Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The thrills of thundering hooves

As I've said, I became a horse lover at a fairly early age. I think many girls go through a 'phase' of waning a pony, maybe reading a book such as The Black Stallion, Misty of Chincoteague or My Friend Flicka or seeing a rerun of the old flick National Velvet.or some more recent cinematic horse tales but for me it became much more. From about the age of ten until my mid twenties my whole life was wrapped up in horses and their kin, mules and donkeys.Many, many passed through my world in those days.

It started with a pair of retired cow ponies that dad bought for us when I was just starting at the school I described yesterday. Lady and Chindy were good to begin with. I know many people go for Shetland Ponies first but believe me, although small, they can be mean and stubborn as any donkey. Most do not get trained by a knowledgeable adult so they are not in the western terminology, properly "broke" and taught some manners. Although it was a hard scramble for me to reach the saddle of a full sized horse at that time, I learned how to do it and from then on was atop a horse every chance I got.

For my thirteenth birthday, although actually a bit before, I received a yearling filly. She came to me around Valentine's Day so I called her My Valentine but she ended up being just Tina. She was a reddish bay with black mane and tail, a blazed face and one white foot on the left rear. Although she was supposed to be sired by an purebred Arabian and her mother was a mixed blood cowpony, she always looked like a Thoroughbred. She grew to a good sixteen hands high (a hand is four inches so you can figure that out--in a word, tall!) and was always on the leggy and lanky side. I never knew a horse with more heart and willingness. She was sure footed in some very rough central Arizona terrain, savvy about cattle, and pretty darn fast when a good gallop was in order. In many ways she was the love of my life, at least equine wise. I had her for just over ten years and she produced two nice colts sired by an Appaloosa stallion we had for a time named Yavapai Chief. Bravo and Rico eventually went to a working ranch in the area and became top-quality cow ponies too. Tina died of a virus in the spring of 1966 at not quite eleven years of age and left me broken hearted for some time.

Here are a couple of pictures of her--and me. I cherish them and the memories they bring back. I am sure she waits for me in that green pasture by the Rainbow Bridge along with a number of other well-loved equines and of course that pack of dogs who've passed through my life. She and Flash just missed becoming good partners as he was gone not long after she came into my world. He'd have enjoyed running with horses though, I know. Many other dogs did and now perhaps they are all together in that good place as they wait for me to return to them.

I'll introduce some of my other favorites soon but Tina had to have a place all her own. She was that special.

Let me close with a verse I wrote in 1957 not long after Tina was broke enough for me to ride her freely by myself. It would be about the time frame of the black and white shot above. I was about fourteen when I enscribed these lines. They're simple but full of feelings and I think evocative!

                      Riding Tina
Wind in my face, wind at my heels,
Faster and freer and wilder than wheels.
Cares left behind, worries left too.
Nothing can catch me when I'm riding you.
Saddle beneath me, reins in my  hand.
We're racing the wind, Tina, isn't it grand?
Oh the glory of riding, of running, of flying!
We beat the wind,Tina, without even trying!
The earth can't contain us, we're high as a cloud
I'm riding my Tina and am I not proud?
        (C) GMW, 1957          

No comments:

Post a Comment