Birthday Special

Trainer driving Sunni

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Every day I’m not scheduled to work at my part-time job nor must fulfill obligations that take me from home, I exercise both my driving horses. There’s a three-mile loop in my neighborhood, paved streets with little traffic and few interruptions. My cart covers it twice, once behind each horse.

They’re full sisters, these mares. Sunni is solid as a rock, dependable and easy to drive. The other, Rosie, a capable and beautiful driving horse, worries as we move. Her head turns this way and that to spot whatever might be scary. Like the time we came around a curve, and there edging the street, she saw the beginning of a rock wall! Such surprises freeze her momentarily and my job is to encourage her to keep moving. Her over-alertness might never lessen but she’s responsive to reins and voice. Interestingly, I find that Rosie’s more relaxed when we’re driving on country horse trails. But we must use what’s easily available and that’s neighborhood streets.

So yesterday, Sunni and I are out exercising and approaching a four-way intersection. I slowed her to check for traffic, and somewhere to my right sensed unusual movements. I turned and saw a woman waving, gesturing for us to approach. I pointed Sunni toward her driveway and learned that the woman had a request.

Her mother will turn 80 years old next Sunday and this lady has arranged a birthday party. The mother loves horses, used to be very active with them but no longer rides. The question was if I’d accept money to give her mother a carriage ride. Of course, and for free. We’ll happily go there and give the mom a ride. We’ll keep to paved streets so the ride won’t be bumpy and rock-steady Sunni will pull.

It’s always a delight, relearning how easily our pets help us to make friends. Having dogs has introduced me to other dog lovers, particularly when we share a breed-type or particular training interest. My experience with horses proves them to be almost instant friend magnets. Like the lady who flagged us down hoping to give her mom a special surprise, and I understand.

Dear Friends: Horses are experiences and relationships–loved forever. Diana

6 thoughts on “Birthday Special

  1. How delightful. If you need me to come hold Sunni while the 80 year old climbs aboard your cart, I would be happy to accompany you and then wait for your return at the party site. I love your generous heart.

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    1. Thanks, Julie, for your generosity and caring. Fortunately, Sunni is trained to stand quietly and wait until she gets a message to “walk on” and she’s very good about doing this. Also, the Birthday Lady’s daughter and other family members will be there to help the passenger board and/or dismount the cart.

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      1. OK. I will so look forward to your report and maybe a photo or two? SO cool if you to do thisπŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ»πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ₯΄

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  2. Diana what a lovely experience to share! Your growth with all your animals is so very special. Thank you giving so many of us part of your life

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    1. Michele, great to hear from you! You helped to start this, years ago, by asking what I wanted to do more than anything once my cancer was in remission. I shocked myself by blurting, “Ride my horse!”, suddenly realizing how important that felt. Over time, for me, the sport has shifted from riding to driving. Horses are a great lesson in adaptability. They keep giving, being fun, and best of all, creating ties among people who’ve loved them.

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