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Getting My Horse Hit

Monday, August 18, 2014

These days are so busy, so full. I hate the word hectic but often can't escape it. I crave the peace of mind that comes with running, with the simple hit of heel on gravel and the changing scene that reels out as I go. I shoehorn in the hours it takes to get that hit of peace. Even if I don't technically have the time to do it, I make time to do it.

Because Phoebe faithfully drove Liam everywhere he needed to go ever since she got her license, her leaving is going to be an adjustment for me. Already is. She's busy with work and friends as she prepares to leave for college, and I'm Liam's taxi. His school is 40 minutes away. He has cross country practice every weekday afternoon. It lasts for two or three hours. If I take him there, I am marooned for the duration, and have to wait until it's over so I can drive him home. I'm deeply thankful that he's been able to catch a ride with three teammates who live only 15 minutes away. Still, that's 15 minutes in the car to drop him off at 6:30,  15 min. to drive home,  15 min. go back to pick him up at 9 pm and 15 min. to drive home again every night. It's expensive, in both time and gas, to live this far out in the country.

Sometimes I run while he's training. Even if it's threatening rain. I take my iPhone and my raincoat. My raincoat consists of a small Ziploc bag into which I seal my phone. The rest of me gets wet and then dries.

So I started off full of hope that the threatening clouds would not dump their load on me as I trotted along this new route that has become a favorite.

About five minutes into the run, the skies opened. I started laughing at the absurdity of it all, of embarking on a five-mile run with weather like this.

I took shelter in a horse barn and watched the rain pound down. 

The horses didn't mind at all.

I heard a little whicker behind me and found two foals shut up in a stall.

They were so sweet, running their velvety lips over my hands, licking my fingers.

I loved the smell of the barn, the sound of the rain on the metal roof, the feel of the foals. By and by the rain let up and I ventured out again. I managed three miles, running, then darting into barns and sheds when the rain blinded me. Most of the way I was laughing at my own stupidity in even trying. But I also marveled at the feel of rain on my face, at the revelation that if enough rainwater runs down your face and gets in your eyes, it washes away your nice salty tears and makes your eyeballs kind of dry and squeaky. I'd never known that would happen. 

Sunflower becomes rainflower.

I stopped by to see Jesse, the grullo quarter horse. He had become even more delightfully striped (he already has horizontal tiger striping on his legs).

Such a neat head he has, almost Roman-nosed.

I was taken by the beauty of wet Palominos.

Buckeye has a pink nose. 

The rain striped and painted them, and I wallowed in the beauty of their forms, in their silken skin. Though I entertained years of teen-aged fantasies about it, I could never keep a horse, will never be able to afford the time or the housing or the feed. Keeping horses in the manner to which they are accustomed is not for freelance writers.

But I sure love to borrow others' horses for a few minutes, to touch noses with them and exchange breath and talk softly to them. It heals something inside me to make contact with an animal so powerful yet so gentle, one that makes time for me, walks over to say hello. This domestication thing, in which we contain, harness, and breed animals to do our bidding, work for us, feed us or simply be our companions, continues to amaze me.


What a lovely tribute. Beautiful creatures, horses. We humans are so fortunate to be able to commune with them.

If you make it to New Hampshire, I'll share Angus with you. He really does have a Roman nose -- he and I rode by the Stokes's yesterday and I thought of my favorite bird person.

Beautiful horses. I listen to horse owning friends talk of colic and up all night horse issues and I wonder how do these things exist
In the wild?
Cant help but be a fan for the reasons you describe so well.
I just know I wont ever be a hoss owner.

Why don't you run wherever Liam is running for cross country? Two birds-one stone sort of thing?

I like your attitude about raincoats.
We do come in a waterproof wrapper.
If we didn't, morning showers would be messy affairs.

You had an ideal place to shelter from the rain, in the barn with the two foals. I like horses too, for their beauty and deep spirit. I am your new follower.

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