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September 10, 2012: Why Five Horses?

My hope is that everyone I know who reads these dispatches will read this one. It might provide an answer to the above question. Then again, it might not. If there is no answer, we’ll be all the wiser for it. Maybe, at the conclusion of this missive, I’ll determine that yes, I’m ready to downsize.

I now own five horses. After hearing this, even my horse obsessed friends have alluded to the fact that I have finally gone over the deep end. And as of late I have been wondering the same. I always wanted to own A horse, ever since I was a kid. To own five is like a dream come true. At the same time, it’s daunting. It’s expensive and time-consuming.

Expense – Here, hay is both costly, and because we now live in coastal climate, in short supply. Farrier and vet bills are also now a constant in our lives. And too, building supplies seem to be an ongoing expense. For example, we’ve been building yet another run in shed, because otherwise, one horse would be left out in the rain. Can’t have that.

Other expenses loom ahead. We are purchasing a tractor in order to partially deal with the increased manure load. And at some point, we are going to have to acquire more land. The ark is full and listing from side to side . . .

Time -- Today I realized that cleaning up after, watering, and feeding five horses takes up a big chunk of one’s day. (This is the first day in which I had five to tend to – previously, Hrimmi didn’t produce much shit or drink that much water.) So does grooming, tacking up, and riding said horses.

Because the above is at times so overwhelming, I have considered parting with a few in my herd. The question is, who?

Raudi, 9, was my first Icelandic. She was from Day 1, and continues to be the apple of my eye. She’s always had a willful streak. The phrase that comes to mind when I think of her is “It’s my way or the highway!” But now finally, after eight long years, we are working as a team. Each ride is better than the one before it. Nope, she isn’t going anywhere.

Siggi, 8, was purchased as a companion horse. We took the adage “Icelandics are like potato chips, you can’t have just one,” seriously. Well, Siggi was God’s afterthought – he was put together after all the other horses, with the remaining pieces. We never thought he’d amount to much, but he’s done very well under saddle. He’s Pete’s Number One riding horse. Nope, he’s not going anywhere.

Tinni, 23, is our bombproof steady eddy horse, the one I ride to bolster my confidence, and the one other’s ride when they go for jaunts with me. He spent this summer with friends, and honestly, it felt like I was missing an arm. Nope, he’s not going anywhere.

Signy, 17, is our solid as a rock pack mare. She is also now just coming into her own as a riding horse. She never wavers when on the trail, and moves like a locomotive. She has a wonderfully quirky disposition, which she’s passed on to Hrimmi, her most recent foal. Nope, she’s not going anywhere.

And lastly, there’s Hrimmi, who is now four months old. She has all the attributes of the above, and then some. She now gives her feet, stands for bathing and brushing, and is fearless on the trail. We’ve just begun lead training her, and will soon begin to work with her on trailering. She’s Pete’s hoochi coochi girl, and most likely will be his second riding horse. Nope, she’s not going anywhere.

So there you have it. No one is going anywhere because I cannot part with any of them. Right now, my life, writing and otherwise, revolves around them. I suspect if and when they cease to bring me great joy, that I will consider other options. Now is not that time.

Next: 274. 09/9/12: Hrimfara, Update