The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old Habits

There have been very few times in my life when I have not owned a horse. I picked up the habit very young. After badgering, pleading, bartering, promising, and negotiating, I coerced my parents into buying Tiny, my first horse, when I was 7. That was a while ago, and I've pretty much perfected the art of owning one between now and then.

My feeling is that if I didn't have to get up and feed in the morning, I wouldn't know I'm alive. Lately, I've taken to getting up, feeding, then brushing. Brushing Alley Cat, my horse that is. Well, my teeth first, and then Alley Cat, and after that, sometimes I brush my dogs that really need it this time of year. Both the dogs and the horse are blowing their coats in the recently lengthened daylight hours. No, it is not heat that causes animals to shed, it is daylight. 
Alley's been with me a long time now. Alley is a rope horse extraordinaire. He is good in the box, fast to the hip, is honest as the day is long, would never duck, and Alley can pull like a frieght train. If you don't understand any of that team ropin' shorthand, I'll translate for you; Alley is a very good boy. We won one of the first ropings I entered on him, and I had never roped with my heeler before. In fact I had never even laid eyes on him. A happy roping memory.

Warmer weather and longer days cause me to envision long, relaxing trail rides through the mountains with the dogs by my side. I used to do this almost daily in the course of ranch life and work, but now it would only be a simple trail ride. On the ranch, we were much too important busy for such silliness, but now it feels like a necessary indulgence. I'm finding that an appreciation for simple pleasures comes with age, which is a entirely new concept for me.  Age and simple pleasures.

I am one of the lucky ones. I grew up on a horse. Some of my most pivotal, childhood experiences occurred in and among horses and the horsemen and women who love them. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I bet I could sell it if such a thing were possible. An old, very dear friend of mine liked to tell us that he'd been following these nags around all his life. I feel the same. It's a long held habit that I have no desire to break.

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