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Copyright 2008 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

December 2008 Issue

 

     It’s six a.m. and, technically, still “dark.” However, a full moon shines in the west above a berm of dark clouds stacked over the mountains. The upper edge of the clouds reminds me of the wisping tops of summer thunderheads, and the moon makes them glow silvery and gives a “luster of midday to objects below.” (In this case, the objects are my mules and horses grazing in their pasture.)

     I am entranced by the moonlight’s beauty. I think how it is both more simple, but at the same time more complex, than the lives of the humans who are waking and getting on with their day.

     We humans are so frequently dissatisfied creatures, critical of our own lives and others’ ideals. Luckily for many of us, when riding, feeding, grooming or simply being with our horses, we are filled with a feeling of satisfaction as we connect to these souls of the natural world. They calm us; they center us; they help us touch our higher selves.

     The moonlight gleams into the cats’ playground — a.k.a. my living room — and their lithe shadows chase each other wildly. Their paws thunder like little hooves. Yes, it is hard to imagine how they can make such a racket! Or why they would want to!

     Who out there has muddy boots? Maybe the fair question, at this time of year is, Who doesn’t have muddy boots? Call me a little preoccupied, but I finally figured out (yet another) “helpful hint.”

     At the office, Veronica and I are frequently amazing ourselves by finding some small way to further streamline our layout and production process. We always look at each other and say, “Why didn’t we think of this before now!!!”

     My corral has been so sloppy, I have been feeding in my knee-high irrigation boots. Even though I have an official “mud room,” I still try to limit the amount of mud and manure I bring into the house.

     At my former house, I had a big puddle in my driveway and wading through it was the perfect way to clean off my boots. Now I drag them across the lawn, scuffing off what mud I could, lamenting that the hydrant I use to fill the water tanks is in the middle of the corral.

     Then it dawned on me! I have another frost-free hydrant next to my driveway. (Just because it’s hidden by the truck which is parked next to it doesn’t mean it’s not there!) Even though the hoses are stored away for the winter, why not stick my boots under the nozzle and spray them off? Seems so simple… shoulda thought of it ages ago!

     A big thank you to all of our readers who responded to our call for photos of “Kids & Horses” for our annual December Photo Album.

     We received a wealth of images — from tiny tots riding for the first time to ranch kids helping the family move cattle to skilled teens exhibiting their superb horsemanship in competition.

     Although we received too many photos to print in the magazine, I would like to direct readers to the RMR website where we were able to post several more pages of photos. Please find a link to them on our home page — www.rockymountainrider.com.

     All of us at Rocky Mountain Rider would like to thank you for picking up our magazine each month. We wish you and your family and your critters a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Copyright 2008 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

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