Texas Sunset Silhouette


“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
-Wayne Dyer

Perspective and point of view.

You can get a photo like this just by getting a little closer, a little lower, and waiting.

I mean, it does help to have something like a Texas river bottom and some pretty ponies to look at, but there is beauty all around us if you open your eyes and look.

Something to think about in life too. There are some things we can and things can not change.

We can do our best to make plans and go about them, but we all know how the best made plans go despite our intentions. We are not in charge of the plan at the end of the day.

I say all the time how life is like working with horses, and this is especially true about young horses.

When things appear to go awry, you just have to take a step back and go back to what you know before you start to go forward again.

It is just a season is all. And hey, it is what it is and they are what they are. With horses, as in life, have faith and realistic expectations, set a routine, and give it time and consistency.

Change your point of view and shift your attitude.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Daily Dose Of Cute

My weekend in pictures. Enjoy!

Before the much needed little rain storm on Saturday, everyone was taking naps.

When I sit in the grass with them, Lito often comes over and stands with his head over mine. My pretty girl was not feeling her normal self, but by Sunday she seemed right as the rain. You can’t see him, but Ike is laying down in the back, on the other side of the tree. I love how they feel comfortable enough to really sleep when I am sitting there. Just get comfy there, big boy. My wing pup, never too far away and always up to something. Saturday’s sunset after Justify snagged the Triple Crown and after the rains. Too pretty for words, don’t you think?Sunday morning. My two gal pals. Just us three, hanging out under a tree.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Dreams

You know, dreams are funny thing. I have always thought this.

Some nights you do not remember any of them. Some nights you wish you did not have any, but you can not shake the memory for the life of you. Some dreams are even repeat players. Then there are the nights where you have such vivid and clear and lovely dreams that the images and feelings stick with you for more than just the day, but for what feels like a lifetime. You could retell, with exacting clarity, every moment of that dream over and over. God help the person that really dislikes to hear about dreams. I seem to find myself compelled to tell those people all about my dreams.

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I have had two of those dreams in as many weeks.

The first was not this past Monday, but the Monday before.

In this dream I was riding Lito in a little arena by a little white house with peeling and chipping paint out in the country. Set off a little ways by a small, quiet country road with little traffic. The rest of the property was cross fenced with rusty barbed wire and crooked wooden posts into little pastures full of grass. All of this was surrounded by other, similar parcels.

The house had a green and white striped, mildew stained awning over what I guess what the kitchen window and a little covered porch that led to the front door. The front door had a big square window with a curtain hanging from the inside. Next to the door on the porch, crookedly sat one of those rusty, metal chairs. Part way facing the road and part way facing down the two steps off the porch and to the arena.

There I was was with my Lito, riding in that little arena. It was day time, but I remember there were arena lights that could be used for night rides. And we were not alone. There were a handful of other riders with us. All doing our own thing, as I was. The curious thing about it was, I do not think I knew any of them. Maybe it was that they were not important to what was between us. Between me and Lito.

I did seem to know, in some form or another, a man that was standing, leaning on the arena fence by the road. The manner of our connection I knew not, but when we trotted down that long side of the arena where he was near the end of my ride, we smiled at each other. Seemingly knowing something, the same thing.

I know what I knew. It was Lito and the ride was magical. We were totally in tune. That is the only way I can describe it. He was forward, but not too. He was just there. My thoughts were his and his were mine. It was our own little world out there in that little country arena and we just were. It felt like a dance I have yet to really know. Focusing and working on nothing, just riding.

That is when I woke up, as I trotted past the man. I awoke knowing, somehow, that feeling was going to come true soon. Part of me wanted to cling to the sleep to try and get back to the dream (it is truly a shame that is not a thing) and the other part of me wanted to play hooky from work and go ride. And alright, I admit, there was a third part of me who wonders who the man was. Strange to have that strong of a feeling and it had me in a daze for days.

I had another of those dreams last night. It is actually one I think I have had before and not all that long ago.

I was in a place I have never been in real life. I want to say that it was not Texas, but I do not want to admit that. It felt like a foothills region if not even mountainous. The air was crisp, the grass was very green, and the trees felt like they looked like Aspen trees, but I do not think they were. It was easy to visualize, standing and looking off the porch in the back, snow being there.

The building was somewhat of a log cabin style and there was an attached side building or room and the door out front was open. There was at least one other person with me, but again, I do not know who. The building was situated on the top of a little hill that likely went down to a little creek on the back side, but it was not a very steep hill. It was more of a gently sloping hill in most places.

I do not really know what was on either side of this building, but I knew there had to be a barn close by because as I entered this side room, I realized it was a tack room. And rather oddly, an empty tack room with a full wall covered in saddle racks. It was dark, but it was warm, cozy, comfortable, and full of color. It was then that the feeling began. I told somebody with a silly, childlike grin on my face that I had to put my tack in there. As only a horse girl would.

We continued through the tack room and past an unknown hallway, out the back door to the aforementioned porch looking down the hill where the truck and trailer full of horses was parked in the driveway that circled around the back. I know Lito was in there.

I looked around me, standing there on the porch. At the seating arrangement around me and down to the green grass and trees. And then to my left at the lower level deck and chairs down the stairs. I was hit with the feeling from before while I was in the tack room that this place, wherever it was, would be like home to me, if not my actual home one day. For as different as it was from the farm, it felt like the farm.

That was when I woke up. Dreams, man, they are an odd thing. I think I need another cup of coffee.

Have you ever had dreams like that? What do dreams mean to you? Tell me! My family hates hearing about my dreams. I just had to share.

Walk in love, dear readers!

Sprinkler

I have a steaming mug of coffee in my hands and my Darcy dog is curled up at my feet. Her head resting on my slippered foot, her breathing steady and rhythmic as she takes her early morning nap.

I have the news on the television, but I am not listening. I commonly find myself not listening to the news without thinking about it. It must be a subconscious defense mechanism.

It is almost time for me to get ready for work, but here I sit, indulging in a few more sips of coffee.

Listening to the sprinkler tap tap tap on my front door and window, transporting me to another time and place. A covered front porch somewhere out in the country during a summer storm. The kind of storm where you can see them build for miles before they let go. The kind you can smell long before they let go. I would be sitting there in very much the same fashion I am now, in my pajamas, my pup at my feet, and a steaming mug of coffee in my hands. Listening, watching, feeling. Being still and quiet.

Reliving a great ride I had on Lito with a friend on Sunday. Enjoy this little snippet of it if you will. He still not quite 100% himself, but he is getting there. Time. All it takes is time and consistency.

And just like that, the moment is shattered like glass on a tile floor as Darcy wakes and retreats to her bed. How does she know it is time to get ready for work?

I will take a sprinkler for today. Amazing what a sprinkler can do. Transport you and turn your little patch of grass into a luscious, green lawn. Quite like an actual storm. Quite a feet for such a little thing.

I think I need to ride more.

Walk in love, dear readers!

What Just Happend

That is more of a rhetorical question because nothing really happened, but still. It feels like a time warp of sorts and I am not sure if I am happy about it or not. How odd.

Anyway. The first thing. How is it already Wednesday? Yesterday was the Monday-est Tuesday ever being the Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend (which was great, by the way). It drug on and on and now here we are at Wednesday. It is like I feel duped. Yet another odd feeling! We are already half way to the weekend again!

You know what else has snuck up all of a sudden (or is it sneaked? Ugh, grammar is hard, man)? Summer. Like triple digit, humid town, reminiscent of 2011, SUMMER. I heard on the news that the next few weeks are going to be like the summer of 2011 (I sure hope he said next few weeks and not this whole summer!). I am almost shaking in my boots. Seriously.

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The summer of 2011, as anyone from down here knows, was brutal. I think we broke the record for triple digit days. Given how humid it is here, that is a hard thing to do. Oh and the bugs. So so bad. And practically no rain while being in the worst of the drought. That was the summer I graduated from undergrad and brought Cheetah home. She would have run all the way back if she could have I think. Every time I saw her she looked at me with an expression like, “GET ME OUT OF HERE, TAKE ME BACK, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!” It is a good thing I had a lot of time. I went to the farm practically three times a week and she would gallop up to me each time I drove up to get hosed down and scrubbed. I did not even need a halter. We would stand under the shade of one of the oak trees as I ran the cold hose over and over her.

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Anyway. I can not think about that anymore.

Speaking of Memorial Day weekend, it was great. It started off with a dinner show by Radney Foster, at one of my favorite places, with some of my favorite people R, H, and M.

I have been a Foster fan for basically my whole life, but surprisingly, I have never seen him live. He surely did not disappoint.

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Playing new and old songs, sharing stories, and reading excerpts of pieces he has written. I did not want it to end. I could have sat there all night and listened. I ended up buying his book when the show was over and I can not wait to read it. If you have never heard of him, you should really go check him out. His work transcends all boundaries. I have so many favorite songs of his, we could be here for a week, so here is a new one he played that I can not get enough of. He just gets IT. For you to really see the light, you have to know the dark. AHAmoment.


“It’s gotta get dark enough
For you to see the stars”
~Radney Foster


I woke up early Saturday morning in a daze and Darcy and I booked it to the farm to meet my parents and cousins who arrived there Friday evening. Listening to Radney Foster the whole way, of course.

I had another one of those great compliment weekends I told you about before multiple times over. Girls and horses (and Petunia) and it was great. I am so proud of both girls and horses. R even rode both Cheetah and Chance bareback. There is just something about girls and horses. The horses, they just know what is expected of them when it comes down to it.

It was really hot and we were thankful for the moving cloud coverage. The horses were sweating in the shade! An unwelcome promise of more heat to come.

I do not have any more words for you, dear readers.

Other than to say I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for the blessing. For the family, the horses, and the music.

And. Of course. Walk in love!

I am going to go sit on my hands now so I do not post every one of Radney’s songs. Go listen now!

Beautiful

“The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
~Helen Keller

Thank you for the inspiration, Sarah!

I got home from work Friday to find this…

Naughty little dog. The Darcy Doolittle found some horse treats that R had somewhere. She decided they were indeed for her. Good thing I have an indoor/outdoor rug. Us traveling horse gals can be hard on the finer, indoor things of life. Tracking in shavings and hay, leaving burrs all over the house, and eating horse treats off the floor. You know, everyday stuff. Have I ever told you about the time Darcy ate crayons? No? Well, that is indeed a story for another day very soon. Anyway.

I wonder why she left the crumbs? A snack for later? Maybe she saved them for R’s cat? How sweet.

Not having time for such nonsense, I shook my head at her as she wagged her tail innocently at me before we loaded up and left. We had good times awaiting us.

I met up with some friends Friday evening who were spending the weekend doing fun horsey things. We talked and laughed, ate and drank, and listened to music. I had a grand time and got back to the farm late.

Which, indeed made waking up early to do all the things a wee bit difficult. After some encouragement from Darcy and Petunia protesting the late breakfast service, I got up and started the day. I rode Chance and Lito between moving sprinklers and taking care of other odds and ends. There are always a ton of odds and ends.

After riding, I loaded Lito a couple of times. You know, practice makes perfect better, better, better. He self loaded twice and was calm and confident so we called it a day. He is back to nickering at me when I come in to unload him which makes me more than happy. I am going to take him and Cheetah to a friend’s in a couple weeks for a fun, low key day.

Kisses for everyone from Lito. The day could not have been more beautiful. Not too hot and not really humid. Scattered clouds providing occasional blocks from the sun. A good breeze.

I had a late lunch after finishing up and went back to my friend’s for another fun evening. Friends and laughter along with a sunset like the above, is great for the soul and you feel it right down in your heart.

Sunday morning greeted us with an unexpected, and most welcome, chance of rain. I quickly packed up, left, and went to the car wash in hopes of ensuring some moisture. Here is hoping it worked! It was practically a gully washer in town!

What beautiful things did y’all get up to this weekend?

Walk in love, dear readers, and make it a great Monday!

It’s A Bird…Birthday Edition

It’s a plane…

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It’s a Cheetah!

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Wait, what? No, no, no.

Not that kind of cheetah.

This kind of Cheetah!

A birthday Cheetah!

My gal pal is 14 today. That is quite a big number considering I started riding her when she was only 4.

We have been through a lot together, and we ain’t nearly through! Name that reference! No? Uh, OK, never mind then. I guess I will just give it to you. You’re in for more, so you might as well just give it a listen. If you knew it already, I would like to be your friend.

If you do not know her story, you should give it a read here.

Her heart is seriously as big as Texas and her lungs, well, they are built to match. She has taken me everywhere and given me the best gifts.

She is special and unlike any other around. I knew it the first time I met her. She already has some gray hairs starting above her eyes and I am not sure if that makes me feel happy or melancholy.

She keeps me on my toes and I bet she will continue to do so until well into her twenties.

She is my gal pal and I would not trade her for anything. Even if she is opinionated and does not like to walk. I only wish I could ride her everyday again, preferably in a cotton field.

Walk in love, dear readers, and for your listening pleasure, I give you this…I just do not understand why people do not sing about line back duns.

 

 

May Day

I talk quite a bit during the Christmas season how it is my favorite time of year. I also seem to recall telling you that foaling season is probably my second favorite time of year. I would not put it past me to be found guilty of claiming yet another time as my second favorite time of year.

However, I was just thinking to myself how the month of May is my second favorite time of year. Although technically, it is still foaling season, just the end of it and now everyone is talking about how their mares are bred for next year. Just more to love.

Anyway.

April can get a little hay wire with the weather, but by the time May gets here, it is getting warm and the air is dry. Just the right kind of warm…as in not too. It is not yet hot and does not remind you of the suffocating humid heat you know, yet refuse to acknowledge, is coming in late summer. It is the kind that feels good and warms you through. Makes you want to take a nap. You can feel the promise of summer. The kind of promise that brings a flood of nostalgia and has you running and playing outside in shorts, with or without shoes. Flocking to the pool with your friends. Riding sweaty horses bareback. I half want to start a count down to the end of school.

Except, that I am not in school any more and do not get a summer off. Sigh. What a way to ruin an image.

Go back to running barefoot.

Everything is green, from the grass to the pecan trees, and the sky is so blue. The love bugs are everywhere and the horses’ coats are slick and shiny, free of the winter fuzzies. They practically glow as they bask in the sun. I swear the sun acts almost like a drug, putting everyone in a trance.

May also has a lot of birthdays in my family. Middle Sister, K. My Niece, L. Friend, R. A certain mare turns 14 soon. Babies and birthdays, man.

Anyway. Yesterday was a great May day and I have some evidence to prove it.

The sky was blue and the grass was green. It was warm. The horses were shiny and love bugs abundant.

I rode Cheetah and she acted like Lito was just weaned. I guess she wants a baby too.

Then I did some ground work and rode Lito man. He decided a little while ago that he was scared of flappy colorful things like tarps and anything of the sort. I still don’t get that because he never was before, but we are working through it. We walked all over with the flappy colorful tarp being flappy and colorful waving around. He was very good and I swear had that moment of, “I don’t remember why we are doing this. That is not scary.”

While riding he preferred to stand there and take a nap in the sun. So, we basically did that.

Petunia cuddled and asked for food.

Lito really enjoyed his feed. Just look at his eyes.

Our neighbor’s dog came over and everyone took a nap.

Remember when I showed you those cactus blossom buds on an equally awesome day? Well, here they are now!

Then Darcy (while covered in burrs…the one downside to this time of year) and I had a patio lunch with margaritas. For me, not her, much to her chagrin.

Margaritas and salsa after a great day with the ponies, reflecting on my many blessings.

What is your favorite part about this time of year?

Walk in love, dear readers!

Perfect

We live in a world where everyone is striving for perfection. Everything has to be perfect. It is hard to even truly define and comprehend the word. Is there any such thing as ‘without fault’ in this human world?

I read something other day about it in fact. Something about being a perfectionist and how it makes you great. Everything about it I loved except that word. Perfect.


“Riding, like life, does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

 

AHAmoment. Riding and life is never perfect, but it is always wonderful, magical, and beautiful. This is one thing horses have taught me. There is always a silver lining. There is always something to be learned and something positive to take away. The beauty comes from the imperfect and how everything still forms around it. What you can make out of it. The striving for the goal, to always be better. Fault can always be found, but it is how you look at it.

To me, humans can never be perfect because we do not have the control.

If I go out to ride with the goal of making it perfect, they humble me right down and remind me that is not what it is about. They live in the moment like we should. We try so hard to control everything in our lives. However, if I go out with the goal to enjoy the ride, make it the best we can, and be better than yesterday, they give me their all and nothing can beat it. Perfect does not even come close. I can see and feel them try.

It is the same in life. Chasing perfection forces you to compare yourself to an outside standard or someone else. You will never get where you really want to be that way. The point is the path. The journey. That is what it is about. It is yours and no one else’s. Incomparable. Made and intended for you and only you. Enjoy it. Walk it. Be better than yesterday. Keep refocusing and aiming your arrow. That is where the wonder and beauty of life comes from. Not from trying to control it and make everything perfect to some made up standard.

The beauty of horses and life.

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Stir that around in your pot of thoughts for a bit. Think about it the next time you are about to use that ‘p’ word. It is pretty dang strong! I am guilty of over using it myself!

Walk in love, dear readers!

Storm Dodging & Life Lessons

I can not help but think that this weekend was a metaphor for living every minute that you get, no matter what. We are not promised any of them.

I struggled with when to even go out to the farm this weekend. I was thinking about staying in town to do who knows what. The weather reports promised rain all day Saturday and I had to be in town by mid morning on Sunday. I needed to ride and check on everyone. I have a weekend long trail ride with dear friends this coming weekend. However the thought of going out Sunday afternoon and rushing did not sound all that appealing.

I went ahead and booked it out there Friday after work. I would do as much as I could on Saturday and let the weather bring what it wished. Since you know, you can not do anything about it anyway and the forecasts are usually wrong. AHA moment, do not trust the weather man.

Friday evening was just about as lovely as it gets. I strolled down to the pond where the horses were hanging out under a pecan tree. The one that got struck by lightning a few weeks before Lito was born and has a big scar down the trunk. I was flooded with memories as I sat on a log near the horses, but we will talk about those memories later. One by one, the horses made their way over to me and huffed their grassy breath brushed my face with their velvety muzzles, each asking for scratches on their favorite spots. My mare eventually pushing everyone else away from me. I secretly love when she does that.

After bringing everyone in at sundown and feeding them, Darcy and I went inside to call it an early night. Early to bed, early to rise you know.

Saturday with my coffee mug in hand, I caught up my best mare, Cheetah, my gal pal, and set to grooming. Spending a little extra time and elbow grease to bring out the shine in her golden honey coat before tacking up. A girl needs to look her best, that is what my mother says.

We set off with no plan other than to just go, and boy was she game. A little saucy and sassy, but what else is new. Although, I think someone must have slipped her some coffee or something.

 

Some days she never seems to run out of power walk.

At times it felt very Man From Snowy River with the clouds, wind, and drizzle.

She always keeps me on my toes that is for sure. So we did a little storm dodging, but our spirits we not dampened in the least and our manes were only a little damp. At one point we were loping down a dirt road out in the pasture behind the barn. The one that has a culvert slightly exposed. A little known fact about Cheetah is she used to be really afraid of culverts. Weird, I know. Anyway, as we were going along, I wondered to myself if she was going to see or notice this culvert. Ha. She did eventually. When we were in the air over it. I am not even sure what happened underneath me. All four of her legs seemed to go in different directions and her body twisted and contorted so she could get a cockeyed glance at the thing. How offensive of it to be there in her path. But when her hooves hit the ground, she just kept on going with just a little extra pep in her step. I could not help but laugh out loud.

I gave her the first bath of the season after I stuffed her face full of treats. She was nowhere near having an empty tank (well let’s be honest, she never has an empty tank, ever), but I did not have all day. Chance was slated for ride number two and Lito needed to spend some time tied. Growing up can be hard for a horse!

So dynamic. All those colors. Especially the red.

Chance is one of those horses you barely have to touch with a brush and he is super shiny and soft. I am always amazed. As amazed as I am with his chunky, tank like frame. Sometimes, I still can not believe he is the same horse we bought a few years ago. We did some more storm dodging and it was nice for once to not have to push him the whole time.

Two completely different rides, those two. One prefers to go, go, go all the time and the other would rather sit in the shade of a tree and take a nap. There is nothing better than getting to ride different kinds of horses.

So, what is the life lesson to be had in dodging storms? Well, that you sometimes do not have control over them. AHA moment, dear readers, we humans have basically zero control in the grand scheme of things. And like I said, the weather man really has no clue!

You see, I could have sat around inside and watched the clouds, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the storm, wondering why I came out and why I was wasting my day. Waiting on the storm that did not come until after I was happily in my bed falling asleep, reliving the great rides that I had and feeling grateful. The storm that soaked the spring ground with ever needed rain. The storm that was gone by morning and had the sun out, growing the grass.

I woke up Saturday ready to do all I could until the rain made me take a break, and then I would go again. Knowing I would not have time to the next day and that I would regret it if I did not. Even if I did have the time, everything was a soupy, wet mess come Sunday morning anyhow.

Go live every minute of every day, dear readers, and walk in love. For you do not know what storm is coming or when. You are equipped by Him to handle what does eventually come your way and it will make you stronger.

And besides, a storm is just a little rain with some sun on the back side, waiting to grow your grass.