This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Memory Of.........

"Touch me
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is
A new day has begun"
Andrew Lloyd Webber

This morning I read a wonderful blog post from Katariina Alongi who writes "Equine Insanity." The title was "Never Forget Me" and it truly brought tears to my eyes. (http://equineinsanity.blogspot.com/2011/03/never-forget-me.html) It made me stop and think about the many horses who have passed through my life and how they've touched me and changed me and taught me..................
It wasn't until recently that I began to think about and reflect upon the importance of the horses in my past. I know I learned from each and every one of them.
During the summer between my junior and senior years of college, I was fortunate to have stumbled onto a golden opportunity. Looking for a cheap place to board a horse for a few months, I walked into the barn aisle of Hillwinds Farm where I found the barn manager, a man probably in his 60's, kneeling on the floor, wrapping the legs of an old standardbred gelding. I introduced myself and explained why I was there. Paul sat back on his haunches, stared at me, looked me up and down, and said, "Well, you're kinda puny but if you can help me around here..........How about $20?" I squeaked out, "A day?" (Way beyond my paltry budget as a day camp counselor!) And he growled, "Nah. A month. But you gotta bring in your own grain. And you gotta help out around here." And then he went back to wrapping the standardbred.
I was shocked. "$20 a month? Seriously?" Again, he sat back on his heels and stared at me. "Yeah. I guess so. When do you want a stall?" I phoned my boyfriend (now my husband!) that night and asked him how soon he could arrange for Katie the pony to be trucked over and the rest, as they say, is history.
Paul Johnson was a retired successful standard bred trainer, an ornery, taciturn character who took me under his wing that summer and taught me more in 3 months than I'd learned in the four years I'd had horses myself. He'd grouse and growl and act like a bear with a toothache most of the time but underlying that gruff exterior beat a heart of gold....which he was loathe to show the world. But the horses knew it. I'd never seen such love and devotion - he could do anything with any horse in the barn. Looking back, I realize that he embodied the words "horse whisperer." Although I did over-hear him say about my little Welsh/QH mare, "Yeah, she's pretty alright. But her brain is about the size of a pea and it's attached to nothing." At first I was offended but then I realized that it was just Paul talking and upon reflection, he might have been right......................LOL!
I've blogged about dogs from my past but now I think it's time to give the horses their due. Thinking about Paul has led me to remembering Brett Schneider. I think I'll write about him next time..................
Have a great day, friends!

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