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Baking Huntress

Moments of perfecting hunting (ha!), baking, horsemanship, and life

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Equine

WPC – Opposites – Not from the same pod

Not two people are the same. Nor dogs. Cats. Or anything else. That includes horses too. Erika and I had the exact opposite of each other in horses. Hershey is tall, black, young, and energetic. Magic was short, white, old, and lazy. Because they were such opposites, we decided to use that to our advantage. We teamed up and worked hard with the working pairs event for OHSET. Because they were such completely different horses with different strides and abilities the outcome wasn’t ideal. We barely placed in the top ten, but we didn’t care. We had fun. This was taken shortly after our class.

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To Admire

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I hope I did this right-first #photochallenge. :-p

Admiration: Noun, something regarded as impressive or worthy of respect.

Many people would consider someone they know and loved to admire. I do, too, have several people that I admire, but for this topic the first thing that came to mind is Magic (RIP). The horse. Admired by many, owned by few.

Magic, a gray 25-year-old Appaloosa/Arabian Cross, stole my heart and admiration (well, after a year of butting heads and refusing to let the other win…). The beauty that comes with horse ownership isn’t just the ribbons and buckles, but the companionship, love and trust you get with no questions asked.

Eight years of perfecting our relationship, countless hours of riding without stirrups, two-point, and remembering to keep your heels down all the while keeping your balance. Not only the extra hours of grooming and fussing over your best friend.

I’m to this day I’m still awed by him. The perfection of strong rippling muscles, soft kind brown eyes, long curved ears, lack of the Araby dished face, the soft pink nose, the irregularity of mottled (spotty) skin, and the shortage (luckily) of green and yellow stains on an otherwise spotless gray shiny coat.

“In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.”

~ Author Unknown

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/admiration/

 

The Last Ride

I debated whether or not to post this one….

Three years. Seems like a long time, but for me I can remember that day as if it was yesterday. As a pet owner you never think about the end, until it smacks you in the face like a freight train. And when that time comes, you are never prepared to make that decision. It may be a situation where you know the time is coming, so you have an idea, but in reality you really can’t prepare yourself for it.

After you make a decision like that you always have the what ifs.

What if….

What if the timing wasn’t right?

What if I did more testing?

What if I got a second opinion?

What if I tried different medication?

What if he/she wasn’t ready?

What if I am pushing it too soon?

What if I don’t do it now, will he/she suffer later?

What if…

To this day I still ask myself those questions. What if I did more testing to see what really was going on with his body? If I did more testing, is it possible to treat it? What if I got a second opinion and they said it was something curable? What if he lived for another five years?

I still miss that damn horse. All the vet bills, failed ribbons, disastrous patterns, but many memories. Bringing up stories still hurt.

Like I said, I still remember that day clear as crystal. I woke up early the morning of. A Thursday. I wanted to spend time with him before the time came. I spent a good couple of hours grooming him, cleaning his feet out, braiding his main and tail. Since it was his last day, I wanted it to be special. I let him graze in the tall grass. My friend, Cheryl showed up and suggested to put some yellow flowers in his mane. I laughed and said, “At least he will be pretty when he dies.” My coach, Patti, came out to take photos of us together.

My support group. Cheryl. Patti. My ex promised when the time came even after we broke up, he would be there. Just another broken promise.

I could see Brett in the background digging a spot next to the other good ole boys, Fritz and Joker. I tried not to stare or else I feared I would start balling. Thank God Magic was mostly blind. He wouldn’t understand.

Heather, DVM, showed up with an assistant. I could feel my gut tensing up and sob form in my throat. I had Cheryl run up to the barn to get Magic’s purple stable blanket, he would be buried with it.

“Do you want his tail?” asked Heather.

I nodded, not trusting my voice. The assistant got some scissors and some tape from the back.

“I can’t do it,” said Patti.

I gave her Magic’s lead rope and took the scissors. I cut as close to the tail bone as I could. I held it up and said trying to hide a sob, “He finally looks like his Appy breed.”

Everyone stifled a laugh. “Are you ready?”

Tears welled up in my eyes, “I guess.”

We walked over to the pasture that Brett was digging the hole. “One last ride?” asked Cheryl.

I nodded, again not trusting my voice. I got a leg up and Magic and I made a round around the pasture. It will never be the same.

I didn’t want to bring him to the group. I wanted to say forget it. I don’t want to do it.

I’m not doing this for me, obviously. I am doing this for the good of him. His body is giving up-I was out of options.

Heather rambled about how their office euthanizes. I didn’t pay much attention. I remember they gave him a sedative to help him relax. They injected him. A minute later, nothing. Magic was fighting it. The assistant ran back to the truck to get another dose. A couple of minuter and two doses later, he went down. I balled. I took my time saying my goodbye. They waited until I left before burying him. I’m glad.

holly

Magic Collage1

SIDE NOTE: This is a very hard topic. Especially to write about. I haven’t told many about it, because I don’t want them to feel the pain I went through. But as a pet owner, they need to know the hurt.

Little White Lines

To a person you see a white line you think nothing, but for a horse it’s a big ugly monster ready to jump out at them.

Every home football game our school has the equestrian team run the American flag before every game. My horse Magic and I have worked together for three years, and we know the ins and outs of each other. We have ridden over and past white lines millions of times for gaming events, previous flag running, and trail courses. No biggie, right?

Another football game came, and we were ready. Magic was bathed, glistened white hairs, muzzle, ears, and bridle path clipped; red and blue ribbon streamed into his white mane and tail while sporting blue polo wraps and blue saddle pad. I was dressed up in black wrangler jeans, white long sleeved shirt, and my black cowboy hat fastened with a couple dozen bobby pins-don’t want that thing flying off!

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We were warmed up and ready to run the flag. Not exactly sure what thought came through his head, but he had it in his mind that it was time to give everyone a new show. We galloped along the straight stretch and all a sudden Magic eyed that out of bounce white line, jumped, and bucked a couple of times. For anyone who has been on a bucking horse before knows that it’s not always easy to stay on. For me I had a bucking horse and flag in my right hand, what’s a rider to do? Laugh of course. I knew Magic wasn’t the type to go off into a bucking spree, so I knew it was short lived.

After the couple of bucks, both Magic and I kept loping along like nothing happened. We finished the ceremony and started to walk off the field. The other rider came up to me to ask me what had happened. I told her that Magic felt good and wanted everyone else to see.

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The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

For any horse owner we all know the pros and cons of horse ownership, but for those who think “You just sit there; the horse does all the work” or it’s easy owning a horse. Well, think again. There’s a lot more to owning a horse than just riding it.

Lets start out with the good. A horse is an expensive therapy session, but the good thing is that they don’t talk back or talk out of turn. You literally have a friend for life, almost like a dog, but usually more stubborn. You get to ride it, give it treats like carrots or like my gelding’s preference red licorice, and pet it. Yeah, there’s lots of perks of owning a horse.

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The bad…hmm, well there’s a lot of ‘bad’. For one thing, a horse shits a lot, what goes in must come out. If you have kids, you know. Horses are expensive, a person has to pay a farrier every 6-8 weeks, a vet for the out of no where lameness, grass hay, grain if needed, supplements, deworming products, plus if you don’t have your own acreage than board on top of everything else. In some cases that out of no where lameness costs you 4 months of soaking, cutting out edges, and wrapping the hoof/foot. Which means the bad got really bad…which also means there’s no good of riding. A lot of the time you spend cleaning up the horse be able to ride. If I broke it down about ¾ of time you’re out at the barn is spending mucking stalls, feeding and watering, turning horses out, and cleaning them up after a lovely afternoon out in the sun.

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The ugly, is really ugly. Some people don’t understand the whole concept that a horse is a 1,000+ pound animal that doesn’t care if your foot was there first or not. A horse has a mind of it’s own and in some circumstances will do what it pleases even if it means hurting you.

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In the picture that was a young horse decided he didn’t want to be left alone and reared up. I got the saddle horn into the V of my ribs, I was told by my doctor that I was lucky to be alive. A horse is exactly what Ian Fleming says,

“A horse is dangerous at both ends and slippery in the middle.”

Okay, I made horse ownership sound horrible, but if you’re the type of person that likes to get dirty, don’t mind finding hay down your bra, like to spend money on horse related stuff rather than go shopping with the girlfriends, and likes to work hard than horse ownership might be for you. If you are really serious into getting a horse, do your research. Start by going to a local horse riding stables, get lessons, learn as much as you can, but the most important thing is to have fun.

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