Feb 1, 2012

Tia and Bean sunning. Sept '10

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The photo above is very precious to me. It’s nothing great, but on that particular morning I took a series of photos of Tia and Beanie from my side yard. They were standing in the early fall sun, dozing, watching me with one eye to see if I was going to come give them breakfast. Beanie was his usual animated self with steam rising from his nostrils and mouth as he yawned and licked his lips. They were always two peas in a pod and wherever one went you could find the other. Little did I know, in three months Tia would be gone and nine months later, Bean would join her. So this photo is bittersweet. It was one of a handful of the last pictures I ever took of them together. (The photo is a little fuzzy here, but if you click on it the photo resizes a bit more crisp.)

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Today was another stunning 50+ degree winter day, unprecedented Feb. weather for here. My friend and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get back out and do another ride. We started out with a nice trail the circled the ridge across from our property. While it was still a bit greasy in places, I’d reversed the direction so we were mostly going uphill on the most slippery spots. Dharla stopped to drink from a stream that we crossed … another first for her. Hard to believe that nine months ago I couldn’t even get her to think about stepping into water! Woot!

The woods trail eventually dumped back onto the AL trail. Same old route I’ve been riding now since fall hunting season kicked in. Oh well, it’s not nearly as dull when I have company. We both used the flat deserted trail to work on different things. I schooled Dharla on nice quiet transitions between walk and trot, then chanced kicking it up a step to short canters. First time she cantered she hopped a bit, but settled down pretty well and did her best to behave. Her overall attitude was very cooperative. I know both horses were feeling frisky, so I was pleased.

We moseyed home, not in any hurry for the afternoon to end. It was great to be out on such a fantastic, sunny day. More clouds are moving in for the rest of the week, but temps are supposed to stay unseasonably warm. Not quite as nice as today, but still, I’ll take it!

Time: 2.5 hrs

Distance: approx 7 mi.

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Jan 6, 2012

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It’s been a year since I lost my girl. Oddly, today was a day just like that day a long year ago. Warm. Sunny. Unseasonable. All said, not a bad day to die. I remember the days of agony proceeding this day. The sleepless nights. The hours of questioning myself over and over again. The doubts, the fears, the stress over the minute details.

And then? A gaping hole in my heart, the loss of balance where my equilibrium used to be. There is no point in trying to get over this sort of thing. That’s impossible. You can’t pretend all is well when you know full well that it’s not, and never will be again. But you try. You gallantly move forward and strive to do your best, to place one foot in front of the other because if you don’t, you threaten to sink into a despair that you might never escape.

So I solder on. I question myself a lot more than I did at 34, when I threw caution to the wind and took a reckless chance on a small, feisty, gray mare. I’m more wary now. Older. Less given to impulse and passion. But in my soul beats the heart of a champion, a Clarion call to keep pressing forward once more.

There will never be another Tia.

But maybe that’s the point  …