Thursday, November 24, 2011


Today, I'll be sitting down, in the company of friends and family, to a lavish meal of food that was entirely homegrown.  However, that is only one of the things I have to be grateful for this year.  There have been some hard and tragic things happening here but there are still many things that I can be thankful for as well.

I am thankful for my wonderful border collie who has been my constant companion for the past 9 years.  I worry about his bad joints and the lumps that keep showing up but I am terribly thankful to have him for as long as possible.

I am thankful for the very good friend who is the main reason that I have a border collie and who looks after Tanner every evening when I have to leave for work.  It is a great relief to me to know that he is safe and happy while I can't be there with him.

I am immensely thankful that Emma has come into my life, bringing a totally unexpected joy with her.  If Tessa had not been injured, I would never have thought to get a donkey and I would have remained in total ignorance of just how wonderful donkeys are.  I cannot say that I am in any way grateful that Tessa was injured, but at least it did bring me this one, beautiful thing. 

And there is Tessa, my poor, beautiful, crippled horse.  I bought Tessa a little over a year ago.  I had been looking for a new horse for the first time in many years after finally making the decision to retire my old mare, Suki (who I still own by the way, she is spending her retirement being a companion to another horse and is doing very well).  Tessa is a double registered TWH/SSH who found herself listed on craigslist for an absurdly low price when she became a victim of the economic meltdown.  She had been purchased as a weanling for a very great deal of money and then had to be disposed of quickly when her owner found herself in financial trouble.  Tessa was not at all what I was looking for, she was too young, too flashy, untrained and I had no experience with gaited horses.  But, there was something about her picture that just kept calling to me and after much agonizing I forked over $500 for her and brought her home.   

I had the notion that I could let her grow up some, put some training into her and sell her at a profit (try not to laugh too hard, all of us horse people have these silly notions now and then).  I hadn't intended to keep her for myself as I had sworn-off riding green horses after I was hurt very badly by one about ten years ago.  I could not ride for two years and came very close to giving up horses altogether.  I did start riding again but a lot of the joy had gone out of it and I was nervous about riding any horse I didn't know.  I think that when I decided to buy Tessa, I was also deciding that I wanted to be more the rider I used to be, rather than the one I had become.  I sent Tess to an excellent, local trainer when she turned three this Spring.  When it came time for me to get on her, it took a major act of courage to climb on, but Tess was rock steady.  After just 30 days with the trainer, Tessa came home and I started trail riding her, she was, steady, responsive and I felt safe on her.  In May, after just two months under saddle, I rode Tessa in our local parade and she was the steadiest horse there.  She loved it, she thought all those people had come out just to provide entertainment for her on her trail ride. 

I am thankful to Tessa for helping me regain some of my confidence in the saddle.  I know now that I still can work with a young horse and I should trust my judgement and set aside self-doubt.  I don't know what the future holds for Tessa but it is in large part thanks to her that I know I still want to ride.  Thank you Tessa for bringing joy back into riding.

I am thankful for the good friend and riding buddy I have found who has also helped put the joy back in riding. 

I am thankful that my sister, whom I have not seen for several years, has come up to visit and spend Thanksgiving with me. It is good to have family. 

I could go on here but, enough for now.  I intend to spend the next few days with the people and animals I am thankful to have in my life.  I may not be posting here for a bit.  Know though, that I am also very thankful to all of you who come to read this.  I haven't figured out how to respond to all the comments I have received but, I read and appreciate every one.  If you would like to share some of the things that you are thankful for this year, I would be glad to read about them.

Happy Thanksgiving

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to your herd from ours. Emma has the most beautiful face.