Yesterday it was fifty degrees and glorious, so I loaded George up,
went to the dressage barn, and groomed Sailor, my half Clydesdale.
Didn’t have time to ride him with George waiting for me.
But it’s almost as though we had to pay for it. By the time I got
George home, he was a total space cadet and couldn’t get out of the
car. I had visions of another stroke. Instead, and perhaps better, by
the time I got him into the emergency room he had nearly 103 degrees
fever and pneumonia. So we’re back in the hospital.
If I tried to get some of the ironies of mine and other people’s lives past an editor, I’d never make it. As Dave Berry says, “I can’t make this stuff up.”
I tell myself we are a month away from jonquils. I have to get my life in order before the first little yellow head nods at me in disgust.
On an only slightly different subject--
I take several horse and driving magazines. That’s the equivalent of overdosing on House Beautiful and Architectural Digest and developing an on-going case of house envy. Whenever I need a stable for a story,
I have a plethora to choose from. My own is neither neat nor fancy enough. One of my aunt’s favorite sayings was, “If you can’t be a shining light, be a horrible example.” At the moment, that fits med.
A great many of the rich and famous house their horses in palaces that make me so jealous I could even consider restoring the tumbrils. The alternative is squads of grooms who sweep aisles and pick stalls and
scrub buckets and polish tack and harness from dawn ‘til dusk. I’d be happy with one jack or jill or all trades.
My absolutely favorite stable, however, is at Saumur, France, was built for Louis XV and finished in 1788—just in time for the tumbrils. They may have updated it in some ways by now, but the last time I was
there, the stalls had a conveyor belt running continuously at the back. The road apples are dropped on it and disappear into a manure pile tucked away where no one can either see or smell it.
Even in polite company, horse people talk a lot about manure. Like death and taxes, it is inevitable. Why can dogs and cats be housebroken and horses can’t? To some extent, of course, they can be.
Given the option, horses will pick a small area of pasture or one corner of their stalls and make their deposits there. The person who invents a workable litter box for equines will be lauded in the horse
hall of fame.
In the meantime, I’m it, and I’m not much good at horsekeeping. That’s why mine are out in pasture most of the time where they belong. Even if that means I have to go traipsing out during snow and ice storms to
see that they have feed, hay, water, and blankets. Non-horse people think I’m crazy. The upside is that no matter how miserable I am, I can lighten my mood by hugging a horse. Lately I’ve needed a lot of hugs.