Warm-Fuzzy Horse Memories in November
Can you believe that November is already here? In Ohio, our weather is definitely taking a cold turn and snow flurries are in the forecast! Happy holiday memories always come to mind with the crisp weather and crunch of dry brown leaves under the horse's feet. In our Oak Openings region, the tall green pine trees become very recognizable against the leafless oaks. The smell of pine fills the air and then we see the small white dots against the pine green of, yes, snow. Thoughts of cranberry nut breads, turkeys in the oven, and warm fuzzy horse hugs fill my mind. And then I think about the times our family has spent together because of our wonderful horses....
Many years ago on Thanksgiving, I planned to have the big dinner and take our family and guests for a wagon ride with our two beautiful Percheron drafts. I remember planning out the dinner- making the grocery list 3 days before the big day, baking apple, pumpkin and mince meat pies made the day before, as well as dressing, candied sweet potatoes, (my families old recipes), and all the trimmings. Thanksgiving Day was sunny and beautifully cool. The horses were fed early, turkey was in the oven and the noodles were cooking on the stove. The aroma was unforgettable! Soon, family and guests arrived. I had reminded everyone to be sure and bring warm jackets, a scarf, and gloves for a special surprise!
After everyone had enjoyed some time in front of the fire in the living room, it was time to hitch up the team! Out to the barn I went, not even noticing the cold air. My horses, Fred and Charlie, had been 'munching' hay in their stalls and did not mind my excitement as I walked them out to the aisle to the cross ties, and I used one per horse as they stood side by side. These patient horses were 17 hands plus, and at 5 foot, three inches, you might think they would be hard for me to harness! But my gentle horses would lower their heads so that I could place the black patent leather collars over their heads. After the bridles were on, I would hoist the harnesses on their backs. That was the hardest part because of their height. By the time I had checked and double checked the harness, family had walked out to the barn realizing we were going for a ride. We backed the team to the hay wagon that was bedecked with straw bales and loose straw on the floor for the little ones, and finished the hitching. Everyone on board, I drove the horses with our family in tow, down our winding driveway, past the horses in pasture, hearing the "ching, ching, ching" of the harness.
I'm sure we looked like a Wysocki print as we drove down the road that Thanksgiving Day. Everyone commented that they did not think about how the cold air would actually make a hot Thanksgiving dinner taste twice as good, if you could even make 'big' dinner any better! I think back to that busy day with absolute joy and I smile! Good times with our horses make us smile and leave us with wonderful memories. I don't know of one single horse owner that does not have a good memory to share!
That is why I would like to invite you to send us your story of how horses have enriched your life!
Maybe you and your family have holiday traditions that include your horses, or maybe you just remember a time when you and your horse had an exceptional experience together that will stay with you the rest of your life! I feel that we miss out on many of the personal experiences that we horse owners commonly have. Because we feel that those stories would make others smile, and mean so much about life lessons and joys with our horses, we would love to hear from you!
If you would like to share, we'd love to hear your stories about:
- Any family horse experience that was memorable
- If you board and have stories from boarding horses at your barn
- Was there a horse show that you attended that stands out in your mind?
- What small but powerful experiences do you cherish?
- Do you have special needs people in your life? Have horses made a difference?
- Were you able to bring a smile to someone because of your horses or horse stories?
- Any riding event or experience that was memorable
- Is there a time when you were very young that you remember a holiday with your horse?
- Maybe you have children that have a good memory with their horses.
- Perhaps you know of a person that refused to give up riding, my friend was 92 when she was helped up onto my draft horse, Fred!!
Talking about the holidays and our horses makes me feel good, I'm sure it does for you, too. Don't let me be the only one to speak out about how passionate I am about horses. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving, and love the life you have been given. Hug those fuzzy guys in the barn - a carrot makes a nice Thanksgiving surprise! Laugh much and ride often.
Note:Please send all stories to this address. We will email you a release form that will need to be signed and dated. That release form will allow RAMM to use your story and/or any photos or likenesses that are included. We welcome photos accompanying the stories: please try to limit their size to under 5MB and please send all photos in .jpeg format. Stories can be sent at any time. If it's a holiday story, we would like to receive it before Dec 10, 2010 (and on the 10th for following years); however, they may be sent any time.
Debbie has over 45 years experience with horses and in equine-related businesses. She has owned, trained, and boarded horses and run stables at various times in her career. She is a certified fence installer, has given balanced riding lessons, and has shown horses in Western, Western Pleasure, Trail, English, Hunter/Jumper, Fox Hunting, Hunter Trials and Dressage classes. Debbie has been involved in driving, foaling, and just about every aspect of horse ownership possible. She welcomes your questions and comments.