Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Relax, not talking about me. Talking about Ennis.
I started with one rangy pony, Lightning, bought for $25 without my parents knowledge. After a few months of near death experiences (the poor thing was never really trained and just basically RAN until you or he dropped) he put me in the hospital at age 12. My mother promptly sold him or had him ground into burger, the facts are to this day...blurred.
But, I wasn't down for long. I saved up more money and this time at 16 brought home another horse. Diamonds Cherokee Lady, a short and stubby Appaloossa. I had no money left over after paying the outrageous price of $200 for her so I rode her bareback with a homemade bridle made of hay twine, my 6 year sister clinging to life as she rode behind me.
We fell off a few times.
Then, another "friend" gave me her horse. Redfawn. A mustang obtained through the wild horse and burro program no less. But my the time I got Red she had settled. She only bucked every other day, and only if the day was either sunny or overcast. She also had a tendency to run me under low hanging trees which was fine as it was well known I was quite hard headed.
Helmet Smelmet. I still couldn't afford a real saddle let alone head gear.
Then I was off to college and sold the mare. Or my mother had her made into Thanksgiving roasts, the facts are to this day...blurred.
Thus became the equine dry spell. I went 17 years without another horse. Marriage, kids, nursing school, divorce, management jobs, travel filled the gap but oh how I missed the smell of a sweaty old horse on my hands.
Then along came my Prince Farming who had among other fine attributes, a livestock barn. Married just seconds, I found the best horse of my life, Johnny Walker. A 10 year old Morgan who had been used mostly at riding stables I bought him for a song. Seems he had a well honed habit of getting out of fences, all kinds of fences.
The first night home he did just that. I woke and no horse. We found him five miles away and to my new husbands great fear I rode him bareback all the way home. It gave us the opportunity to talk, compare goals and expectations. We reached an agreement and he never left home again. I learned to ride again. older son took him to 4-H fairs, younger boys rode him often, nieces and nephews all spent time on his wide back. He went slow for the wee ones and picked up speed nicely for the bigger kids like me.
Many of us bawled when we finally had to put him down at age 27. At that time I also had 3 other horses.
Then I had two.
But I could not stand it and then came, Ennis. Or I should say, I went to her via the classifieds. She's different than all the rest, a gaited horse, a bit of style. And a heck of a lot smoother for this Irish Crone to ride than those choppy quarter horse type characters I was so stricken with.
I've owned her two years now and at first the relationship was a bit distant. She was very well trained and did as asked but I knew her heart was not in it. I could tell. Her eye contact was poor and she kept her arms crossed a lot. She did love our miniature Donkey Doolin and did not try to hide the fact that it was him she carried the torch for.
But you might recall that Doolin headed for the big pasture in the sky this past winter.
And so, it was...just Ennis and I, or is it Ennis and me? Just one single horse and one single horse-owner. Over the last couple of months with no other choice for companionship except the very lowly pigs on the other side of her pasture, (a dilemma not unknown to myself) Ennis has finally warmed to her mistress. How do I know?
She watches me, she has been known to follow me about, she even...winnies when she sees me. And she has uncrossed her arms. She has even proven herself to be very kind and gentle with the GK's. She's no Johnny for sure, but then again...he was no Ennis.
I think we're gong to be fine.