Trakehner Thursday

Why do I blog?

It’s a good question. One I often answer with- I just do. I started this blog to talk specifically about my favorite breed. More importantly, I started it to write about my journey with Trakehners.

It’s a journey that so often seems to be stagnant. I take care of my horses twice a day. I dream about the day when they will be in my backyard and I get frustrated when their care isn’t exactly how I want it. Which is why I am nursing a stiff neck and a headache today. It is also the first time I’ve felt this sore after a fall.

The scene: 

It’s about 9PM and I just got done with work. The barn is dark and the doors are all closed except- SH*T the front sliding doors to their barn aren’t closed all the way. I park my truck while my thoughts rush around fuming and growling and all sorts of angry. My inward rant about how I hate boarding my horses etc begins. Oh, how I love those rants. While ranting, I grab hay from the feed room. I listen to the squeak of my shoes against the snow as I walk back to the mostly closed barn doors. The gap isn’t big enough for me to get hay through so I try to open them further. Stuck! Frozen to the ground. Now, I’m cursing mother nature and the stupid winter etc.

Undeterred, I wiggle myself in sideways and throw my back against the door. It budges. The other one is the problem. “I’ll be back!” The doors are unimpressed. My horses nicker at me and I forget about my nemesis while I give my horses their evening snacks and refill their water buckets. Fae is attention starved so I tell her how pretty she is and I pet her neck. She loves on me and I close her door. I go into Julie’s stall because she can’t be forgotten. “You’re such a pretty mare. Oh, you are the best. I love you.” I close her door and face my enemy.

The doors are about a foot and half apart. My nemesis. I will conquer you! I think as I set to closing the doors. I turn off the lights and began yanking on the door handle. It’s screwed into old, rotted wood. I pull and pull and then… well, I fly backwards handle in hand. SMACK! my head connects with the rubber mat on the aisle. Julie and Fae whinny as I lay on the ground in the dark. I see stars and I can tell I’ve freaked out all of the horses. They dance in their stalls and one of the horses bangs on his door. After a moment I get up; my blood is hot. I turn the lights back on. First I try the shovel to lift the door up. Still stuck. Then I kick it for good measure (several times). I tug on it and still, the damn thing won’t budget. After another five fruitless minutes Julie whinnies at me like she’s telling me I need to stop. “I’m ok, Julie.” My head is throbbing and I decide she’s correct. With a flick of my finger the barn is drapped in darkness and the damn door is laughing at me. The gap between the two is about ten inches.

I love a little bit of snow but how I hate winter. 

This morning I woke up to a stiff neck and a headache. The whole left side of my neck hurts. I really shouldn’t fought with the doors; but I get so tunnel focused and determined. Which is probably my biggest asset and my biggest weakness. It means that I will do whatever it takes to get what I want but it also means I have a hard time surrendering. I hate giving up and I hate defeat. I lost to a freaking door! 

However, it’s incidents like these that make me realize I don’t want to own a farm by myself. There is too much that can go wrong. Too much that could happen. If I hadn’t had on my hoodie and if I had hit my head on cement would I have been as lucky? I went to the barn alone and no one knew I was there. The owner lives there but she’d already done her nightly walk through. Something so small as trying to close a door could have ended so many of my dreams. The older I get, the more I realize I need to think things through.

How does this relate to Trakehners? Well, they are a smart and sensitive breed. Fae is so smart and easy to train. She respects me and doesn’t try to push my around when I lead her. It’s things like daily interaction and daily training that have made her so easy to be around. I hear horror stories of horrible young horses and I am so thankful Fae isn’t like that. She has the propensity to be bad. Especially because she hasn’t been out much due to the weather. She’s starting to grow into herself and I hope she continues to be well behaved. As a horse owner, breeder, and trainer my constant thoughts are: how do I want her to behave as an adult? Am I teaching her what she needs to know?

Julie, in her own way, does her best to teach Fae. For example: when I get on Julie, she usually walks away before I’m settled. The funny thing is that when I get on her with the intention of Ponying Fae, Julie stand stock still until I tell her to walk on. I think the greatest thing about breeding Julie is watching her teach Fae how to be a modern sport horse. I feel so lucky to own such smart and well behaved horses.

I’m so thankful I have the privilege of working with a breed as marvelous as the Trakehner.

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