Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


As a little girl, I never fell under the spell of horses – over the years, I’ve never been tempted to fling myself up on one and take off. I was told they could smell fear, no matter what. And horses generated trepidation in me anytime I got close enough to assess their size. 

But, when my friend, Helen, invited a few of us to meet her horse, Schnapps, I readily accepted.   Her deep love and connection to her horse came through all the stories of how she came to own him.  She bought him several years ago, riding him faithfully until a few too many aches and pains restricted her, and him. His care and comfort are, however, still her delight.

Schnapps is 33 years old – that’s 85 in horse years! He had been a racehorse but age and its attending limitations put him in the pasture. His family connections were impressive my friend discovered, when she found a tattoo in his mouth. With a little research, Helen learned her horse was related to Secretariat.

Even I understood that’s a notable connection.

So, I hustled myself out to the stables where he and other horses abide – some thirty miles north of our humble abode. That is I programmed the GPS, and prayed I wouldn’t get too lost – and I only missed one turn. Note: going thirty miles somewhere in Maryland is a big deal – it is no big deal in Dallas.   

Helen greeted me, forgiving my lateness, and proudly introducing me to her “baby.” Her presence seemed to calm him. Helen came prepared with a bag of carrots, from which we could offer treats as we each drew to speak a word and have our pictures taken with this venerable, aged horse. I fed him, and he nuzzled me. Yes, I still was just a wee bit timid – but perhaps his sense of smell had sufficiently weakened?  He is a lovely creature – age has lessened any impression of fearsomeness, but not his dignity  -- or his love of carrots.   

All this fraternization was in the midst of a day camp for little girls who were learning how to care for the horses that they had just ridden. Their duties reminded me why I was not cut out to be a cowgirl.

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