First, I want to share with you that I have a fresh zit smack dab in the middle of my upper lip. You know, the area between your nose and lip...the little dip right there has a magnificent pimple. I felt like every person I spoke to today was looking at it. It's like my zit was out talking to people all day instead of me. I don't typically get acne. Not even when I was a teenager, go ahead, send me hate mail.
Sunday morning I went out to the barn to visit my mare. Of course she and the other mares were in the farthest possible corner of the five acre field. I looped the lead rope over my neck with my scarf, dug around in my pockets for gloves and began the trek. I was actually grateful for the bit of exercise. It was cold but sunny and sunny trumps cold anytime in my book. If it had been cloudy and cold, I would've been curled up on my couch. Instead, Mother Nature was on my side. I reached the small herd of mares and called Dixie's name. She looked up and waited for me to get to her. I scruffed her heavy winter coat and spoke softly as I clipped the lead rope to her halter. Some of the other mares were getting nosy so I started leading her back toward the barn. We stopped halfway and she stood still while I gave her a good look-over. Her surgery site under her tail has healed completely and there were no signs of new growths, whew. Keep you fingers crossed. Slyly, I put my hand in my pocket and rustled the plastic wrappers of the peppermints that I brought for her. Ears pricked forward she began pushing her nose around my waist trying to find the goods. I had to take my gloves off to unwrap the candy. Her warm breath cut the cold as she lipped the treat into her mouth. She loves it when I stroke her just above her eyes, she gets all soft and doe-eyed when I do it. She's my beautiful mare and I feel like a kid everytime I throw my arms around her neck and bury my face in her coat. Satisfied that she was in good condition I unclipped the lead rope and told her to go on. She turned and cantered back to the mares. I started walking back to the barn and turned to look at her only to find that she was standing with her head up looking at me too.
Gordon is the old man that owns the barn and cares for the horses. He is a self described "Kiwi" because his native land is New Zealand. As I was coming back to the barn he was coming out of the house. We stood and talked awhile in the barn aisle. As a young man he was an exercise rider for racehorses in New Zealand, he tells stories of training them on the beaches there. Then he moved to the US and he and his daughter raised Arabians and competed in fox hunts. His daughter is in her forties now and is "out of horses" because of a riding accident she had. So Gordon runs the barn on his own. His wife mostly stays in the house while he putters away keeping the barn tidy. Twelve horses make their home there and he sees to it that they are in good condition and properly cared for. I would sleep in my mares stall, that's how clean it is. I don't know that I've ever actually seen poop in it. He cleans the water buckets every other day and the barn aisle is meticulously swept. They don't make 'em like Gordon anymore.