Callie watched it all with satisfaction from her stall while little hands and sticky fingers fed her carrots.  It's a hard life, Callie.

Here are my nine year old granddaughter, Annika, and her aunt riding Stormy.  That's me in my rag-pickers ensemble looking hot and tired.

I may be odd, but there is a peculiar, almost haunting beauty to a draught.  The air has a breathless, brittle quality like a bitter winter day.  There must be a name for the hard-edged cloudless blue sky, but if there is, I don't know it.  The grass, dry and sere, crackles under your feet like small gravel. The leaves yellowing in the heat flutter tiredly in a heat-driven breeze.  Our three Redtail Hawks scree as if they are calling out to their prey.  A new hatch of dragonfllies search for mosquitos on lacey, golden wings darting here and there in their primative way.  And fluttering butterflies stop for a moment, hoping to satisfy their need from withering purple and yellow flowers.  Our honey bees work the last clover blooms of summer. Callie munches absently on the leaves of a tree limb, broken and dangling after a thunderstorm.

Yes, it's dry and hot, oppressively muggy at times, and all the while I think how beautiful it is and how lucky I am to be part of it.


Copyright, August 5, 2012
All photographs by Carol A. Lang

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