Brief Stories Of Six Lives – Part Two

I was nominated on Face Book to do one of those stupid challenges. This one was about posting a picture of a horse everyday for ten days, and telling the story of the horse. I am playing along. Why? Because I love talking about my horses. Clearly writing a book about them, wasn’t enough.

Writing about them again, briefly for the benefit of FB is kind of fun, actually. I figured I’d repost them here. I am writing about them in the order of which they came to me. These are the “last” 6. Yes, I have 12 horses, and I was not about to leave two out, just because it only was a ten day challenge.

This is Saleem.
I found Saleem in a sales add, eight years ago. My boyfriend wanted an Arabian, I wanted a stallion so I could get a foal by Amalia, and so we compromised and got an Arabian stallion. Truth be told, I never wanted an Arabian, but the second I came across Saleem, I knew that he was the one.
I have to say, Saleem completely sold me the Arabian horse. Today, I can’t believe that I never wanted one. Now I have three, (and a half,) thanks to Saleem.
Saleem was a year old when we brought him home.
Saleem and Amalia had a beautiful foal, Apocalipse, in 2010. (The one attacking him in picture three.)
I will say that Saleem has been a bit of a challenge. Never in a bad way, he has never been aggressive or dangerous, but all the same, he is probably one of the most difficult horses I have ever worked with. Which is why, aside from his obvious beauty, he ended up on the cover of my book, Surviving the Equestrian World. He earned that spot.
Saleem is a headshaker, and a rather violent one at that. For years, I wondered how to help him out with that. It wasn’t just when ridden, but it was while playing on the pasture as well. He would shake his head so violently, he would tackle himself and fall.
When I first started riding him, I did wonder if I was ever going to get a handle on that.
In many ways, Saleem has been my transition horse. The one where I truly decided that it was time to stop surviving the equestrian world, and start living instead.
Removing the noseband did wonders for Saleem. I never wore it tight, but it always bothered him anyway. Cutting his mane, to eliminate it touching him, helped a lot as well. He is THAT sensitive. Luckily he looks awesome as a punk…
And removing his shoes, got rid of his tendency to trip himself while playing on the pasture. For years, I thought I was doing him a favor, having special shoes made for him, and it turned out, I was really just clipping his wings. Everything I thought I knew about how to help horses with issues, Saleem has made me revise.
Getting rid of the bridle altogether is still a bit of a challenge for us, but I am sure this is the way to go. He has been much more happy and content since I stopped trying to force him into the “what normal horses must be able to do” box.
The only trouble is, that without the bridle, Saleem is so attentive, to careful, so desperate to do things right, that if he has the slightest doubt, he doesn’t dare to try at all, and I get no response from him whatsoever. He has always been like that. Terrified of messing up. My biggest obstacle with Saleem wasn’t really his headshaking. It was always, making him feel confident enough to try, even if he might be wrong. And reminding myself, that whenever I got a response from him, it was the perfect response, no matter if it was what I had wanted or not. Saleem is a horse that needs to be trained completely without criticism, or he just shuts down.
Saleem was born in 2007. The boyfriend and I bought him in 2008. I am looking forward to spending many more years with him in the future, because I am done losing my babies. He is stuck with me until he is old and grey, whether he likes it or not.
I am looking forward to learning much more from this horse as well. He is an open book, with his gentle mind and his fragile soul. I just need to figure out how to read it.
And I know, I am totally cheating, posting more than one picture. Sorry. He is just so beautiful.

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This is Legacy.
Legacy was born, raised and broken in every possible way, on the race track.
When I met him, he was 5 years old, having been retired from the track without ever doing a single race due to his “bad attitude,” and having been sold multiple times since then. He was one of those horses that had been labeled “dangerous,” which was why he came to me. I used to train horses like that.
Long story short, I ended up accepting the horse when his owner didn’t want him anymore, even though I knew that he would probably break my heart, if I could not save him.
I will say for Legacy, that I have never met a more beautiful soul. He was warm, trusting, and gentle. He always tried with everything he had, to make me happy, even though the pain he must have been in, seems impossible to describe.
He did have demons. Mostly he would suffer from panic attacks and throw himself against the walls of the stall, sweating and foaming and completely unreachable no matter what I did. The times I experienced that, I ended up opening his stall and letting him run out blindly. Clearly, he carried something with him that he found it hard to let go of, but mostly our biggest issue was his body.
Legacy was lame on three legs. It took a while for us to figure out how and why, because the amount of damage that had been done to this horse, was so extensive. In the end, the X Ray’s turned out to be his death sentence.
As much as this horse truly deserved to live and be happy, there was nothing I could do to give him a pain free life.
I know that I have cried more tears for Legacy, than for anyone else. He was so kind. He was so loving. And there was nothing I could do to undo what had been done to him.
Legacy was born in 2003 and euthanized in 2011 due to, amongst other things, a broken bone in one of his legs.
I will repost this poem, that my friend Jen wrote for him.
It just meant so much to me, that somehow, all across the world, someone else had heard of my Legacy, and mourned his passing. Thank you Jen. Truly.

LEGACY
You walked the Earth
On crippled legs,
Complaining not at all.
Now Heaven’s pasture
Welcomes you
To enter proud and tall.

Roam far and wide,
Brave angel horse,
For pain can’t touch you here.
With wings of gold,
You’re free at last,
And nothing shall you fear.

A gentle soul
Seeks no reward,
But finds one anyway.
Eternal bliss
At rainbow’s end
Is your reward this day.

Send love and light
Back down to Earth,
To ease the ones who mourn.
May troubled hearts
Find solace in
A Legacy reborn.

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This is Apocalipse Ibn Saleem.
Apocalipse is, in every possible way, my perfect foal. Born to our very own Amalia and our wonderful Saleem, Apocalipse is one of a kind.
He has his mothers charm and persona, and her ability to be strikingly adorable whenever he want’s to. He has her calm, her cool way of viewing the world, like he knows that he is, in fact, a little superior. He has her explosive temper as well, and as much as he is the easiest, sweetest horse to work with, just like she was, if he says “no,” you are screwed. There is no arguing with him. Everything I do with him, is because he wants to let me. Just like his mother.
I see her in him, so much, it is almost too painful sometimes. Not to quote Harry Potter, but he has his mothers eyes. He really does. At the same time, he has a good deal of Poseidon’s spirit as well. Apocalipse was clearly raised by those two. What he did not learn from Amalia, he learned from Poseidon.
Apocalipse has a cool way of keeping the herd in check, that I have only seen in Poseidon before. Even if Saleem is the Alpha at the moment, it is still Apocalipse that has the last word, if things get shaky. Like on New Years Eve. He was the one who was calm, and led the little ones through the fireworks.
I could keep writing about how awesome he is forever. He is like the perfect mixture of two of the most important horses in my life- Amalia and Poseidon- with the added trusting and gentle spirit of Saleem.
Apocalipse is not broken in yet. I keep looking at him and I keep thinking that his back and shoulder is not ready yet. Who knows, maybe someday, I’ll find that he is grown up enough to carry a rider. I have been sitting on him a bit, and he is pretty cool, only he has the same over sensitive skin as his father, which makes him rather interesting, when you mix that with his mothers explosive temper.
Apocalipse is a semi headshaker as well, like Saleem, which means that he hates wearing anything on his face. Even a simple halter is bugging him beyond words. So I am working around that, by now, having finally given up on trying to force him to be normal.
Apocalipse was born in 2010 and remains to this day, (knock on wood) a star on my pasture. Who knows, maybe I’ll ride him some day, maybe I won’t. These days, I don’t really care. I just want him to live a long and happy life.
He sure is one of the reasons why I get up every morning, and he is one of the few persons in my life, who can always make me smile.

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This is Marble Dane.
I bought Marble when she was about a year old. Mostly, I guess, I was looking for a thoroughbred mare, to fill some of the empty space in my life after Amalia died.
Marble turned out to be quite a challenge. Where as she fitted in with Apocalipse right away, since there was only about 6 months between them, my two red boys did not like her much, and Saleem helped them bully her. She had a rough start at my pasture, until things settled.
Once she started growing that spring, she became horribly lame on both front legs. Having learned my lesson from Legacy, I did X Rays on her right away, but luckily, the her bones were not injured. As it turned out, Marble was growing too fast, and her tendons were not keeping up.
I don’t know how long she was on painkillers, just to make her walk, and stretch those tendons. On/off, for years, I believe. During that time, she grew defensive, and aggressive towards humans. I won’t say that I blame her, it has been very hard watching her go through this, and feeling that I was losing her, day by day.
Once her tendons finally started catching up, she developed locking stifles, launching us into another immediate problem, as she would spend days on the pasture, being unable to move at all. That is the kind of thing that I cannot stand by and watch for too long, without wondering if this horse has a chance or not, but luckily, our Farrier was able to help us out a lot and by now, it looks (fingers crossed) like we are pulling through this too.
What remains is her defensive behavior. She is pretty dangerous at times, aiming to injure, when she bites. She did manage once, to bite one of my friends clean in the face, while I was standing right next to her. Luckily, it wasn’t serious, but that is the kind of things that puts her into perspective. I still have a long way to go with this horse, before we can say that we are out of the woods.
Lately, her mood has been better though. Also, I don’t really have any friends visit my pasture much anymore, which gives me the chance to work things out with her without adding the stress of her, might injuring someone else.
One thing I know, is that I am not fighting her about this. I made that mistake with Apollon, because I was young and ignorant, and he never forgave me, or learned to trust me. I am determined to not fight fire with fire with Marble. She is acting out of self defense; if I answer her anger with anger, I will prove her right. So, for now, its just her and me, most of the time, finding a way to coexist without feeling threatened by each other.
I know that there is the sweetest, most gentle little mare in there, underneath the dragon scale armor she is wearing. I just need to find it. Luckily, most of the time these days, I am seeing the sweet horse underneath. We will get there someday.
Marble is not broken in and I am not planning on riding her anytime soon. I need her legs fully recovered, and her mind fully healed and able to trust me, before I will even consider riding her.
Marble was born in 2011 and came to me by the spring of 2012. I am looking forward to seeing what our future holds. She has been hit and miss for a while, but I am starting to trust that we can make this horse recover after all, and that we will have a long and happy life together. I am keeping the faith in the future, and in her.

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This is Ac Bahiyya Jawahir, AKA Tardis.
I bought Tardis when she was three years old and pregnant. She came home by the end of September 2012, as it turned out, about a month before Apollon died.
Tardis has been to quite a few different homes already, and I do feel that she is skeptic when it comes to humans as well as horses. When she moved in, she bonded with Apollon instantly, and then he died, leaving her rather alone again. She seemed disinterested in getting to know the other horses on my pasture and I did worry that she was so alone, but I kind of wrote it off with her being pregnant.
Once Ablaze was born, she loved him instantly and even if she was clearly a teenage mother, not hoovering over him, she grew to be very close to him nonetheless. The night he was born, I was sitting on the pasture, keeping an eye on her, and she walked right up to me when her water broke and delivered him at my feet. I was astounded by her level of trust in me, because I did still feel that she had this wall around her, but clearly, she was happy that I was there that night.
Tardis has been growing closer to Apocalipse lately. He has made it his life mission to make her part of the herd, for which I am very grateful. The gang accepted Ablaze instantly as well, and helped her raise him. She has never been alone with that foal, he was a team effort. He still is.
I have been riding Tardis a little, but she has a strong dislike for wearing a bit, and even if I could work around that, I find myself reaching a point in my life, where I don’t want to. Since I have a crusade going against nosebands, we can’t just jump to bitless bridles, so I kind of have to go all in and ride her with a simple cordeo, if I want to ride her without teaching her to wear a bit.
So far, I have mostly let her grow up and enjoy her foal.
Tardis is a fantastic mare. Born on April the 1st, just like my old girl Amalia, I never questioned that she belonged with me, and I am happy to say that by now, she doesn’t question it anymore either. She is loving, attentive, and a happy horse to work with, and she has a mind of her own so strong, it is hard to put into words. She brings so much joy into my life on a daily basis, not to mention how she gave me Ablaze.
I am looking forward to spending many more years with this girl, as she is without doubt one of the more perfects creations of this universe. If I may say so myself…
Tardis was born in 2009.

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This is Ablazing Legacy.
Ablaze is named after the two of my horses that died before their time- Legacy, obviously, and Apollon, the sun God- hence the blaze. He is too, named after his father, Aparan, and his mother, Bahiyya. (The AB first letters of his name, which is why I spell Ablazing in one word.)
A lot of history comes with his name and one could argue that it may be a heavy legacy to carry for one so young, but Ablaze comes with a personalty that can handle it.
In fact, the night he was born, the second he opened his eyes, he spoke, greeting the world, his mother and his humans with a confidence that was quite astonishing.
Ablaze is my foal, all the way. He is my perfect creation.
I know that this is going to sound slightly insane, but part of me feels that I got my soulmate back, with Ablaze. Like he is an old soul, that has found its way back to me.
I bought his mother when she was pregnant with him, so I did not “make” him, but somehow, he always belonged with me.
I keep seeing similarities between him and Poseidon, even though Ablaze never knew Poseidon. I guess that it is mostly me, raising this foal to be everything that Poseidon could have been, if he had grown up with no concept of violence.
And that is exactly what Ablaze has. He is turning three years old in a few months and so far, I have managed to raise this foal without force or restraints. It does mean that he doesn’t respond well to the halter, or to being told what to do, and it means too, that I may have raised him to respond to me, and no one else, much like Poseidon did, but Ablaze and I have an understanding.
In my world, he is the most perfectly well behaved young man. I know that my boyfriend views him a little differently, since Ablaze has been spending the last three years attacking him any chance he got and I haven’t done much to stop it. Ablaze is not aggressive. He is just testing the waters and I never want him to be told to not be outgoing and curious.
One could argue that he needs training. I know the boyfriend argues that a lot. Just the other day, while we were trimming his hooves, Ablaze was helping me out, by biting my arm a little while I worked. I swear, I didn’t even notice that he was doing that, I just loved that he was so attentive. But the boyfriend had to point out how good it was, that he doesn’t bite people… (I keep insisting that he doesn’t…) Once I realized that he was, in fact, biting me, I found myself smiling and growing warm all over and instead of telling him not to, I stopped what I was doing and hugged him.
I know that may seem strange, but I lived with Poseidon for 15 years, and he never had the courage or the faith in humans, to interact with me like that.
Ablaze is my perfect , wild and untamed spirit. He is so pure, so innocent, and so honest. He is everything all of my other 11 horses has taught me, combined into one, untamed and loving soul. I hope I can keep him that way forever. I hope I can make sure that he is never broken, in anyway. He will be my legacy. Our legacy. All of us. How we should have been.
He will be my redemption.
He sure is the one who always makes me smile. Not a day goes by where he doesn’t lick my face, especially if he can feel that I am sad. He always make sure to corner me at some point and slobber all over me.
His joyful persona has been the light I have followed since I lost Poseidon, Apollon, Amalia and Legacy, all four of them, in two years.
Ablaze kept me going.
Ablaze and the chance to do things differently. To have one horse I can look in the eye and say, that I did not fail.
Let’s hope, I am not failing him. Time will tell.
Ablaze was born in 2013 and he has been keeping me sane ever since.

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Lens Flares And Aliens

I guess it’s time for some random pictures again. I know, I should not have a phone with a decent camera. I will abuse it. But lens flares… Lens flares everywhere… Tardis;

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My top model, as usual;

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Ablaze and Apocalipse;

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My wayward brothers…

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And yeah, I have been having fun with taking pictures at night as well. So here we go… Ablaze and Tardis on a dark and stormy night;

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Apocalipse, Marble and Saleem, sharing the little house, because its the cool house…

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I love how Apocalipse is always torn between eating and keeping an eye on me… He must be going blind from the flash… Poor kiddos. I don’t do this too often, I swear.

And speaking of alien eyes… When you are taking a random picture of your cat and there is a monster hunting him…

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Not quite sure how he is sleeping this calmly… I wouldn’t be, if Shy was hunting me…

Bear with me. I know, I should not be as entertained by the camera in my phone as I am. I am sure it will wear off and I’ll go back to my Canon Eos, and actually take good pictures again… Some day…

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Sam’s Song

I have no heaven to sacrifice

Only hell to promise you

I can’t compete with your angel

I’m flawed and human – I will let you down

 

I should have looked for you

I just stopped everything

I should have turned over every stone

Like you always did for me – I just stopped

 

I have no heaven to sacrifice

Only hell to promise you

I can’t compete with your angel

I’m flawed and human – I will let you down

 

This is me, battered and scarred

No army to surrender

No faith to rebel against

But I will be yours – Your wayward brother

 

I have no heaven to sacrifice

Only hell to promise you

I can’t compete with your angel

I’m flawed and human – I will let you down

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Brief Stories Of Six Lives – Part One

I was nominated on Face Book to do one of those stupid challenges. This one was about posting a picture of a horse everyday for ten days, and telling the story of the horse. I am playing along. Why? Because I love talking about my horses. Clearly writing a book about them, wasn’t enough.

Writing about them again, briefly for the benefit of FB is kind of fun, actually. I figured I’d repost them here. I am writing about them in the order of which they came to me. These are the first 6.

This is Pikant.
He was born and raised to be a cross county horse and by the time he was 5 years old, he was competing regionally already. Unfortunately, he had an accident, which scared him and made him refuse to jump outdoors anymore, so he was sold to a girl who wanted to use him for dressage.
The girls father owned a stable, but he got in trouble with the law and ended up in jail, all of his horses and the stable sold again.
The new owner ended up letting Pikant work as a school horse for 7 years, severely neglecting him.
When I started at the riding school, I knew nothing of horses, but this old soul, chose me. In time, I convinced my mom to buy him for me.
I then discovered, once the horse was mine, that he was suffering from acute heart failure, arthritis in all four legs, and a shattered spine, no less. The vets advised me to return him to the previous owner, but I knew they would continue to mistreat him, so I refused.
Pikant was retired and lived with me for three years. Too long perhaps, but I was young, and didn’t want to have to put him down. He was my first love, and my best friend, and he introduced me to everything the equestrian world turned out to be, good and bad.
Pikant was born in 1980 and I said goodbye to him on August 1998.
He will always be an inspiration to me, because no matter what the world threw at him, he never grew angry or resentful.
Even when his heart was failing, he never stopped being a loving and kind soul.

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This is Silver.
I don’t know all of Silver’s story. When I met her, she was owned by a pair of siblings, both of whom, was afraid of her. She was very aggressive and she bullied humans, any chance she got.
I later learned that Silver had been a school pony for many years, and had been sold to the siblings when the riding school was closed.
I bought her, mostly because I was fascinated by her persona.
I had no experience with dangerous or aggressive horses, and I spent years, being black and blue all over, when ever I failed to anticipate her anger.
Silver turned out to be a perfect little star, though. I don’t think I have ever had the privilege of riding or working with a pony as brave as her. She easily jumped her own height, on solid obstacles, and she was fast as a ninja when we did competitions. (Yeah, I was all kinds of crazy back then…) Most of my ribbons, were won by her.
Where as Pikant had been forgiving and loving, no matter the abuse he suffered by humans, Silver turned defensive. I never quite managed to make her comfortable around humans, not even me. Only in the show ring, were we as one. In the show ring, she would do anything for me.
I sold Silver when I grew too old to compete with her. The girl who bought her had learned to ride on her, back at the old riding school and was thrilled to have her precious pony back.
Silver died a year later from laminitis.
I have few regrets in my life, but selling her, is one of them. I am not saying that she wouldn’t have died on my watch, but now, I’ll never stop wondering if she could have been much older, if I had not let her go.
Silver was born in 1986 and died in 1999. The picture was taken the day I sold her, while we were waiting for the transport to show up.

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This is Flicka.
I don’t know all of Flicka’s story. Her name is Swedish and means “little girl.” When I met her, she was owned by the same pair of siblings, as I bought Silver from. I was told that Flicka had been owned by a girl for most of her life, who had used her for dressage, but had lost interest and sold her to the siblings.
I helped them out with both horses for a while, but after I bought Silver from them, they moved Flicka away and I lost contact with her for about a year. I was then contacted by the sibling’s mother, who had seen me compete with Silver and was impressed by how that pony was shaping up for me, so she asked me if I wanted Flicka. For free. I just had to come pick her up.
So I did.
I always knew that there was something wrong with Flicka. The obvious sickness was her asthma, which was really, really bad. But I kept wondering how she could look so lame at a walk and so not lame at a trot.
I will have to say, I was a teenager. If I had known what I know now, I would have done a lot of things differently. As it was, I had my vets look her over a billion times and they never came up with an answer.
I even competed with her, in show jumping, and she did good. Only, after a two day event, she would always be lame and I’d call my vet, and they’d tell me to give her time off until it wore off. Times were different back then…
One of the moments that has stuck with me, with this horse, is the first time I brought her to the old stable, where the siblings had had her, and won two ribbons jumping, and every single girl at the stable came by and asked me how on earth I made that horse jump. Or do anything. I was rather surprised and slightly horrified to realize just how many people had tried and failed to work with this horse. I never saw Flicka as a problem horse. Not even a little bit. She was sweet, gentle, cooperative and trusting, from where I was sitting. Clearly, a whole stable, saw her very differently.
I just kept getting stuck at how much this horse wanted to work, and how much she genuinely could not.
In the end, I threw one of my tantrums, and luckily there was one vet who listened to me and examined her a little more carefully than the others.
Flicka had a ringbone.
I instantly retired her. Having just lost Pikant, I could not bring myself to put her down. Looking back, I wish I had had the courage to take responsibility for her, and let her have her peace.
I owned this horse for 9 months, and in the end, I sent her to a farm in the countryside, to a woman my farrier knew, who needed a horse to keep her working horse company. It seemed like the perfect way for me to chicken out of my responsibility towards this horse, just like everybody else had done. I came by and visited her about 6 months later, and she seemed rather happy at her new home. Who knows, maybe she was. For a while.
Flicka died a year after I had given her up, from laminitis. I could have spared her that, if I had just had her euthanized myself. I will always regret that I was not strong enough to see her through to the end.
Flicka was born in 1983 and died in 1999.

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This is Poseidon.
I can’t tell you the story of this horse in a post like this. I wrote my book, Surviving the Equestrian World about him and his brother. I just have too many words, to describe what this horse means to me.
I could tell you how he was abused and isolated for the first two years of his life, and how the pain of what was done to him, never left him. I could tell you how many tears I cried for this horse, wondering every single day of our 15 years together, if he was here for my sake, or for his.
I could tell you, how making him live, helping him find some sort of peace with this life, is my greatest achievement, and how my life is without purpose now that his is not here anymore.
I could tell you how I spent 15 years of my life apologizing to him, on behalf of humanity, and how he only ever forgave one person. Me.
I could not tell you how much I love this horse. I would not know the words to describe it. I owe him everything. If there is such a thing as a soulmate, he was the one. The other half of me.
I could not tell you what he was like and there is no picture that accurately captures his essence.
Poseidon was wind, ice, fire, air… He was as ever changing as the elements, as wild and untamed as the stars. He was a feeling, an emotion, a fleeting glimpse of something you could never quite put your finger on. He was raw power and brute force. He was as gentle as the summer rain and as fragile as a flower.
He was, like his name implies, a master of horses and as difficult to hold on to or tame, as the ocean.
My heart, my soul, my star, my endless night.
Poseidon was born in 1995 and was euthanized in 2012 due to a ringbone and a very old, chronic pelvic injury.
I am sorry, but no single picture could ever do him justice. Truth is, this beautiful body of his, was just a vessel for the magnificent spirit within. Once the light left his eyes, the dead body meant nothing to me. It was not him anymore.
But that fire behind his eyes, that feeling I got when I was near him, like I was finally home… Complete. Safe.
Nothing could ever describe that, and no picture could ever show it, or our lives together.

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This is Apollon.
I met Apollon when he was 6 months old and his owner moved him to the stable where Poseidon lived. The second I laid eyes on him, I knew he was my baby.
Once we got to talking, his owner and I, we realized that they did not only share the same father, (Zarif was a very used breeding stallion at the time,) but the same mother as well.
I bought him when he was 9 months old, I believe. I won’t say that he was an easy horse.
He was sick a lot. He would get frequent fever attacks, and I have spent countless nights sitting at his stall in a sleeping bag, watching him shiver and hyperventilate, as his temperature just rose and rose. (The vet was always called, by the way.) He managed to get injured as well, twice tearing his legs to pieces in the electric fence. The first 7 years of his life, was mostly a nightmare, going from one horrible injury to the next, spiced with random fever attacks.
He was an aggressive horse as well. I can’t say that I blame him, but when he turned on me, he did so with the intent to injure. He had perfect aim, and once he set out to get you, he did. He even managed to hit me in the head a few times, with his front hooves. (That may be why I’m so crazy today… :P )
He would never accept to be led by just a halter. I had to use a chain underneath his jaw, just to get him out in the morning and back in, in the evening. Otherwise, he would run away, or attack me, or both. Most of the time he did so anyway, but with the chain, I stood a minor chance.
As a horsemanship trainer, he might be my biggest failure, which is why he is such a huge part of my book, Surviving the Equestrian World. I could take him onto the training grounds and he would be the sweetest and the most perfectly trained horse ever, but it never translated outside the training grounds. He knew he had the upper when there was no fence around us.
I know it sounds like we weren’t really friends, but the truth is, he was probably the horse I loved the most. He needed me. He needed me to find out why he was so unhappy. He needed me not to fail him.
I have cried for this horse, because I knew that he fought me because I wasn’t doing good enough. I have cried for this horse, because I wasn’t sure I had it in me to open his stall in the morning and go through one more day with him.
I have loved this horse from the moment I met him and I will never stop driving myself crazy, trying to figure him out.
In the end, I found a barn he could live in, where he could chose if he wanted to be indoors or not, eliminating that fight from our lives. That helped a lot on his mood and it removed most of the stress from our relationship. To this day, he is the reason why my horses live in an open barn. He spend years screaming at me that this was how they were supposed to live. I got it, in the end. I’ll remember. It was beaten into me.
I did a lot of dressage competitions with him over the years. I guess that somehow, showing him off, made me feel like less of a failure. Like there was some aspect of this horse, I could train. I am happy to say though, that I grew up and got over myself in the end, realizing that the only one I needed to prove myself to, was him.
When Poseidon was euthanized in the spring of 2012, Apollon became lame almost instantly afterwards and we spend the rest of the year running tests, doing x rays and ultra sounds, to no avail. He seemed perfectly fine, except he wasn’t.
In November, he crashed and burned. His fever attacks suddenly returning, with renewed force, and I knew I was fighting a losing battle. We ran tests again, again, again, with the same results as always. A virus.
This time though, his body gave up. His minor arteries ruptured and he was bleeding internally. I knew rationally, that even if we found out what was causing it, there was no saving him this time and still, it took me a month to let him go.
I never knew what killed him. I never knew what had made him so sick, so often, through his short life. He got to be 13 years old. If I did not know better, I would say that he died from a broken heart, having just said goodbye to both Poseidon and Amalia, within 4 months of each other.
He was born in 1999 and acutely euthanized in the middle of a blizzard in December 2012. Kudos to the vet that showed up and helped us say our goodbyes while heaven and earth became one, white and cold place.
I know that I am only supposed to share one picture, but I can’t. Not with my two red boys. They were the world to me, for so many years. No single picture could describe them.
Apollon starred in one of our early music videos, if you want to see him move, he was magnificent; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sKU-TMaSUk

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This is Amalia.
I met Amalia by the end of August 1998. I know the date, because she came into my life the day before my first horse, Pikant, was euthanized. She was four years old.
Amalia’s owner and I became friends over time, as we realized that our horses loved each other. My two red boys and Amalia were quickly inseparable. I have been on some of my best rides with Amalia, her owner, and Poseidon.
In time, I started jumping Amalia, because her owner had no interest in that, and Amalia was perhaps the most talented horse I have ever come across when it came to show jumping. I counted myself blessed to be allowed to work with such an outstanding horse.
We stayed together for years, even when our old stable was sold, we found a new place together, and in the end, when Amalia’s owner could not have her anymore, she asked me instantly, if I wanted her.
I was drowning in vet bills at the time, since Apollon kept getting sick and I had to be realistic. I simply could not afford to take on one more horse. So I spent a few weeks crying over the thought of losing her, and then, came up with a plan.
My, at the time, very new found boyfriend, would totally need his own horse. Amalia’s owner and I, easily sold her to him. She did it herself, actually. She took an instant shine to him, and displayed her charming self in the best possible way. He never stood a chance.
In 2009 we got her pregnant and in 2010 she delivered the perfect little foal to us. I have known Amalia for 14 years, but I have never seen her so proud or so happy, as she was the night Apocalipse was born.
Amalia was the rock I used to lean on. The one horse that would keep me sane, when ever the two red boys were driving me up the wall. She was the queen on my pasture, her persona so great that nothing could ever fill the hole she left behind when she died. I don’t know how I would have gone through losing her, if I had not had her beautiful foal to keep me going.
She was our pink lady; as in our pink Cadillac. A class above the rest. And she knew it. She wore it gracefully.
Amalia was born in 1994 and euthanized in 2011 due to acute heart failure.

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Really, they are not all sad stories. I love and adore these horses. And I owe each and everyone of them my life and my sanity. I’ll repost the others as well, once I get to writing about them. I hope you guys won’t mind. I like talking about them. Remembering. And I’ll get to those still here, still living, soon. ;)

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Spin Off

*SPOILERS S11 E12*

I won’t make this a habit, I promise, but I have to mention the new episode of Supernatural, mostly because I keep seeing Spin Off ideas floating around about a Wayward Daughters series. They even made a poster. Feel free to support them on Twitter, by the way; https://twitter.com/WaywardAcademy

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I have to admit, first I thought, no. I mean, really? A spin off with Claire, Alex and Jody? Preferably with Donna as well, but without the Winchesters? Why would I watch that?

And then I thought… well… Why wouldn’t I?

I guess it’s like when I first started watching Torchwood. I kept hoping for the Doctor to show up and help Jack out when things got bad, and when he didn’t, I was kind of disappointed. I mean, come on. Where is the Doctor? But then, by the time we reached season three, and Gwen mentioned that the Doctor wasn’t coming, I found myself thinking, “Who needs him? We’ve got Jack. He’ll find away.”

The truth is, I could get used to the idea of a show based on Claire and Alex, even if Sam and Dean never shows up to help them out again. Why?

Well… It already feels like a show we’ve watched before, doesn’t it? Where to begin…

Oh yeah, there is the demon… I mean vampire girl, who wants nothing more than to go to school and escape the monsters and the hunter life. Sounds familiar?

Then there is the driven, desperate to make a difference and prove herself, girl, who is more than ready to pick up a sword and go hunting people. Also, she is scarred by an absent father… I don’t know, who could she possibly remind us of?

And then of course, we have Jody. I guess she would have to be playing the role of the parents, and I have to say, so far, she is doing a better job than John did, raising those two kids. But the bad luck for her would be that she is probably going to burn on the ceiling or having to sell her soul for one of the girls, at some point…

With a little luck, we can even have Donna as the quirky, but lovable uncle… I mean, aunt.

Yeah, I could see this show happening and I would totally watch it. Who wouldn’t want to watch Supernatural all over again, but with Sam and Dean as teenage girls?

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Yeah, works for me… Actually, it could be kind of awesome. And if you look closely at the poster, Misha is listed as a guest star. I wouldn’t hate that either. At least not once he, hopefully, stops being Lustiel… I smell angel shaped daddy issues…

So yeah, go get ’em girls.

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#GirlPower

Thanks Crowley. By the way, what happened to him?

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Just A Few Pic’s

I believe it is time for some random horse pictures and a little video from this morning.

I know, it’s terribly unprofessional and I completely borrowed the Cutiemark Crusaders song from My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, season one. But it’s kind of a cute cell phone video. And the sound on it was so horrible, due to the road work and the wind, so I had to do something…

I showed up early this morning, because we had a meeting around the time when I would usually be at the stable. So, naturally, the gang wasn’t all that interested in actually eating. Saleem and Ablaze stayed with the hay, but Marble spotted the road workers at the far end of the pasture, and dragged Apocalipse and Tardis with her, to check them out. It was totally scary at first, but then they forgot and just started bullying each other. Apocalipse is working on his herding skills and Tardis is refusing to be herded. And me, I am trying not to interfere and hoping that she won’t actually hit him…

Here is another picture where I showed up at the wrong time.

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The girls and Ablaze agreed to eat, but Saleem and Apocalipse…

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They were sleeping, okay? In their defense, it was one of the nicer days, where the sun was actually shining…

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Then we have this super awesome picture that my friend Amalie took, of Saleem and Ablaze. I am mostly just posting it, because it I love it. Sorry. Let me just throw in this one of me, treating Ablaze’s eye, and for some reason ending with the antibiotics in my mouth. It’s an equestrian thing. I swear, it is second nature to me by now. If I don’t have enough hands, it goes in my mouth, no matter what it is…

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And last, Ablaze, Marble and Saleem hiding in the house last night, when the storm was really bad.

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I love how well they treat each other, how they are able to stand like this, three of them, and no one kicking or trying to kill each other. Every time I see them like this, my heart swells with joy and pride. Happy little horses, with no need to fight each other. I guess that is what I always wanted for my horses. That they feel loved and safe around each other.

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Technology

Technology. Smart phones. I mean, really…

Us 80ties kids still have some things to learn. Like last night, while the girls and I were playing, and we decided to add a new song to our set list. Back in the day, we would always copy each others songs by hand, into our little song books. We still use those same hand written books when we play.

I mean, we keep talking about transferring our songs to a digital media, because it would be pretty clever. That would help us avoid flicking through page after page in our books, when we want to find a particular song, amongst other things. Still, while adding this new song, two of us instantly copied it down to our little hand written song books, while only one of us was clever enough to use her computer.

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And then, we thought we would be even smarter. We have this song that we have been working on for a while now. (Read years, probably.) We decided to use one of our very clever phones to record it, so we could listen to it, you know, and work on second voices for it and such, without actually being together.

Brilliant idea, if I may say so myself. I was totally proud of how well we were adjusting to using technology, for about five seconds.

Once we had recorded it, we moved on to the next thing. Sharing it. You know, from one phone to another, avoiding the internet because it is for our ears only. After a little struggle, we all figured out how to connect our Bluetooth and had the song transferred.

How awesome was that, really? Totally rocking these smart phones…

And then, we realized that we had managed to record the song, transfer it, and none of us had any idea where on the phones it had been stored. I swear, it took us ten whole minutes, roaming through every possible setting on our phones, to find that bloody song…

All the while it was stored in the most obvious place on the phones. Under “music.” Imagine that.

Okay, stop laughing. It was late, it had been a long day. And really, we did not grow up with these kinds of things. We grew up committing second voices and melody to memory, since none of us writes notes, and writing down chords and words by hand.

It has lost us a few songs over the years. And it has forced us to rediscover some arrangements as well, when we have simply forgotten how we used to play a song. But all in all, we have been doing pretty well. #GirlPower and all…

I will say though, that us 80ties kids are never bored. Even if we sometimes find it challenging to keep up, we always know how to entertain ourselves, even without smart phones. That is one ability I hope we will never lose, no matter how much we embrace technology.

And, when you are feeling like that stupid phone is smarter than you, it is pretty nice to have friends by your side, going through it with you…

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