From my Journal – August 14, 2009
Starboy mills ‘round his paddock, head low, rubbing his face to his knee, swishing flies.
All day long he lingers, contentedly, with sister Angel by his side, strolling toward the neighboring paddock, toward the water trough, toward the feeder – awaiting his next flake of hay.
I give him my kisses, and go out of town, on business, leaving him.
While I’m away, I return to his paddock in my mind, at will, and there he is in my mental peek, content again.
And when I return, he whinnies at the sound of my car’s engine, at my whistle, and trots up to greet me – no guilt trip.
I walk inside the paddock, rubbing faces, removing fly masks, reuniting with the herd.
I halter and lead him out, tying him to my horse trailer.
Brushing off the dust and shedding hair coat – sleeking him out – I plop my blanket, my saddle, onto his back, and slowly cinch up.
I offer him the bit, and he grabs it, like always, from when he was small, when I raised him.
In my younger years, I leapt into the saddle. Now using a small step-stool, I clamor on.
Starboy braces, politely, for my middle-age weight to descend upon him. I find my off-side stirrup, gather up my reins, and move my body slightly, as signal to walk on.
Out to the road, off the property, he effortlessly, willingly, goes. Wherever I point him, Starboy cooperates – and travels at whatever speed I ask.
What kind of relationship can be compared to this?
He serves, without complaint, at my beck and call. And I serve him, in return, for nineteen years now, like his mother and sire before him, making sure of his pasture and hay.
Few people can boast three generations of home-bred horses, but those who do, understand.
As long as you’re dealing with good genetics, there’s nothing that compares.
Out on the trail now, Starboy surges forth, my stiff lower back complaining. I rein him in a bit slower.
The trail gains ground into the forest now, into the wonder. Trees tower above us, in the twilight.
The feeling of magic overtakes me, and Starboy trots lightly on.
No coercion, no domination, merely a suggestion that we speed up, or slow down – my body shifting ever-so-slightly in the saddle.
A quiet cluck and inclining forward of my reigns enough to squeak him into a smooth canter . . .
I smell the vanilla of pine bark now, nighttime descending.
And I marvel, again, at Starboy.
And how well he behaves since I’ve been gone.
November 26, 2013
Here I am, marveling at Starboy, once again. I wrote this sweet little piece four years ago, in 2009. Since then a few things have changed:
Angel is gone now, on the other side of the Rainbow, even though she was Starboy’s junior by a year.
She had Cushing’s syndrome and passed away at nineteen – the very age of Starboy when I wrote this piece.
And Hokuleia was born August, 2012 – our fourth generation! And she has Angel’s energy. And she has Angel’s love.
And I am changed – I’m very happy to report – for the better.
After a bad injury and much pain (at my doctor’s recommendation), I went gluten-free in December, 2011. Turns out this incident was a major “Blessing-in-Disguise”.
By changing my lifestyle and diet, I lost stubborn pounds of middle-age weight. But that’s not all: I ALSO LOST MY JOINT PAIN!
In fact, as I read over this piece I feel badly for the “old Dawn” – who was exhausted and who ached – and who weighed down her wonderful horse.
I’m happy to say, “No More!” : ~ ))
A spring has returned to my step – I no longer “clamor on”. Now I lift myself up into the stirrup, the saddle, with joy’! Pain-free!!!
My back no longer complains. My knees, my hips, my neck ride along with Starboy like they did in my youth.
So there is hope when it comes to pain, to injury, to age!
Now the healthful micro-nutrients and herbs I take – turmeric, hawthorn berry, ginger, boswellia, cinnamon, fenugreek – can work to rejuvenate my cells without the burden of fighting the inflammation brought on by the gluten (found in wheat and most grains).
Now the vitamins and supplements – B-100, Vitamin Code Multi’s, thyroid, and adrenal support, Perfect Food (green powder) – can work their nutritional wonder.
Now Starboy, twenty-three years young, carries my lighter profile.
We rode three hours recently, FLYING, like in our days of youth – striding out, floating, galloping – breathing-in the fresh forest air.
Discovering a brand new trail in the process – trotting, twisting, surging, dipping, along the contours of the rapid single-track.
Now Starboy lingers in his paddock with sister, Fae, and filly, Hokuleia. Happy, content. Yet a bit wider at his middle-aged girth than before.
Wonderful, willing Starboy. Ever ready, ever up for the latest adventure.
I’m fresh back in town now, from a business trip. And finally, we’ll be riding tonight . . .
Soon I’ll smell the vanilla of pine bark, nighttime descending. And I’ll experience his smooth canter – on our latest adventure, into the forest.
And I’ll marvel, again, at Starboy.
And how well he behaves since I’ve been gone.
Oh my – reading this over just now, I have tears! For how long will he be with me?
Wonderful, willing Starboy – I treasure you all the more as you grow old. For our time together here won’t last forever.
But our years have been full. And our love, complete.
And I’m filled to the brim by our love. : ~ ))
And when the time comes for us to part, when you go over the Rainbow to join the others – I’ll be here waving, loving, cheering you on – tending to the herd, here on this side of the veil.
I’ll take care of Fae, of Aria, Laddie and Hokuleia.
And I’ll cherish my love for you, like the others.
And I’ll wait my turn . . .
Until my time over the Rainbow arrives.
Copyright 2009, 2013