Sunday, October 28, 2012

Love...and an Ordinary Horse

                                    by Laura Crum

            So lately I have had one minor negative thing after another. Nothing big, nothing important, but still, upsetting and annoying. I started a very whiney blog post about this stuff, and in the middle of it, I looked out my window and saw my bright gold palomino horse, Sunny, standing in his corral, looking up at my window with his ears pricked—like a little “spot of sunshine,” as my son says. And I smiled. How could I not? Sunny makes me smile every time I look at him. Wouldn’t you? Is he not a Barbie/princess/unicorn pony come to life?

            Bird, of Redheaded Endurance, listed on the sidebar, once said that being able to see and call to her horses from her window was one of her greatest joys (I apologize, Bird, if I’m not quoting you accurately). And that is so true for me, too. I am looking out my window at my own HORSE (let alone he’s so cute). He lives here with me on my small horse property (which I developed over a twenty year period from bare land—as I could afford it.) This is my childhood dream come true. So I got up from my whiny blog post and went down to the corrals.
            I walked past the veggie garden and gazed with my usual interest at the brushy hills that protect my little hidden hollow from view. I watched the chickens clucking and pecking in the barnyard, and I rubbed the big tiger cat’s head when he greeted me. My cute yellow horse looked at me hopefully, and met me at the gate when I got his halter. I caught him and climbed aboard, with the help of the fence. I know its not PC—no helmet, no saddle, no bridle, no boots…etc. But I just felt like doing it.

            So I rode Sunny for twenty minutes on my riding track and then turned him loose to graze. He seemed quite happy with that. I was happy just watching him from the porch.

My once ornery little yellow horse—the one I had to uhmm, “correct” quite a bit for the first couple of years I owned him-- is my buddy now. We get along so well—we are really a good team. I am so grateful for him and for my happy life. And I went back in the house and deleted that whiny blog post.
Because I love my life. And I love my ordinary little horse. He’s nothing special. Most folks wouldn’t want him. My last blog post was about training my horse, Gunner, an immensely athletic horse (still with me) who can probably move better at 32 years of age than Sunny ever moved in his life. Sunny is a clunky-moving, cold-blooded critter who flunked out as a team roping heel horse for being too slow and clumsy—and it does not take a terribly athletic horse to make a heel horse. For reference, my horse with two left feet (Plumber) made a good heel horse (see my post on Plumber here). Sunny is a good, tough, solid-minded trail horse—that about covers it. Some of my friends refer to him as my “plug.” And it’s pretty much true. But he works for me.
He, among many other things, helps me to realize that I have no real problems. Yes, there are negative people in the world, and its no fun when we end up dealing with them, and sometimes people let us down, even if they mean well—and that’s no fun either. Stuff happens and stuff breaks—and it’s a bummer and a nuisance. But my main emotion after riding Sunny was “thank you.” I am so glad that my problems are my problems—they are GREAT problems to have. My family and critters are healthy and happy, we are secure in our home, which we love. I have many good friends (lots of whom have been my friends since I was young, also some new friends that I very much enjoy, and some good internet friends) and I’ve had a wonderful career writing horse-themed mystery novels, achieving my initial goal of writing twelve books in my series featuring equine veterinarian Gail McCarthy (and a huge thank you to all of you who have read these books—especially those who have written me to let me know and/or reviewed my books—I appreciate you, too). I’ve had so much fun with my horses over the years, and I continue to have fun with them today. What more could I ask?
So a big thank you to Sunny, for reminding me of what counts. I love my ordinary horse.

And for those who are interested, Sunny features largely in my last two novels—Going, Gone and Barnstorming---which both center on trail riding adventures.

And finally, today is the last day to get the first novel in my mystery series, Cutter, for free. I’m tickled that so many people have taken me up on this offer, and I hope a few more will grab this free book today. Here is the link to get Cutter for free.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing ordinary about your boy - he's clearly very special!

Laura Crum said...

Kate--Don't we all think our own horses our special? I hope so--we ought to. But I'm sure you know what I mean--sometimes it is just such a pleasure simply to look at our own "special" horse, and be grateful for him/her.

Martine said...

Flurry makes me smile every time I look at him, too.

Laura Crum said...

Martine--And isn't that one of the best feelings in the world?

Francesca Prescott said...

He's special, and I love how he managed to cheer you up and steer you away from your whiny post:) Horses are like that: magic!

Laura Crum said...

Cesca--I agree. And I hope your special horse is doing well post "snip".

AareneX said...

I think he's lovely.

And your sunshine? I'm deeply jealous of that. We've begun the descent into Perpertual Darkness up here, and we won't be back on the Bright Side for 8 or 9 months!

Go outside on your next sunny day and stand next to your Sunny horse to enjoy a few minutes of blue sky for me, wouldja? >g<

Val said...

Horses are my therapy. All I have to do is look in my horse's big eye and see him looking back and I feel wonderful. Riding is whole 'nother ball game! I would love to see him out my window one day.

I finished Cutter! I really enjoyed the story and the characters, not to mention the authentically equine atmosphere and references. It was fun to see Gunner in the story knowing that he is a real horse whom you still care for.

Laura Crum said...

Thanks Aarene. And I will do that. Sunny is, quite frankly, a somewhat "symbolic" horse for me, as well as a good, useful trail horse. I've never owned a palomino before, and had no idea how cheering his bright gold color would be. Let alone his name--which he came with. I bought myself some sunshine--how cool is that?

I don't envy the long, dark wet PNW winter. But you have posted some lovely photos of your rides up there. And yeah, I deeply love how much sunshine we get here. I'll send blue sky/sunshine vibes your way all winter.

Thanks Val! I so agree about horses being therapy. And I'm glad you enjoyed Cutter--I really appreciate reader reviews. And you know, I think it makes the books more interesting/real, too, to know that the fictional Gunner is a real horse that I really care about--and that he's had a long, happy life.

Alison said...

And Sunny gives you a big thank you right back! I also have a nonathletic horse who would have broken down doing anything that demanded stress on his legs. I think Sunny (and Relish) enjoy us because we just have fun with them and love them as they are.

PS Your sunflowers are gorgeous!

PPS and be thankful you are not here in VA today where it Hurricane Sandy is visiting.

Christine said...

Sunny is gorgeous! I'm bummed I missed out on your free book offer - that'll teach me to not be up to date on my equine blog readings!

I love the second photo with the sunflowers in the background :)

How lovely to have a horse that can change your course from writing a negative post, to one of being thankful for all you have!

Anonymous said...

Your post made me smile. I can see my horses from the window, and I often talk to them. One time, I saw my horse Cowboy walking away from the water, and for the heck of it, I yelled "Cowboy, trot." And he did. I still laugh when I think of it. Are all horse people so easily entertained?

Laura Crum said...

Alson--I AM thankful that our weather has been calm and sunny, and I send good wishes to everyone on the east coast who is enduring Hurricane Sandy. Stay safe.

Christine--Cutter is only 99 cents right now (as is the second book in the series, Hoofprints), so its almost as good as free. And Sunny does make me smile--though he is perhaps more cute than fancy.

redhorse--Well, you and I seem to be entertained by the same things. And yeah, I kind of think most horse people are like that.

horsegenes said...

I am so glad that you have Sunny and don't bet someone wouldn't take that "Barbie pony" in a heartbeat!

Sometimes it just takes looking around to see just what a great life we really have. I think about your place often. It had a very fairy tale quality to it and a felt warm and comfortable. What more could you want from a home?

Laura Crum said...

Kel--I was so happy you could come by and that I got to meet you and Semper. You guys are welcome back any time--we'll sit on the porch and drink margaritas(!)

And yes, it is good to count our blessings. Makes you realize what is important and what isn't.

cindy said...

I read this post twice today. Once this morning in a rush and thought to myself,"I love people of gratitude" (meaning gratitude for the little things in life)

I just read it again this afternoon, and although slightly envious of you getting to actually "spend time" with your beautiful ray of sunshine, I so appreciate you sharing with us, how just one look brought you out of your funk. Now I know why I feel like I am under a terrible amount of stress lately. I haven't been out to see my therapists in the pasture.
Thank you.

Laura Crum said...

cindy--You're so welcome. I find that just refocusing on all the good things in my life, which my horse helps me to do, is so helpful. Good wishes to you and yours.