All the Pretty Horses

We arrived early. I used to work with horses and at a stable, and I had a feeling that if we arrived early they just might put us to work, and we just might be really really happy about that. So we did, and they did, and Apple-Apple got her first opportunity to groom a pony. He was a big pony, sleepy and old, and muddy. The smell of horse hair and dust, the sounds of the horses, the sawdusty sight of an indoor arena … this was supposed to be a birthday gift for Apple-Apple, but honestly, I’m not sure which of us took more delight from it.
Apple-Apple was a natural. No fear. Her pony liked to eat grass, and it took a lot of muscle and determination to wrestle his head up, but she did it, and repeatedly. She said afterward that she only wished she hadn’t gotten such a slow pony. In fact, my only concern was her lack of worry, and the way she danced around the horses, forgetting these were animals with hooves and teeth.
As for me, it was like walking back into a familiar landscape, and feeling so very at home. I’d forgotten how that connection to an animal (and for me, especially, to a horse) is unlike any other relationship. You find a different way to communicate. It’s elemental. I returned from the adventure utterly rejuvenated. Apple-Apple was elated, filled with confidence and excitement. She cannot wait to do this again.
Um. Me neither.

Wish Lists
Parenting Expert Reporting Live


  1. Carrie – what day were you at Conestogo Adventurers? I was there Sunday morning with the girls. They loved it too!

  2. oh, that picture of the two of you on your horses. . . i just love it. this post fills me with nostalgia, too, as i remember well your time with horses. i was quite impressed with the ribbons that decorated your room and the fact that you took real horse back riding lessons was so exotic : )

  3. perrrrrrfect. i went on a horse retreat a couple of springs ago. an entire weekend of grooming and cleaning and mucking out hooves and doing some yoga in between. it was way up north and it was a piece of heaven. and having left my 9-year relationship a few months before, it was just what i needed. i had this old mare who had birthed three of the other horses on the daily rides. and when we were allowed to gallop full throttle at one point, she was a nose ahead, even at her age. the matriarch. i feel like she had all her motherly wisdom and strength pump right through the saddle up my legs into my heart. she knew what was coming even if i didn’t. her name was Hrefna. i’ll have to get back up there. thanks for the reminder what a Joy it can be to be in the presence of these powerful, majestic beasts. 🙂

  4. Michelle, we went on Saturday. And will be back, I do imagine, likely for a day of their Christmas camp (well, A-A will, not me …).

    Katie, I can remember you riding Muffy, do you remember that?! With your long legs!

    Nancy, that horse retreat sounds AMAZING! I would go. Just give me a few years.


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