Monday, July 29, 2019

Everybody Wants You

Say goodbye to conventional ways
You can't escape the hours, you lose track of the days
The more you understand, seems the more like you do 
You never get away, everybody wants you 
Everybody want you
Everybody want you

Billy Squier 

The title of today's post could either have been Everybody Wants You, Not the Mama, or She's Just Another Bossy Mare.

It's so hot, there's just not a lot going on besides a little work with Tumbleweed and watching the horses graze a lot. The windows of our house look out at the pasture, so we see their every move and, from what I can see, it seems all the mares want to be T'weed's mommy. One hour he'll be with one, then another, then another, and he's always trying to sneak away from them to guess who. Yes, Foxy.

( Photo above: A little gift my friend got for me. Foxy and Tumbleweed, for sure.) 

When he sees me coming, he'll walk out to me as quick as he can, and he's happy to go off to be groomed and worked. But sometimes he gets this look in his eye, like he's thinking, "She's just another bossy mare. I'm not sure I like playing with her." I say that in jest, but I do need to make sure that is not what I become and that I allow him to retain his sense of fun and curiosity.

I said in another post, he's a mellow dude, and he really is.  I had to make him move out in the above video.  Oh, and I dropped his lead rope once and that got him to running around.  But for the most part, he is not a runner and bucker anymore.  It seems like the mares are making him be a boring old gelding.  They don't like him to get too excited...and he doesn't.

All of that mare bossiness will probably make him a great trail horse, which is what I want, so I won't complain...too much.

Oh, the life of a yearling baby when everybody wants you.  Pretty tough, huh Tweed?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Results Are In on the "Voodoo" Face Creams

It's too hot to ride, so I put Cowboy in a stall, to keep his pretty bald face from getting sunburned, and I'm holed up inside--with the air conditioning working overtime.  This reminds me a bit of winter--when it was too cold out to do anything.

Since there's nothing really horse-related, this is a good time to do an update on the face creams I started trying out in the post "New Bras and Other Non-Horsey Stuff."  Face care has become a huge priority now that I'm 52, and I read about, think about, and TALK about it with my friends.

Well, one of my very honest, and hilarious friends, who is 61 and way past me in all this, told me right after I wrote that post,... point blank--

"Creams don't work."

She went on to tell me what DOES work, but we won't go there with this post.  Did I believe her?  Well, I was 50/50...maybe she didn't try the RIGHT cream.

I mentioned in the first post that I was taking photos of my face every week, in the same spots (to avoid lighting differences), and then comparing them to one another, in order to see if I could detect a difference.  I began taking the photos on June 12th.

Well, my friend was right. As of 6 weeks in, creams do not appear to make a big difference.

Don't get me wrong, moisturizing versus non-moisturizing makes a huge difference.  But, of course, good old Dermatologist recommended, cheap Eucerin for the face, can do that.  Exfoliating dead skin cells makes a huge difference, but Aveeno scrub for the face and muslin cloths can help with that.   Taking your makeup off at night and moisturizing before bed helps--but any cheap makeup remover and moisturizer will do, rather than the $50 version I bought.  Minimizing pores makes a difference, but multiple daily spritzes with rose water can do that.  Minimizing age spots makes a difference, but gradual face tanners and tinted BB creams can help with that.

So, sorry to report, but there is no miracle in a bottle.  Are you surprised?  The good can save yourself a lot of money, by not having to buy the latest goo-goo gadget.

I will say this about the creams: I enjoy using them, despite their ineffectiveness.  I think it is making me more aware of other things--like the importance of drinking water, continuing yoga (especially my time in savasana), happiness/optimism/gratitude and the way those emotions can change your face--less worry and frowning lines, and time spent at the computer or looking down at my phone, because it turns out, looking down at your phone a lot can create vertical neck lines. Lastly, the value of maximum sunscreen to protect your skin.  Well, and the all-important SMILE, but we covered that in the first post.

Have any of you seen better results with a cream?  This is by no means a scientific test, so I'm open to contradictory evidence.

A couple things to end with today--non-horsey moments.

1.  My annual picture with the kids at our little family reunion at the lake, further proof that happiness really does make you glow. (Yes, that's me glowing in the middle.)

and 2. Huckleberry picking yesterday with my husband and brother and SIL.

We had a FABULOUS 5 mile hike, and we harvested 1/2 cup of berries.  Of course, we ate a few along the way, too.  That was all of our first time hunting berries, that we could remember anyway, and none of us knew what a huckleberry bush even looked like, until we finally saw our first berry.

As I was closing my eyes to sleep last night, that's all I could see were huckleberry bushes.  I'm addicted to the hunt now!  Watch out huckleberries!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Precious Day by Day of an Older Equine Companion and Heart Horse

It seems that since we drove to get our new puppy, my life has been a blur.  First, it was the puppy--just getting her settled.  Then, it was back to back family vacations and family coming to stay.  I fit in a couple of rides through it all, and that one lesson with Tumbleweed, but I really had to set all that aside.

But now, we're home, and we don't have another trip planned until October, when I will finally return to the place I have sworn to return to since I was 16.  I'm 52 now, so that's a lot of years wanting something and not doing it.  Every January 1st, I'm reminded when we pull out little slips of paper from our family box of resolutions and someone reads:

Return to Maine.

And, I have to admit that, no, I did not do it.  Yet again, I DID NOT return to Maine.

You'd think it was the moon or Mars, rather than a state within our own country.

We have our plane tickets and all of our reservations made.  It appears, if all goes well, I will finally touch ground in the place I loved so dearly.

For horses this year, there is a definite theme, and it is Cowboy, my heart horse. I feel like he's at the end of his life in many ways, and my time is running out.  Even today, I saw him from the window holding his previously broken front foot out, and I ran to put him up and give him another dose of Cosequin. The more he moves, the better he does, but I'm losing ground.

I had shoes put on him this spring, and I'm taking him out on every ride.  If it gets too steep, or a log too high, I hop off and walk him.  We're both fighting for his life at this point, thirteen years post fracture and displacement into the coffin joint.  But the arthritis around the area where the bone enters the joint, it gets worse and worse so that every year is a blessing.  I've known, and lived with that knowledge, for a long time.

It's all about quality of life now. I want him to enjoy himself--my older equine partner--and to trust me.  As I said above, I don't hesitate to hop off his back and let him navigate down a hill or over a log without having to carry my weight, too.  I explain this to my friends when they see me swinging to the ground. I don't care if I have to walk the whole way, but he does need to keep moving.

I value every second we're together.  I tell him that, too, and give him lots of huge hugs.  Hey Cowboy, we're together today!  hug hug hug. I can't stop hugging him.  I know there will be a time, soon, when I can't.

Ride after ride.

I feel bad that I'm not riding Leah, but given what I feel in my heart--what I see happening with Cowboy--I don't even feel like there's a choice.  It's all about riding him NOW.  Enjoying every minute NOW.

I don't want to have any regrets when the time comes. I want to know in my heart that I spent as much time as I could with the horse who has been my companion and comfort and strength and healing. I absolutely cannot stand the thought of losing him.

Yet, in the wings, there is Tumbleweed--brought here to take over what will be a huge, gaping hole in my life.  (Not to put any pressure on him or anything.)

Here he is heading back out to pasture yesterday, before my ride.  He had come to the gate and whinnied at Cowboy, loaded in the trailer.  (They're big buddies nowadays)  I jumped out of the truck to snap a photo as he was heading back out.

I love that Cowboy is able to overlap and be a part of his life, and that I will always know Cowboy is in him.  Not biologically, of course, but in the environmental effects--the nurturing part.

Tumbleweed is growing fast.  He is very smart, and he is very well loved by the entire herd.

Like everything, I enjoy each and every day, and I take them one at a time.