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

Posts Tagged ‘This Old Horse

Staying Put

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Upon seeing Ward’s comment on yesterday’s post, I realized I haven’t written about our decision to keep our rescued Thoroughbreds through the winter. It’s actually been a gradual process for us to come to this conclusion. Recently, Cyndie affirmed our intentions with “This Old Horse” and this set in motion preparations for winter horse care.

They are fully supportive and provided contact information for some volunteer caretakers living near us who we didn’t previously know about. If we find ourselves needing coverage during a time we will be away, “This Old Horse” volunteers can step in.

We might update the horses’ feed rations or nutrition for the winter. “This Old Horse” will bring us heated water buckets for in the barn stalls. We will be contacting their hay supplier to coordinate a plan for when we will be needing more bales.

It is a wonderful partnership that serves the horses’ best interests and gives us the support that enables us to provide them a long-term retirement home.

We are very happy to report the horses are staying put for the indefinite future.



Written by johnwhays

November 17, 2021 at 7:00 am

Just Go

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Figuring out where to start when you have no idea where you are going shouldn’t really be a problem. Just go. From wherever you happen to be, just take off. Doesn’t really matter where you start once you are sailing along smoothly into the unknown.

Take my writing of this post… I have no idea where it’s going.

We had no idea our Wintervale had been added to the list of locations on the website of This Old Horse. Click to see.

Cyndie described quite a scene last night about her challenges to split the four horses into two pairs. With Mix’s pattern of sometimes being excessively “bossy” over the two chestnuts, Mia and Light, Cyndie likes to close gates to separate them during rainy weather so everyone has equal access to the space beneath the overhang.

Otherwise, we have noticed Mix posturing to leave Mia out in the cold rain because Mia is too timid to make her way to the other open side.

While Cyndie was working to isolate the chestnuts, Mix undid a chain and made her way into the barn uninvited. Inside, she found Delilah tethered and Delilah quickly shepherded the startled mare back to where she belonged. Or, at least, back in the direction from which she had come.

Mix came out and took a position on the wrong side from where Cyndie wanted her. No surprise there. Eventually, Cyndie succeeded in reaching the goal of having everyone where she wanted them.

The horses seem happier every day with their situation and surroundings, but they still have moments of dissatisfaction. Don’t we all?

Around dinnertime, the rain started to fall, just as predicted.

We settled inside and took in a couple episodes of “Longmire” to distract ourselves from reality for a little while. We are enamored with the modern-day (2012) western crime drama set in Wyoming, even after stumbling on the lead actor, Robert Taylor’s Australian accent when he spoke out of character for one of the “special features.”

He had us fooled. We had no clue the words he speaks as “Walt Longmire” were with an “acted” dialect. Bravo to his performance.

Too bad I’ve found myself hyper-critical of plot holes and incongruities in my movie and television viewing lately. It has me fully understanding why reading books is better than watching movie versions of stories.

When the storyline involves a ferocious winter storm, I can visualize that precisely in my mind, along with all it would entail, during, and after the weather passes. I would set a fantastic scene in my brain as I read.

When the video-recorded version is produced and doesn’t come close to depicting the visuals of the storm they meant to convey, my suspended disbelief collapses.

“Why is he wearing snowshoes when the snow isn’t deep enough there?”

“Why is there no snow clinging to the branches of those evergreen trees?”

“I thought they said this was the worst winter storm in years. Doesn’t look like one”

Brings to mind the epic Armistice Day blizzard of 1940. Just because it’s warm in the morning during November doesn’t mean it won’t be freezing by nightfall. That was what a winter storm looks like.

Sometimes, I just have to let things go.



Written by johnwhays

November 11, 2021 at 7:00 am

Excited Anticipation

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The day has come for us to receive a new batch of horses to graze our fields for the summer. Everything appears to have fallen into place right on schedule, including a delivery of bags of feed, stacked neatly in the barn a day in advance of needing them.

I have looked at the photo of the horse’s faces for a couple of weeks now and learned to identify them by name so I can make a proper introduction when they arrive around noon today.

We will have our Wintervale flag planted down at the driveway entrance to welcome the truck and trailer.

It’s a little intimidating to find how much we’ve gotten out of the mode of daily caring for large animals. Our chickens are no comparison.

Luckily, Cyndie is very thorough in thinking through details like remembering to ask about restocking our cabinet with medication for treating potential emergency situations.

Between the professional level of detail already shared by the good folks of This Old Horse and Cyndie’s ability to ask pertinent questions about the nitty gritty details of responsibly caring for horses, I feel able to relax and focus on the simple joy of immersing myself in the magical energy of glorious equine beings.

I anticipate it will be an interesting mix of ‘brand new’ and ‘same old’ in the days ahead. I look forward to getting to know the difference between the Arabians we had here previously and the Thoroughbreds that will be here now.

I hope to be an open vessel to whatever messages they might wish to convey as we mingle together when I am scooping manure for the compost pile.



Written by johnwhays

April 16, 2021 at 6:00 am