Monday, July 21, 2014

But Not Forgotten

Of all the song we do there is nothing that gets the audience reaction that A.P. Carter's "Can the Circle Be Unbroken?" does. First they nod. Then they smile. By the time we reach the chorus several audience members join in.

The idea of life after death resonates with all people, but for country people there is a special resonance to the hope of rejoining family after death.

It is particularly ironic in that so many of us spend much of our life trying to get away from family.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Until The Well Runs Dry

Modern suburban life pulls young people away from any responsibility for the acquisition and conservation of the the staples of life. When one of those staples is not instantly available they are completely lost.

In dry weather we know what country people who do not have an artisean well all know--you do not waste a drop of water. We know that doing so causes a well to run dry. We also know that if we are patient the well replenishes itself in all but the worst of droughts.

It takes anywhere from four to 12 hours to do so.

During intense dry spells Daddy hauls in water. Sometimes it takes him six hours a day to water everyone. (This situation has only occurred for a few times over the years.)

Most of our animals are on automatic waterers. Twice this week kids have left hoses on over night and the well pumped itself out each time. The first time was on a week day so the kids did not see the result of inattention to the hoses. Yesterday morning as I pulled up to the tack shed I saw water everywhere so I knew that a hose had been left on. I quickly turned off the pump to keep the pump from burning up as the well recharged itself with water.

The reaction of the kids to seeing nothing happen when they turned the hoses on was fascinating. They could not believe their eyes. The turned the spigot yet nothing happened.

It was as if the laws of physics had ceased to exist.

How could this be? Spigot turned on, yet no water--to many it seemed that there must be a problem with the spigot. They knew that this was not how the world worked--to get water one simply need to turn a spigot--it had been that way all of their lives!

With a great sense of urgency they asked me what I was going to do about this cosmic malfunction. They thought that I should have another well put in--maybe two or three just to be sure.

It did not dawn on them that they were responsible for preserving and conserving the water, the soil, and the air. Few had ever given a second's thought that many people in today's world can never get water from turning on a spigot.

Our horse lot is a place of learning--in traditional and nontraditional ways.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Teach Your Children Well: Learning Should Be Fun

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Teach Your Children Well: Learning Should Be Fun: Now this was what the Little House was made for! Yesterday it was filled with riders and guests to hear Gene Gwaltney speak on the artif...

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Teaching the Unteachable

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Teaching the Unteachable: A man is allotted only a certain number of breaths in this lifetime and it is a shame to waste any of them. As soon as one recognizes tha...

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Spinoff

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Spinoff: Yesterday we had a lot of guests at the horse lot. Ate lunch at the Little House, pulled out the guitar and called a pair of the little o...

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Ever Expanding Horizons

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Ever Expanding Horizons: Today is a big day for my Baylis Colonial Spanish goat, War Admiral. He is making his theatrical debut at Trinity Methodist Church for th...

Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: From Lido's Point of View

A very old post from a very bad time.  hist this link, Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: From Lido's Point of View: You do ride pretty, but not as good as me. My riding is a little bouncy cause only part of my body works. Keep on riding. You'll get b...

Friday, July 18, 2014

All The World is A Stage

A kid that can handle a horse in the round pen and handle themselves on stage can handle much of what life will throw at them. My riders can ride. They can train. They can teach.

And some of them can perform.

The first step to achieving any worthwhile goal is to believe that one can do it. The next step is to work hard at it.

The most important step is to refuse to give up. Kaleb is playing guitar with a cast on his broken left hand.

Kaleb and Ashley have been working very hard. Ashley is learning to complement her voice with an autoharp and Kaleb is learning to make his guitar work with her voice. They train as hard as high school athletes in a weight room, every time looking to get the song just a little better.

Last night they gave another first rate performance. Lydia and Jen came out to see them.

For many of us life has only two modes--performing or hiding.

These two are not hiding.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Well Rooted --Choctaw Sundance

I am not a slave to pedigree. In fact, I often think too much is made of them.

I am constantly reminded that Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt produced a Republican son.

But even with that said, it is great to see when pedigrees work. My main horse, Ta Sunka Witco is the grandson of Choctaw Sundance, shown above ridden by his owner and one of a handful of the most important mustang preservationists, Vickie Ives. We recently added three beautiful fillies out of Texas to our herd. Each descend from Choctaw Sundance. One a yearling, one nearly two, and one nearly four who took to saddle training as easily as a horse takes to eating grass.

I see nothing but great things for the future of each of these horses. Each shares an uncommon intellect and a desire to be with people. The older filly already shows a tremendously smooth, ground covering gait.

I have been riding Joey, a large Choctaw a lot this summer. He brings an element of speed to riding that exceeds that of my Corollas. We will soon put our Marsh Tacky mare in the woods. El Rosio, our Bacca is doing great.

The quality of these horses leads to a painful frustration for me. Because these strains are nearly extinct I feel a very strong personal responsibility to maintain them as pure as possible.

I need to create more Corollas to prevent their extinction.

I wish so much that that was not the case. I suspect that a horse bred from El Rosio (Bacca) and Swimmmer (Corolla) would not only give a horse that could easily trot fifty miles, but one that would do it with such comfort that a rider could enjoy trotting fifty miles.

Karma Farms has had a breeding program based on breeding the best horses of different strains to each other and they have produced incredible horses. If I live long enough I want to do the same thing.

And speaking of longevity, some of you have become concerned with the paucity of posts that I have made this summer. Some have been concerned that I might have a health problem.

 I appreciate your concern.

In fact, there is a problem with my health. I have too much good health.

 For the past twenty five years I have regularly woke up in the nature of 2:00 am and that is when I got my writing done.

The result has been a tremendous amount of work getting done with a body that was wearing out much too fast. After a diagnosis of sleep apnea I have been wearing a breathing machine at night and find myself sleeping until nearly 6:00 am. Hence I am getting no writing done.

Therein lies the rub--this machine might make me live a lot longer, but if I can't get enough work done what difference will that make? Of course, I will have to learn to write during the day and at night.

That is much easier said than done--it is incredibly rare for me to get a good idea after 10:00 am.