Monday, November 5, 2007

Why I Love Her

Our financial situation is still really bad. With hay prices going up and the horse market depressed beyond belief, just trying to keep feeding the animals is a strain.

Now with winter coming on, we'll have to start paying heating bills too, on top of everything else. I don't know how we're going to do it.

With all the continuous worry about trying to pay our bills, the anxiety has overshadowed the joy of owning these wonderful animals for quite some time now.

There have been plenty of times lately when I've just wished all my horses would vanish... at least that way, my poor, hard-working, long-suffering husband would not have to keep facing so many worries and bills brought on by my farm endeavors.

It's a hard situation, knowing that for all the work I have done---I spent a year searching literally thousands of "horse for sale" ads to build this herd of excellent mares, invested countless amounts of time, labor and money---and yet, financially, it seems that we would have been better off if I had done nothing but sit home and watch soap operas all day.

All my work has managed to bring us to the brink of financial ruin. Not because I had a bad plan, but simply because I chose to enter into my venture just as the drought hit and the horse market crashed.

I know I'm not the first business venture that has suffered from abysmal timing. Still, this hasn't been my most hopeful time ever.

And yet, when I go out to feed the horses feeling this way, numb to their beauty because I'm filled with despair, I see my mare Char, and all that fades away, if only for a few minutes.

I love this mare.

I love her for the unquestioned, queenly dignity and power with which she rules all the other horses in the herd.

I love that, for all her power, she's not above purposefully putting on her "sweet" face---neck outstretched, head tilted hopefully, ears pricked, and twinkling eyes---if she thinks it might earn her a cookie.

I love that when she approaches me, she stands very close and looks me in the eye in a way that hints that we have a secret, known to just the two of us. We have a connection, we know the inside joke, whatever it is. It's us against the world.

I love that she is so feisty that, despite being pregnant with twins, she once jumped a four-and-a-half foot gate, just to get to where her sister was.

I love that she's smart enough that, having banged her knees on that jump, she never did it again!

I love that, when she miscarried her twins, she had the loyalty to stand by them and investigate them until she understood they were dead---and the wisdom, when they were gone, not to mourn too long.

I love that, even when my riding skills are rusty from lack of use, I can get on her bareback, feel that 1400 lbs. of muscle coiled like a spring beneath me, and still sit to her trot like I'm sitting on a comfy chair.

I love the way her mane falls all around her face in long, natural ringlets. I love the extra-cresty arch to her neck. I love that her forehead is too broad to fit a standard-sized browband, but her nose is dainty-small.

She's like every little girl's dream pony, in giant size.

I love my girl. And even if I end up having to sell most of my meticulously assembled herd, I don't want to sell her.

If I have my way, I want to still be able to go out to the pasture twenty years from now, see her put on her "sweet" face for me, and give her as many cookies as she wants.


pussman said...

I added your link to my blog. Maybe that will bring more people to your blog that can help you out, but i do not have that much visitors.

Nancy Chase said...

Thanks! That's very generous. Getting new readers for my blog is always encouraging, even if they can't buy horses from me.

I really appreciate the supportiveness of my readers---knowing there are people out there who listen and care helps get me through some hard days.

Meggie said...

Sounds like you and Char have a real love affair...lucky you! Sorry about the finances part...wish I had the resources to help out. Hang in there!

Nancy Chase said...

Thanks Meggie. Yes, Char's my girl, for sure.

On the financial aspect... We may be making a little progress towards some horse sales at last. Of the four horses that had people interested in them, I think two are almost definite sales now.

Unfortunately, they are buyers who need to pay off the purchases over several months, so we won't be getting all the money at once, unfortunately.

But it's still a help!