[at-l] Horse Plaque---

Tenacious Tanasi tenacious_tanasi at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 14 21:37:34 CST 2010

I miss horses!  There's something about them that you never let go of in your heart.

My ex-parents have a pic of me when I was in diapers sitting on top of one of my great uncle Kenneth's l7 hand tall palamino.  I must have gotten hooked at that time.  

All during my childhood my fondest memories are of me and Smoky rambling the hills around our home.  She was a dapple gray Shetland with white mane and tail.  Right on top of her withers under the end of her mane was a white crescent moon.  That poor pony would run all day if I asked her too, and the only thing she ever asked for in return was apples and a good scratch at the top of her neck where her halter sat.  She was the perfect pony for a kid to find sanctuary with.

Back then the neighbors were more spread out, and I had learned how to cut and patch a barbed wire fence to make my own gaps so we could pass on through some of their fields.  There was even an old CSX line that used to run from Englewood clear up to Madisonville.  After they took all the tracks up, me and Smoky would head out and meander up that way.  There was this really, really kewl spot to camp too.  It was an arched stone bridge for the railway that they had left up.  You could go underneath where the creek ran under.  That silt was the softest bed I ever slept on.  I'd hobble Smoky in the clearing just aside it, and lay in the shade in the silt reading to my heart's content.

Most times when I'd get home from school and wasn't allowed to wonder far, I'd grab a book, climb up on her back, turn around backwards opening the book over her hips and lay there reading as she walked around the pasture munching on grass.

We had a saddle but I only used it if we were riding in a big group.  More often than not I would just ride her bareback with only her halter and a lead rope looped around.  But, with her it was like we knew each other so well.  I could guide her by simply shifting my weight or tighting my legs.  She was the first Segway!!!  lol

It was a sad day when I sold Smoky so that I could get a big horse Lady, but my knees were getting skint too much ridin that little Shetland.  I had begged my father to keep her, but he said I could only have one or the other.  I remember riding in that horse trailer with her all the way over to that man's house.  By the time we got there, I was so choked up I couldn't even talk.  

As the man unloaded her and started to walk away with her, she stopped, turned, looked back at me, and whickered softly at me as if to say, "Come on, Shelly!"  He had to tug hard on her lead several times to get her to go.  I sat down right there in that trailer and couldn't move because I wanted so badly to run get her and tell my father to forget it... I wasn't going to give my best friend up!  But, that man had young kids... kids that Smoky would teach right.  (She'd nip you if you tried to play in her drinkin water! lol)  And, she deserved to have little kids riding her, laughing, and loving on her.  I rode home in that trailer... still crying.

A couple of days later we picked up Lady.  She wasn't a Smoky, but she showed promise.  And, she was gaited, but she came with all kinds of bad habits that I had to break her from, Eventually she came around and we became best buds.  

Then one day one of our neighbors threw some corn stalks over the fence to the horses.... corn stalks that had bug spray on them.  Lady developed a severe colic and suffered from poisoning.  A few days later she died with her head in my lap. A couple of days after that we lost my cousin's beautiful golden palamino.  I had missed almost a week of school staying with both horses round the clock the entire time.  It took my heart and soul.

I have only owned 1 pony since that time.  I bought Dark Angel for my daughters... but they never took to riding like I did.  I sold her to a family who's little girl's pony had broken its neck trying to jump a fense during a lightning storm.

We had all kinds of horses on our little farm over the years, but Smoky and Lady were the ones that I had all to myself and were my own..  I rode many horses, we even boarded horses for family members and friends over the years.  During summer break folks would bring their horses to the house and I'd break them in.  I was out there every day foolin with them, and I guess they just wanted to come get them every now and again to ride but didn't want the responsibility of having to care for them.

My great uncle Kenneth used to say that I was a "whisperer", and I had no clue what he had ever meant by that until that book/movie had come out called The Horse Whisperer and Monty Robert's book came out.  There's a lot to be learned from horses....you just gotta use some horse sense.  :)

Wonderful advice from Liteshoe and Joan.  
 Tenacious Tanasi 

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