Sometimes I’m struck with something to write and I must stop what I’m doing and get it down in the moment, otherwise I’ll lose the thought altogether. That is how this poem came to be. I was cleaning Gangster’s stall, thinking about my messy hair shoved under a hat, my warm scarf slightly choking me, and my puffy red jacket pulling the whole outfit together in something that looked more like “Got dressed in the dark,” than “Moderately talented horsewoman.” How come you never see those crazy barn looks on Instagram? I only ever see piles of turquoise on crisp-collared shirts without a speck of hay. So it is with these thoughts in mind that I give you the below poem.
Makeup Off, Spurs On
I’m a little leery of anyone who looks too good while riding
Hair perfectly coifed
Clothes styled straight out of a magazine.
Because that’s rarely how I look.
And I’d like to believe I didn’t spend much time on my face
Because I’m spending the time on my riding.
Ready to work.
No trendy vest and wild rag,
But I’m warm enough in this old coat.
And I can get warmer at a posting trot.
No long luscious hair flying behind me,
I’d hate to untangle all those knots later.
But my circles look good.
Big and fast.
Small and slow.
If you compliment my riding
Over how I look
I’d like that better anyway.
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Some dear friends of mine recently had to put down their 26 year old Arabian horse who had 11 national championships, 8 reserve national championships and was truly part of their family. One of the original horses of their herd, a special horse who elevated the riding skills of all of his riders and remained wild at heart into his 26th year. Losing a horse is hard enough, but saying good bye to the ones who become family is downright depressing.
I wrote the below poem in honor of all of the horses who touch our lives and then leave this world. Really it seems, for the truly special ones, any departure would always be too soon. They add so much to our lives that can’t be quantified, can’t be explained, can only be hinted at with words. Tonight when I say my prayers, I’ll be praying for plenty more time with my own horse.
Horses As a Memory
Horses aren’t just animals
They are memories
A memory of your youth
A memory of the person you used to be
A memory of family now gone
So when the twilight of life
Reflects in your old friend’s eyes
And you know the time has come
To say good bye
Know the tears on your cheek
And the sadness in your heart
Are proof of the wonder you shared
And a magic you still seek
The sun will deliver a newborn foal
And despite your own protests
That new horse will capture your soul
So you’ll sign on
For one more ride
Of great memories while still on this side
Feel free to share with anyone who might cry a little and laugh at the truth of it and feel a little better for remembering the equine friend they had to say good bye to.
You’ve heard of the horse whisperer, but have you heard of a “horse widower?” Urban Dictionary defines it as horse owners, usually women, who give their horses the best of everything and inevitably neglect their spouses. Ha ha, sounds about right.
The below poem was my very first blog post ever, but I thought sharing it before Valentine’s Day seemed fitting. You can send it to your sweetie and tell him even though you didn’t write it, it was written with him in mind. I hope you enjoy it and have a happy Valentine’s Day!
An Ode To The Horse Widower
If he wanted a cleaner house
A wife without hay in her hair and bra
If he didn’t want his truck used for moving hay
If he wouldn’t help move 1000’s of pounds of hay for me every few months
If he wanted a wife with a hot meal on the dinner table at 6pm and not at the barn until twilight
If these were the desires of my husband’s heart
He wouldn’t be with me.
Because my house is rarely clean.
You can always find hay in my hair, bra and other places
Sometimes it’s even sprinkled throughout our house
He got his truck so we could move hay
And someday haul horses
Moving hay is never fun, but he smiles his wry smile, gives me a wink and pretends to hate me for it
Thank God for crock pots and a husband who supports my independent nature
Supports his wife who regularly spends hours at the barn instead of at home
The desires of my husband’s heart are a happy and passionate wife
God bless my husband.
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