There’s much to be learned from animals – some (of course) say the opposite. I don’t think that animals say to themselves or to one another “huh – I’m going to teach this human this or that.” (Actually, maybe they do), but rather, they, by their actions, allow for the possibility of positive change and self-growth on the part of their human counterparts. (Did I just write this? Sometimes I surprise myself!)
An example of self-growth on this end: This morning, Signy got the proverbial wild hair up her butt and after eating her morning brunch – the bucketful of primo top quality hay that I routinely set in the yard for her—looked over her shoulder and said “23 skidoo.” Coincidently, last night I looked up this term – it’s a slang phrase from the 1920s -- it means to “get out while the getting is good.” (It’s also the name of a post punk industrial rock group.) I call such behavior tripping the light fantastic.
In the Southeast, people talk at great lengths after saying good bye. Signy is from Ireland – I think there they say goodbye and then apologize for saying goodbye. Signy seems to have instead taken after people from my end of the world, the northeast. She says goodbye and hoofs it elsewhere, fast.
Off she went, taking baby/Junior/Imp/Sassy Pants with her, up the hill, at a brisk trot that would awe the man from Snowy River. Thick black mane and tail flowing behind the bay mare -- she’d have been a beautiful sight – that is if I’d had time to enjoy it. Pete and I were just about to take her and Hrimmi for a walk when she took off. He’d put the leash on Rainbow, and I’d saddled up Tinni.
Pete instead went one way up our backyard hill, and I went the other. Signy walked what I call “the upper back
Vickie Talbot's high degree of patience...
recently paid off at a local show...
where she and Hunar won five blue ribbons.
forty” and then with Pete on her tail, came shooting down the far side of the hill, zipping past me, with that little pinto thing at her heels. For the next twenty-five minutes it was the same variation on the same old theme. Horse runs and humans try to catch her.
At one point, Pete suggested that I get some grain. I said good idea, and put carrots he had on hand, and grain I had on hand in a Nancy’s yogurt container. Most times, this works. Not today. In fact, the sound seemed to motivate her to run faster.
Grr, grr, grr -- I had a full day of horse walking, horseback riding, and horse tack room cleaning ahead of me. And Pete had a full day of gardening ahead of him. He, at one point echoed my sentiments, saying “we have to catch her or the two of them will be outside permanently.” This is a truism – if you live with someone for 26 years, and in that time, breath the same air, drink the same water, and eat the same food, you’ll (most of the time) be on the same wavelength.
I who have a more right brain kind of imagination than my partner, proceeded to take our mutual thought a step further. I pictured Signy and Hrimmi going feral, and maybe breeding with the down road Rafter T scrub stock horses. Every few years we could thin out the herd like they do the Chincoteague ponies—and have the Palmer volunteer fire department have an auction. The profits would of course go to future herd management.
There comes a point when such things cease to be funny. This is the breaking point, the point of no return, the point at which all things converge, a moot point. This point came and went. Grim faced, we continued the chase. But this time, unlike other times, I did not fume or take out my frustration on Pete. I instead kept moving from one area of the yard to the next – and Pete did the same.
Signy was the one who finally decided that enough was enough, and allowing herself to be trapped in the corner by the paddock. As Pete snapped the lead on her halter, I commended myself for not getting all bent out of shape.
The major life lesson here is – refrain in such instances rather than getting all bent out of shape. It does you, your partner, your yoga instructor, and your horses no good at all. Staying cool, calm, and collected in all like instances –today the old broodmare brought me one small step closer to this very unrealistic goal.
Next: 173. 05/30/12: Cow Parsnip