That went well...

Posted by Sharon Labels:

A few days ago, someone shared a photo on Facebook of a horse pulling a lawn mower. The photo inspired several "likes" and various comments mostly in the tone of "what a neat idea". I was not one of the "likes" and I refrained from commenting. What I saw was a wreck-in-the-making although I'm the first to admit that I would rather be on top of a horse than behind him in some mode of wheeled transportation. The real reason I could only see disaster in that photo might have been because it reminded me of a story I heard from one of my clients many years ago. According to Melanie, this is what happened.

Hank and Melanie lived on a small acreage beside a paved highway. Although admittedly beginner riders, they wanted a horse or two on the property. To that end, they bought an Appaloosa mare which they brought to me for training. I believe her name was Rosy.

 In those days, clients rarely left a horse with me longer than a month, believing (incorrectly) that I could return to them a safe, dependable mount in that limited time. Rosy was one of those. The little coloured mare had some issues. One of them was refusing to go forward but that's another story... In a month's time, the couple picked her up and presented me with a dozen roses for my trouble (they had witnessed a difficult ride). It was with some concern that I sent the horse home but the Appy behaved herself. She could not be blamed for what happened one sunny afternoon a few weeks later.

Melanie had just ridden Rosy but instead of returning her to the pasture this time, she tied her to a two-wheeled cart in front of the house and went inside, where she decided to try out her newly-purchased (from me!) Mary Kaye skin care products. Shedding her jeans and shirt for a bright yellow bathrobe, she pulled her hair up in a pony tail on the top of her head, washed her face with the cleanser and pulled out the deep-cleansing mask. She had just finished smearing the sticky white stuff on her neck and face when a commotion outside interupted her beauty treatment. Running to the window, she immediately saw what had caused the racket - Rosy was spooking at the cart... and the cart moved. The game was on and Melanie knew this would not end well. She sprang into action.

Grabbing a knife out of the kitchen drawer, Melanie pulled her boots on and the robe tightly around her and bolted out the door to see Rosy and the cart clattering down the driveway toward the highway. Now panicked by visions of a severely injured horse, she charged after her across the highway, through the ditch and in to an almost-ripe, four-foot high wheat field on the other side, with one thing on her mind - separating horse and cart.

But Rosy had stopped running. She must have decided the strange, noisy thing behind her was going to keep following her and the best thng to do was stop and look at it, because that's what she did, allowing Melanie to walk up to her, cut the shank and lead her away from her tormentor. Rosy was unhurt but the cart didn't fare so well - pieces were strewn across the highway, the ditch and the wheat field.

Only after Melanie had rescued her frightened mare did she think of the spectacle she presented to passing motorists (and to Rosy) – dishevelled woman in bathrobe, face painted a ghostly white (the mask was now cracking...), wildly wielding a butcher knife, pursues wild-eyed, wild-coloured horse towing wheeled wreckage through wheat field.

It's a wonder I wasn't arrested," she said. "And why didn't Rosy flee again, this time from the apparition coming  after her through the wheat?"

Maybe Rosy was more 'broke' than I thought she was...

What Can't Be Changed

Posted by Sharon

Today is my birthday. That can't be changed. Not even if I wanted to. Which I do...
Not the day, just the number. But these are the facts:
  • I was born to rancher parents in the Coteau Hills of Saskatchewan.
  • The ranch was competely isolated in the winter, accessible only by horses - either riding or team and sleigh.
  • Mom's "due date" was in February - not a good time or the year to be having a baby - so our trusted Grey Team transported a very pregnant Mom to "the settlement" two weeks prior to my expected arrival.
  • I arrived as expected and Dad made the trip back to pick my mother and I up at what he calculated to be the right time - when I was about two weeks old.
None of the above could or can be changed. Even if I wanted to. Which I don't.

And so I spent the first years of my life on an isolated ranch. That could not changed either. Not even if I wanted to. Which I don't. My first birthdays I celebrated there, in the little ranch house in the hills, like the one in the photo below:

My first birthday - what was I looking at? Not the camera...
My birthday always falls on a winter day. That cannot be changed, either. Mom and Dad made the most of my day with a cake, candles and gifts, of course, but parties at the lake or parties at all (since we were snowed in) were out of the question. As I grew up, married and had children, I came to accept the fact that I could not change the date of my birthday just because I wanted to but one year I rebelled. I threw a 40-something Hawaiian birthday party complete with Hawaiian food, beach attire and surf boarding (in the snow!) in my snowed in mobile home in Saskatchewan. It was one of the best birthdays ever! Here's a photo from that party.

My Hawaiian- themed birthday party
I remember three times that I was surprised on my birthday - once in Crooked River Saskatchewan, when friends arrived unannounced with cake and gifts (I was overwhelmed) and last year when my friend, Crystal, arranged a surprise birthday luncheon with Chilcotin ladies. The third time was for my 50th birthday. 

I, like everyone else, expected something on my 50th but since my boyfriend and I were in Hawaii, I thought I had avoided it. Not so. A week later, after we were home, and in the middle of a Vern Sapergia reining clinic, my friends caught me off guard. When I was spiritied away on a useless errand, my house filled with people. The party was on.

Vern and I on my 50th Birthday
Ten years later, on my 60th birthday, I celebrated with my Samoyed, Kirby, by myself in the Kootenays. Maybe I gave in to what I could not change - celebrating my birthday in the snow!

Kirby and I on my 60th birthday - in the snow!
 This year it's just Mischa and me and it's a quiet day. I'm reminiscing a little, thinking back to as many birthdays as I can remember. Many I have forgotten. I can't change the number of birthdays I've had and I can't change the date but, if I try, I might be able to change what I take away from each one. Until next year...

Every Day is a New Day

Posted by Sharon Labels: ,

It’s been a real struggle for me to post on this blog for some time now. I just didn’t feel like writing about my life and I didn’t ‘see’ anything worth writing about either. It isn’t writer’s block; it’s just a block. I guess you could say I lost my mojo and I can see it’s going to take a supreme effort on my part to find it again.

I’ve always been the kind of person that thrives on a well-laid plan. If I have a plan, I have a plan of attack, so to speak, something to look forward to, to complete. With that in mind, I committed to taking a photo every day, not just any photo but one that awakened something in me, that touched me in some way. It meant I would have to ‘look’ for that photo, ‘look’ at things around me. I started January 1, 2013.

And so I have seven photos, one for each day of the new year. I am putting them in a slide show presentation with date and a short caption with music background. Will these photos tell me something? That remains to be seen, but in the meantime, I look forward to finding a photo of the day. I’ve discovered there is always something new.

I don’t intend to post every one for the year but because I am trying desperately to start posting again, these photos seemed to be a good start. 

January 1, 2013: My beautiful babies, Perfect and Cameo
January 2, 2013: A pink morning...
January 3, 2013: A lone cow trying to find something to eat...
January 4, 2013: Peppers in the snow...
January 5, 2013: The sun setting on another day...
January 6, 2013: If this old rake could speak...
January 7, 2013: Mischa playing in the snow...

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions but I suppose, in a way, I made one. Let's see if I can keep it.