Three more days

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When you can’t make it one more day but you have three more to go.

When you’re on day three of no shower and covered in dust to the point your eyes and throat hurt.

When you wake up and your back throbs from the goat kick you got in the back two days ago trying to pick one up to get it in the bed of the pickup.

When you’ve been to the fair, fed, watered, cleaned pens, then do the same for your friend’s animals because they live further away so you offer to save them the early morning drive, corner and wrestle 2 sheep to get their muzzles off -for the first time in your life, wonder how on earth you ever believed sheep were gentle and sweet, track down a zip tie, fix a broken sign, and drive back home to work the horses that have stood in stalls for too many days, clean all the stalls and pens at home that have been neglected- because this is the first chance you’ve had in three days …by 8:30 AM.

When you sit down for cereal and coffee and a moment of writing to clear your head for the first time in three days. Completely ignoring the sink of dishes and the mud all over the floor because you know you have to be back at the fair in two hours. They won’t die of neglect and they will still be there in 3 more days …unfortunately.

Seeing the pride and sense of accomplishment in my daughter’s eyes wearing her Grand Champion junior division dairy goat belt buckle.

More so, though, seeing her move into adolescence, get pimples on her perfect nose, body start to change, have a growth spurt that leaves her taller than every single friend and peer she has, hair mat up in knots from 3 days of hard work and no time for primping… unless we’re talking goat primping and recognizing that she quite simply doesn’t care. She is barely noticing these things. She wakes up still in her braided pigtails from yesterday’s show, frizzed out and wild and jumps in the truck bright eyed saying “it’s a nice morning”. She doesnt say “how’s my hair?”.  She exudes confidence and passion for life. Sometimes these things rear their head of course, a comment asking if her nose is too big or the like. She’s only human but she moves right past it and gets to work on the important things. I wish I could say the same for myself sometimes. She doesn’t get stuck. She looks to the nice morning and digs right in. When I notice girls about her age prancing about the fair, near the rides, flipping their hair, make-up on, cell phone screens in hand, grouping up, giggling, teasing a boy, looking just slightly insecure underneath it all, remembering those years myself and how hard they are. When I bring myself back to where I’m standing in the middle of all this dust, look around at the girls and boys here who are caring for their animals. When I see the difference and for one quick second thank God. When I glimpse my daughter starting to get panicked over something I would think trivial-like a broken sign showcasing her favorite goat-and realize it is not trivial so I go hunt down a zip tie. Her happiness and calm back. For that, I am going to make it three more days.

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horse sense

MOnty pic

Well, well it has been quite the exciting time around here the past couple of weeks. Last weekend was a Saturday Hippotherapy clinic. Sunday was a Centered Riding Clinic. And then, this past weekend was a Monty Roberts demonstration which we attended with VIP tickets. Mind you, I have traveled to California “Flag is Up Farms” for clinics and expected to meet Mr. Roberts, but, alas-no he was out of the country. So to finally see him in person and talk with him (per the VIP splurge) was excellent to say the least. What I really like about him, specifically, is how he relates working with horses to life in general, to working with people. His book “Horse Sense for People” really is the greatest book I have ever read. He projects the skills used in horse communication to parenting, work relationships, career, life, everything. Trust, respect and communication being the basis for all things. He promotes non-violence in all ways (including our words). Also, he is 80 years old and still touring, teaching, training and riding. What an inspiration.

MOnty pic 2

The funny thing is that in all my horsey years I really didn’t know too much about Monty Roberts. Not long ago, an old college friend of mine who was visiting mentioned watching some Monty Roberts videos in his master’s program for teaching. He explained how it was used to open a discussion about how teachers teach and treat children. For some reason, that really fascinated me. And, from there, I started reading his books. Then, of course, my daughter fell in love with Shy Boy. We watched the documentary, read the children’s version of the book together and met Mr. Shy Boy when we visited the farm. I’m not one to be “star struck”, but I will say if I’m going to be–it’s gotta be Monty. Did I mention, that I (out of all the hundreds there this weekend) won the raffle for some free equipment AND got a hug from the Horse Whisperer. Ok, anyways. It’s been a good couple of weeks of learning and re-energizing. For all we know, we always continue to learn. Any (horse) person who treats others as if they know it all, is only kidding themselves and limiting their own possibilities. We are a community of people and we can learn from each other, we can respect each other, and we can always pick and choose what we want to use and/or believe. To accept from another and be open to new things is not to limit ourselves.

Cowgirls

Blog 15
Cowgirls. We are not always who you think we should be. And we are always who we are. Take it or leave it. We are not the average girls and we’re not saying we are anything extra special either. We are amazing everyday in the quiet brimming under the excitement. Here’s to my little girl, Sahalie. For all of who she is. I am so thankful for her and the ways she reminds me that everything is okay. She reminds me to stop worrying. She reminds me to look up at the beautiful sunrise. She reminds me to not get stuck in the details. “Don’t let the details ruin the whole big fun”….That is her favorite saying. Did I mention she is only seven years old? Seven years on this Earth, but so much older and so much wiser than I know. In many ways, I am here having this adventure for her. When it feels like really hard work and I desperately miss my privacy and old life I remind myself of what she gets to experience. What little girl’s dream wouldn’t involve living in a barn and running a stable? She loves these horses as much as I do, only she remembers to be grateful and excited for the experience and opportunity to love. Even though we homeschool and I am the “teacher”, it is she that teaches me every single day. Thank you, Sahalie.