medicine to me
I was awoken by the strangest sensation. The grazing of a hoof across my ankle, barely using any pressure at all. It did the trick all right, startled me into consciousness and there standing above me was Jasper. (He looks bigger when you're laying on the ground below him.) The 500 pound pony could have crushed my leg with a hoof and he simply touched me. I sat up, but didn't get up, and he pressed his head against my shoulder. I feel comfortable and safe around this small horse. I know him like I know my dogs, Sal, Maude, and coworkers. He is different than the horses I ride at my lessons, and for this reason. I am with him everyday, we are always together in the pasture. He lets me harness him, lead him, and he will show me how to get around this world with the original horsepower. I regret nothing. He is joy, and when he runs across that acreage, hoofs pounding and head high I feel like I am part of something wild, magical and timeless, a girl who hatched a dragon egg.
I had fallen asleep out there because the day was hot and busy. Meredith, a day intern, came and we threw ourselves into work. We cleaned out the chicken coop, poured a concrete slab, changed out rabbit bedding, ran errands and had an amazing meal of grass-fed beef kabobs with glorious fresh peppers, squash, and sweet onions onions from the farm stand down the road. We worked hard, and ate well, and by the time she left around 4PM I was spent. With the farm recently wound to the correct time: I was looking forward to a book on the hill.
I realized up there that the entire time we were working together I had not one passing thought about anything negative. The work becomes a meditation, and the chores dissolve into the next one. Conversation was light, positive, and happy. Through laughter, sweat, and joint work I felt the same cleansing emotional jog I got building fences with Brett and Diane, pounding posts with James, Chris, and Steve. It is medicine to me, a combination of a light hoof and hard work.
Many have emailed or commented thinking I was talking about my job in that earlier post. I was not. Things are fine there, far as I know.
Plans for the weekend changed. The guy who I hired to deliver me my first full cord of wood didn't show up. Or perhaps he did, and I was on an errand and left. Either way, wood wasn't stacked. And the Pony Cart Pickup of 2011 was moved a few weeks down the road because of a child's birthday party at the location, a blessing actually. Now I have two full days without much plans, save for rehabilitating some weaker charges.
Today I might build a small fenced area for Lisette and her ewe lamb—both are sickly and need special care. Lisette was recovering from her rough Ketosis lambing season, but now has returned to a fame of nothing but bones and skin. Yesterday she was so hot and weak I could walk right up to her and touch her face, feel her weak body, and I had a serious internal discussion about putting her down. Then, at dusk, she was on her feet grazing again. What I do know is she is not a breeding animal any longer, and her lamb, Pidge, is runtish and always ill. On a working farm, even a small one, it is foolish and dangerous to keep animals in your bloodlines. Pidge is always either coughing, gasping, diarrhea-spewing, or slow. She has been caught and medicated, treated, and evaluated endless times with no results. So I am separating them from the flock and getting them both on a course for health. I will have the vet evaluate them and do my best to bring them back to good. But neither will be staying here after they recover. Pidge will mostly likely be slaughtered in the fall and Lisette, if and when she recovers, might do better with a pet flock without the rigors of being part of a breeding flock. If anyone out there wants a sweet Scottish Blackface ewe, let me know and wish us luck.