Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for March 2019

Cold Lonesome

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It’s not feeling very springlike this morning. It dropped well below freezing last night and today dawned frozen like a rock. Cyndie is gone to visit her parents in Florida, so Delilah and I are in charge of caring for the chickens and Pequenita. Since Delilah is no help with either, I am pretty much on my own there.

The paddocks have become a lonesome place to pass. There are still a few piles of horse “apples” yet to be collected out in the farther reaches, but that will wait for some magical moment when it isn’t frozen solid, or so wet and muddy it’s impossible to navigate.

A neighbor posted a request for used T-post fence posts on our local online site, and we have some to spare, so Delilah and I spent time in the barn yesterday sorting out the ones missing anchor plates from those that have them, as well as culling a few that lack the quality of straightness.

Now they are laid out all over the floor in piles of five, something that we would not do if the horses were still here. It is freeing, but weird.

I also took advantage of having my music playing while I worked. We chose to avoid exposing our horses to the sounds of recorded music, so it was a novelty to be working in the barn with tunes on.

While we were tending to fence posts, I decided to begin dismantling the border that defined our arena space in a corner of the hay-field. Most of the posts are still frozen in the ground, but the webbing could come down.

It was beautifully sunny, but also cold and windy. Much of the work had me pulling my hands out of my gloves and soon my fingers grew so cold I started to lose dexterity.

Also, the plastic insulators weren’t very agreeable to being flexed open, so that didn’t help my cold hands any.

This morning, Delilah and I walked through the back pasture and reached the round pen, with its sloppy sand currently frozen, preserving the footprints of chickens. Only chickens.

It served to prod my lonesomeness for our horses.

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Written by johnwhays

March 31, 2019 at 10:17 am

Couple Updates

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Do you remember the triumphant moment back in September of 2017, when Cyndie’s brothers and cousins helped me place a heavy stone atop the two boulders in the center of our labyrinth? Elysa captured the accomplishment in pictures.

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Those were the good old days. Jump ahead to today and I can report that the freeze/thaw cycle of the earth offered its own opinion of my design. 

It appears that gravity prefers the third rock be in closer communion with the ground. Looks like I need to get the band back together for another session of heavy lifting. Although, I’m not sure that it wouldn’t just produce the same outcome twelve months hence.

The ground around here moves like the surface of the sea, just at a much slower frequency.

The other update I have to offer this morning is more rewarding. One day after relocating our horses, Cyndie received this report from Mercedes:

“The two groups got a little more social by end of day yesterday, everybody drinking out of the water trough and at full run whinnying for Fernando’s feed times 🙂

Dezirea and Max are super bonded today, and Max has sort of left Cayenne to herself now. I rechecked Dez both this morning and afternoon and legs looking good – no more swelling and cuts scanned over so I think we are in the clear, just some ointment now to keep moisturized so don’t crack and for hair regrowth 🙂 All three have been really friendly – I can tell they are used to treats and love 🙂

Today Apache whinnying to communicate with Cayenne and Hunter, and they are staying much closer to the group. So all in all really smooth transition”

We couldn’t be happier about this news. I’m feeling a strong desire to visit them soon to see for myself, but knowing how well they are doing provides great comfort for the sorrowful pangs we are experiencing by the void of their absence.

Already, we are taking advantage of the reduction in responsibility at home, as Cyndie is flying to Florida tomorrow to spend time with her parents. We cleaned up after the horses in the barn yesterday and teased each other that we might actually miss that chore. If we do, it will be because cleaning up after them is an honor when you have them as companions. In and of itself, scooping up manure holds no allure.

I rearranged leftover hay bales and did a final count in the hay shed yesterday. We’ll check with local folks we know who might have interest, and if they don’t want it, post it to the online neighborhood group for all to see.

Bittersweet steps of furthering this transition, made so much easier by knowing the horses are happy, back with their friends, and under the best of care.

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Written by johnwhays

March 30, 2019 at 9:00 am

Best Outcome

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It all started out so well. Moving horses that aren’t fond of trailers proved to be a little more dramatic than we hoped yesterday. Cyndie brought them out, one by one. First, Cayenne.

Cayenne was understandably cautious, but eventually made it all the way to the front position inside the trailer, remaining calm while Hunter whinnied from the barn. His turn came next.

You might sense his uncertainty, visible in his body language in that image. Regardless, he championed through navigation of his footing on the unfamiliar ramp, and took up his assigned position near Cayenne.

We learned, after the fact, that Dezirea does not like being trailered. She actually surprised me by how impressively she overcame her usual heightened sensitivities and soldiered through the “scary” sights and sounds to get into the trailer. All except that last step, where one back foot slipped off the side of the ramp.

She had a bit of a tantrum in the back of the trailer and stalled proceedings for quite some time while we struggled to calm her and secure her position. She ended up backward from our initial intentions, but that ultimately turned out okay, and actually ended up making her exit that much easier.

The best news of all was that the return to their former home worked out brilliantly.

In fact, Cyndie and I now have a better understanding of just how right our decision was to rehome the horses, not for our sake, but for the horses’.

They have been well cared for and deeply loved by us, but their world as horses wasn’t all it could be. After Legacy died, their world changed. They all lost their leader, but Dezirea had lost her partner. Their health forced us to restrict their access to our rich pastures.

Their world had shrunk.

When Cyndie described how all three were welcomed back by their old herd-mates yesterday, and saw how quickly Dezirea got to be the boss mare again, adored by the geldings/boys who she helped raise when they were young, it solidified a belief that the return of the three horses we were caring for was ultimately the best outcome.

It is very jarring now to walk past our paddocks and through the barn and not have their precious energy present. That will take some getting used to. But, knowing they are among their old herd again and have returned to their previous horse relationships, greatly eases angst we were having about the difficult decision of sending them home.

 

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Written by johnwhays

March 29, 2019 at 6:00 am

Unparalleled Escapades

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Indeed, there is an element of sadness today, with the moving of our horses back to their previous home, but we are making equal effort to frame their transfer in a positive light. Think of it as a graduation ceremony. Like children who are sent off to school for a period of years, these horses came to live with us for five and a half years. I think they taught us a lot more than we taught them in that time.

Now they have completed this phase of life with us and are going back home. We will use the memories and lessons of our unparalleled escapades together as the foundation for whatever comes next.

Thank you to all of you who are thinking of us today, and sending love and support! We are soaking it up as a healing balm for the inherent sorrow of parting from these beloved creatures, while also using it to bolster our spirits to properly honor the equine wisdom bestowed upon us over the years.

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Written by johnwhays

March 28, 2019 at 6:00 am

Minutes Revisited

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From March 27, 2012:

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Words on Images

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I’ve really been enjoying my little forays into the archives of this blog lately. Picking a single day of the month, and then jumping through each of the ten years of posts on that day has been very revealing.

In 2013 on March 27th, I was writing about getting fence posts up to define the border of the paddock, excited about how things would change when we got horses.

It was later that year, September, when the herd arrived. Here is a picture of the moment the four horses had just walked out of the trailer:

Tomorrow, the process is reversed.

Our time together was too short, but we had a lot of great adventures over the years and they touched a lot of people’s lives here.

I’m not sure what’s in store for us next, but whatever it is, we hope to do those horses proud. They’ve taught us a lot during the time we’ve been together.

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Still Flying

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Before I start with today’s post, I want to give a shout out of thanks to Jennifer Alexander for sharing her wonderful collection of student responses to my “Guess What” post from last week. Fearing most readers might not notice a new comment added to a previous post, I am specifically highlighting a fresh link to it here:

Another Guess – March 19, 2019

Check out the comment Jennifer added. I think she and her students have enhanced my photo-guessing game immensely!

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Ten years ago today I posted “Time Flies,” which is an impression that continues to feel valid to this day. In fact, I get the sense it is flying faster all the time.

Words on Images

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But, let’s not stop there. In my research of March 26 in the archives of “Previous Somethings,” I found the following post from 2017 too irresistible to exclude from today’s review:

Empowering Love

Editorial cartoon by James T. Pendergrast for Rolling Stone, June 2002

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Imagine replacing the negative with the opposite:

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Let fearlessness enhance enlightenment to fill our crucibles with love!

 

Let’s carefully teach everyone, before it’s too late, to love all the people, “all our relations” on this planet, fearlessly.

Happy March 26th, 2019. Send love. The world deserves more love.

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Last Sunday

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Yesterday was our last Sunday with the horses. We spent most of the day with them. It was time well spent. We were blessed with very comfortable weather that allowed us to linger for a while with no agenda except to just be with them.

Eventually, Cyndie hooked up each horse for some individual quality grooming time, head to tail to toe.

You may notice that a couple of weeks has dramatically changed the look of our paddocks. Snow? What snow?

It’s turning to water and flowing over our silt fence.

As the day progressed, the clouds thinned and the gorgeous sunshine lulled the horses into a nap.

Cyndie asked me if I thought we had made the right decision about rehoming the horses.

I answered her with a question. “Are you having second thoughts?”

She said no, but then, why ask about the decision?

There is no right or wrong in life’s adventures when you don’t know what each new day will bring. We didn’t really know what we would accomplish when we moved here. We don’t yet know what we will do after the horses are gone.

We just listen to our hearts, pay attention to our instincts, and strive to integrate them with our minds. Then we send love to the universe and see where it leads.

Travel day is currently scheduled to occur on Thursday this week.

Yesterday, we took full advantage of being home all day with Cayenne, Hunter, and Dezirea for one last Sunday.

I gotta admit, it did feel right.

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Written by johnwhays

March 25, 2019 at 6:00 am