ISO Faithful and True: in memory

I still have no words to do justice to River Island, but for today, I have a direction as to how to have his legacy live on forever. A trainer used to ask what my goal was for the lesson, what I sought to achieve. It took her aback, I think, when I said my goal was to someday be able to ride with the Lord. It would take a lot to get to that point I was sure, because it is the 144,000 of the saints robed in white who ride with the Faithful and True who is on His white horse and leads the armies of Heaven to defeat the Adversary.

Today is St. George’s Day and he is known for slaying the dragon and saving a princess. St. George is also a patron saint of horses. All I know is that River Island, know as CrackerJack, lost his life with his friends in a conflagration that horrible day and I still struggle to make sense of it. The dragon breathing hellfire was perhaps called Calamity and it came upon that place.

Why, O Lord, why?

There is only One who has the victory over Death and Hell itself. In Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust, for without Him, there is no sense to the senseless and no eternal life. In the little book, Heaven is For Real, a little boy has a near death experience and sees Jesus and also gets to pet Jesus’ horse. He tells us in scripture, to look not here and there for behold the kingdom of God is within you. St. Therese, the Little Flower, said our hearts should be for Him a pleasant place of shelter. My heart shattered that horrific day. I was obliterated, undone. Now I know that that noble steed He put into my life lives on in my heart and his spirit is immortal because he was true love, a manifestation of Love in form. His “look of eagles” showed that spark, that true divine fire that does not die because it is eternal.

I bear witness to that holy fire here which will ultimately defeat the Death Rider in all its forms, by the power of the most holy rosary. I pray to be able to say in truth with Him, the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me. May the dragon of ego-centered existence be taken today in this St. George’s Day by the most holy rosary, O Queen of Heaven. I surrender to you entirely and to you I consecrate my life and all that supposedly belongs to me, including Splendid High, for we are yours completely. I myself am totally powerless over Calamity but you have a plan that you put forth in Fatima. River Island is yours now, isn’t he, as my guardian angel rides him witnessing to the power of the most holy rosary as what Padre Pio called The Weapon? This weapon of non-violence is the only one which can spare the carnage foreseen by many seers and you will triumph, even over ISIS, O Woman Clothed With the Sun, with your Blue Army. Enlist us, we pray. Amen.

ISO: Faithful and True in the Blue Zone

My Higher Power is true Love and for today, I know that I must strive to best preserve what that Source of Love hath given me. I have been reading The Blue Zones, a study of the world’s longest living peoples. I wonder what the equine blue zones might be and how to achieve that status, because I would love to have Splendid High freely moving and spritely for many a year to come, as well as myself.

The stallions at the Spanish Riding School have been known for their grace and athleticism for centuries and they are peak performers well beyond what is common in the equine world. It is said in the wild that horses live for only about 7 years, so that is not the model I am looking for, for sure. Where, then, to find or create for myself and my equine partner a blue zone of health and wellness?

I know that I am strange in that when I hear of knee replacement surgery and bypass surgery, as well as diabetes and other crises, I immediately think of how to avoid it as best I can. The same goes true for dread maladies in equines. I would far rather spend resources on preventative remedies than have to submit to the knife unless absolutely necessary.

Classical dressage seems to be the best route for suppleness for Melness even as a macrobiotic practice seems to be the most promising avenue for me. I could be wrong but I see and hear many who say that things just run in their families while in The Blue Zones, it states that heredity is only 25% of the picture and lifestyle is 75% of what makes for a long healthy life. If that is the case, what do I need to do for Mel and myself?

For one thing, we both take sea vegetation supplements from Wachter’s. I eat sea veggies and cook with them, as I have been taught by macrobiotic teachers. I have liked Wachter’s as a company for many years and have used their sea veggie blend and also fed their animal supplement, Sea Meal, to both Splendid High and River Island. I discovered sea vegatation as a supplement when as a teenager I had a young horse, Citadel, who needed to grow in his front end. I fed him Spectrum-4 and he did indeed grow. Now he may well have done so anyways but I was impressed with how he seemed to thrive on it. That fact, along with how much feeding flaxseed helped my horse Jolly Roger, when I was younger, sparked an interest in nutrition as a teenager.

Does creating a blue zone begin with these mineral-rich plants from the deep blue sea? We shall see…

The Great Life: Macro-Splendid High Life and Times

As for me and my horse, we will serve the LORD. We have sought our trainer as the Faithful and True to train us in His ways in what would be most pleasing in His sight. It seems we are called to The Great Life, as I strive to be a Zen macrobiotic stable nun and he a steed for the LORD. We are partners in grime, Splendid High and I. He is a quintessential equine therapist, another Dr. Mellifluous, with his flowing movements as sweet as honeyed melodies. So we will dance for peace as our art, we partners in the danse not macabre but divine to endeavor to follow Col. Alois Podhajsky as he instructs in The Complete Training of Horse and Rider. Col. Podhajsky signed a copy of his book for me and handed it to me when I was ten years old. Now, it is our mission, Splendid High and I to follow its instructions and become a dressage partnership. May the Spirit Most Holy descend upon us and teach us always, by the power of the most holy rosary to which this blog is dedicated. Amen.

a day of reckoning: bitless

Tonight I tried once again to ride bitless on Melness. Scripture says, We put bits in the horses mouths, that they may obey us and we turn about their whole bodies. So is the tongue a little member that boasteth great things…So what happens when a 10 year career racehorse goes bitless?

I’d had tried once before and Splendid High was splendidly lost–quite adrift without the guidance of the bridle. He stumbled quite severely as he was looking all around and not paying much attention–seemingly looking for more direction. It was not a failure then but rather a challenge to see if I could work on teaching him more self-carriage to steady him in the tiny indoor ring we are confined to in winter months. The corners were very sharp and he needed to be in better balance to navigate properly. He tended to want to be counter-bent around the corners, especially going to the left.

We have been working on corners and bending around my inside leg for sometime. I am very happy to say that tonight we were in much better balance with the Lindell bitless bridle, which Mel’s favorite farrier calls a “leather halter.”

I made sure to close the door in the ring since no one else was at the barn, and if I came off, I wanted him not to go too far. Well, the added precaution was not really necessary because Mel seemed to enjoy himself and did not try to qualify as a rodeo bronc. He liked to stretch his head down and his neck out, which was fine. I wanted to see if he liked the Lindell, as I have to return it to its owner.

I would say he really did enjoy it and it is worth learning to ride in one if only to have something else to ride in when it is below zero and the metal bit must be quite frigid in his mouth. I know I had to not wear metal rimmed glasses when skiing because they froze my face, so I can only imagine what a metal bit might feel like when the temperature drops to sub-zero degrees in a Montana winter. Last year, I rode in 0 degrees and 100 degrees in the same year and Mel was game during these extremes. It is my desire to make him as comfortable as possible though during our adventures. Tonight’s experiment points to our hopefully having a Lindell of our own in the future. “Lord, hear our prayer…”