Horses | Writing

Ban on White Horses

Holy Moly! I think October and November got turned around! It broke the 60s today and was sunny all day long!


Luke and I were the first ones to arrive at the Rum River park but another trailer pulled in soon after us. By the time I was done riding, there were ten trailers in the parking lot. I’m sure there were many more horses in the larger parks.

I saw this sign on the path I usually head out on.

horses banned sign

I turned back and asked the guy that pulled in behind me if he knew whether the ski trails were already closed to horses. He said that he’d talked to the guy who put the signs up a week ago and they don’t apply until there is actually snow on the ground. “Besides”, the guy said, “it just means you can’t ride ‘white’ horses down the trail. Yours is brown so you’re okay.”

I guess this lady shouldn’t have been on the trail.
Love the hat!

white horse

Luke and I came up to the river not very long into our ride and I stopped to try and capture the sun rays dancing on the water.

Rum River

My stop must have been too long because it gave Luke enough time to become extremely frightened of something, I never did figure out what. But for awhile there I though I was riding some fancy Lipizzaner. We were rocking from front to rear, doing side passes, and piaffe (marching in place). It would have been kind of cool if it wasn’t that every muscle in Luke’s body was screaming, “Run!”

Luke was also doing a very loud blow. I mean VERY LOUD, like you could hear it a mile away. I think bucks make the same sound as a warning to other bucks, but I’m not sure, and I don’t know what it means when a horse does it. My guess is that it’s either showing extreme fear or it’s perhaps a way of trying to frighten whatever the horse thinks is coming after it. If anyone wants to help me figure this out, please do, but DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT Google “horse blowing” because you will get some really not so nice results.

Anyway, Luke and I turned around and took another route. Later we approached the same spot from the opposite direction. Luke did a jig then too. Maybe there were deer hiding from hunters that were not visible but were smellable.

trail ride

There was also the fun experience when Luke and I were coming slowly down a steep hill when five horses came galloping full bore towards us. Luke spun around and tried to escape up the hill away from the stampede. We dun outrun em too.

horse and rider shadow

I wish I trusted myself to handle other situations as much as I trust myself to handle a spooked horse. When I ride, I just feel so in sync with what I’m doing reactions come naturally, even when I’m trying to stuff a camera in my saddle pack with one hand and control a spinning, half rearing horse with the other. It’s weird, but I completely trust that I know what to do on a horse. But in life?

I’ve been waking up a lot lately feeling like something really bad is going to happen. Of course, something really bad has already happened.

But being outside all day, first with Luke and later with Java, and being able to handle Luke’s fear without anything bad happened, kind of helped my own mysterious fear fade.

That may be what I need to do when I have to face something that causes fear, something that I don’t trust myself to handle well — step back and do something that I do trust myself with.

Anyway, I used my feelings of fear for my future to write the following passage for my Novel (written in first person):
I study every move, stance, and facial expression for signs of what’s next. The tightening in the shoulders, a smile that doesn’t manage to reach the eyes, a laugh that sounds hollow and unnatural, a tapping foot or finger, slamming doors, mail that’s torn open impatiently, a heavy sigh, the smell of alcohol, so many signs. Still, no matter how careful I am, he can catch me unaware, unprepared.

And that’s the worst part. The unpredictability, the way a good mood can go south in an instant, before you can jump out of the way. Or sometimes, the air buzzes with threat, yet the attack doesn’t come but you are so afraid, so worked up, and your nerves lie exposed, outside your body where even a breeze blowing across your skin makes you twitch. And when you can’t stand it anymore, you provoke, just to get it over with, because the abuse is easier to take than the fearful anticipation of it.

It has to stop. A person cannot live an entire life this way, seeing her husband as a potential time bomb and herself as the person who can disarm the bomb or detonate it.

Writing at Panera with Lynn (who took the photo)

writing at Panera

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8 Comments

  1. Beautiful photo of you, in shadow, on Luke…and yes, there will be no “horse blowing” googling here…nope, not gonna, sure won’t…not ’till I get home at least.
    I think the sign means that no stick people on stick horses can ride that particular trail. All others, skys the limit.

  2. Amazing passage, and I’m once again amazed by your riding skills. Also, I LOVE the bandito pic!
    “Horse blowing”– SNORT!
    I think I pulled the same thing you did from the sound of it. Makes it seem like your kneee is messed-up, and hurts mostly behind / internally of the knee – if that makes sense. Mine is a sprained “gastroc” which I guess is part of your calf.

    Moo, is all i can say to that– and boo.

  3. OK, now I’m sure that almost everyone will google ‘horse blowing’ – but I haven’t yet!

    Sounds like an exciting ride. I wonder what Luke was so scared about? As for the ski trails, the signs should say ‘when there’s snow’. I do know from my experience breaking ski trails behind my house that nothing destroys them faster than horse hoof prints. But, only the prints of white horses, of course.

    Your paragraphs from the novel are great!

  4. Maery…this was a fun post. I have to remember that “no white horses” sign when I go to our park (that also has ski trails). You and Luke are quite a team! And!!!! I love the passage from your book! Excellent…keep it up.

    Today is even more beautiful than yesterday…I have to get on a horse.
    Enjoy the day.

  5. Beautiful post. Nope, ya’ll aren’t catchin’ this farm chick googleing horse blowing. I won’t even let my imagination take me there.

    I love the photo of the twinkling of the sunlight on the water. Thanks for sharing a clip of your novel.

    Have a super day and may God bless you.

  6. OK. I just happened to interview a veterinary/equine behaviorist last week, and she indeed told me that when horses either hold their breath or blow air out like that it is a sign of mondo fear.

    Thanks for the giggle on the google results. I think I’d rather not know.

  7. Hey, I’ll probably get more hits with that phrase now too. Kind of scary…

    Roxanne – thanks for confirming that Luke was not just being a goof. I wish I knew what he saw or smelled or heard that was so terrifying.

  8. Horses are so unpredictable..who knows..I was reading earlier about a horse trainer who said that a horse has a two sided brain and you must teach them both ..the right brain and the left brain. At least you got out and about! 🙂

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