Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunday Stills - The Open Road

I knew immediately what I wanted to do.


thecrazysheeplady

We have a wonderful, now retired, carriage horse, Handy. This beloved friend has been my partner for over 20 years now. As a gift we horse people are occasionally given, this honest old horse has taken me so many places, taught me so much, opened so many doors and brought joy to so many people...especially me.


Saint Tim

Keeping one ear cocked back towards me, as a good driving horse should, we headed down the road for the first time in over a year and a half.



While not a Sunday Still, I thought you might like to join us for a minute on the open road.


Saint Tim

Heading back to the barn. That's the new horse Gato in the distance. Amanda, his trainer, was out this morning for a lesson. I had been cleaning my very dusty harness. She noticed and mentioned that as a kid she used to work for someone with driving horses. Turns out a mutual friend - who had recently passed away.

I was humbled as I set the harness across Handy's back and quietly wept a little as I adjusted it to compensate for his aging and diminished size. I know the big red horse won't be with me forever.



This video is mostly for me, but you are welcome to watch if you'd like. It's shaky and pixelated and I wish I hadn't waited until he was old and been hanging out in the pasture for so long, but it's something I'll treasure.

Handy's enjoying his retirement, but I think he might have enjoyed...just a little...being the star for awhile again. Not too long though. I didn't hook him in the cross ties as I was hanging up the harness and came back from the tack room to see him heading out the back door. I gave him a pat and a big "thank you", rubbed out his sweat marks with my hand, pulled off his halter and let him go on.

Thank you, Saint Tim, for playing groom/navigator once again and for taking the pictures and videos.

For more Sunday Stills on the open road...

28 comments:

Michelle said...

I found myself getting lost in the sounds on the videos; the creaking and rustling and voice commands. Then I'd open my eyes and see all that green grass and turn green with envy! A very evocative post.

WildBlack said...

Hats off!

lisa said...

Very nice, I would love to go on that kind of ride!

Tammy said...

My kind of pictures! Enjoyed listening to the hoofbeats in the video. Your narrative was quite touching.

Mellimaus said...

Nice pictures, and I love the videos, too! What a good horse. :)

Ed said...

You win this week for best SS..:-)

Ebie said...

What a beautiful horse! I love the sounds on the video, and i would not mind going on that ride. The scenes, so rustic!

colleen said...

Now that is my kind of road and transportation! Lucky you to be able to do such fun stuff in a beautiful place. Great pics!

Alice said...

It's amazing how in sync the two of you are. What a great team you make. Handy may be up there in age, but his hearing is sharp as ever to your commands. A touching share.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wheeee! Folks have to pay big money to go on a carriage ride. I've never been on one....until now. I loved the view, the sounds, handsome Handy's shimmying rump as he trotted along. It was wonderful. Thank you.

~Lisa

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

This is a wonderful post, my favorite for the Open Roads Sunday stills...thank you for sharing it.

gigi said...

Such a sweet and tender post. Thank you.

Sherri said...

Really outstanding post! Very enjoyable.

Shirley said...

I agree, this is the best of this week's Sunday Stills - video ad all! Lovely post and story.

dibear said...

What a super job, and very creative approach to the theme. Great job. :)

flowerweaver said...

Beautiful--it was SO good to see ol' Handy back at work for this post! I just knew those feet would heal and you'd have more time together.

Both videos are wonderful. I feel blessed having had the chance to ride in person with you two and for having had a little cart driving lesson also! This brought back a lot of great memories for me--thanks!

gtyyup said...

Excellent, excellent post!! *sniff* I'm just the weepy kind...what a wonderful old man~~

tonya fedders said...

That first picture is gorgeous!
Beautiful story.

moresecretwhispers said...

these photos were a nice suprise :)
superb!

my late entry is up:
http://moresecretwhispers.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/late-sunday-stillsmacro-monday/

Dana and Daisy said...

wonderful! you bond so beautifully with your animals.

prairierunner said...

I LOVE IT!! I agree with Ed it's the very BEST!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Thanks everyone for such nice comments. It meant so much to take that horse out for a short drive and I'm thankful for Ed posting that challenge. I'll never forget it.

patchworkfibers said...

What a good friend Handy is to you - and you to him. Thank you for sharing your time with him with us :-)

Barbara's Spot on the Blog said...

That first photo is amazing and I love this story. What a faithful pal.

threecollie said...

Your post is my hands down favorite this week! We don't have driving ponies any more, but I am grateful for the memory trip...wonderful!

DayPhoto said...

You made me cry! I'm so glad he has you!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Regular Guy said...

Very nice shots. Great job.

theegggather said...

Looks like fun - very relaxing to look at your photos.

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