Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Being Thankful For the Little Things

Zip, grateful to have a job in this economy




T
his has been a big week for gratitude.  My gratefulness week began with the article I read at Huff Post about the thxthxthx.com blog whose author, Leah Dietrich, is writing daily thank you notes, by hand (really!  They do still make pens and paper!) and posting them online.  She’s thanked such mundane things as a bad day for reminding her that there are good ones and a head cold for helping her appreciate feeling good.  That resonated with me, and I proceeded to thank Zip’s hoof abscess for reminding both of us to be patient and that we are mortal and easily damaged.  Granted, my thanks wasn’t in writing and it seemed to involve some untoward language, but the feeling was there. She thanked the word "queer" for "being as hard to define as a person is." 
And I enthusiastically thank the SMB sports medicine boots (elite version in white) for being so easy to put on that I did it on the fly as Zip trotted past me in the pasture to tide him over till dinner when I could corner him for a full herbal wrap spa treatment on his puffiness. 
And I thanked my arthritis, earned on the backs (or under the backs) of more horses than I can still name over the years and given a gold-medal boost by chemo.  The pain reminds me that my time for riding may be limited.  The days without pain remind me that that’s a crock o’poop and I’ll keep riding till someone pries the reins out of my cold, still hands (or I can't find a mounting block with enough steps to let me just ooze onto the horses' backs).  Not today.  Most likely not tomorrow. 
There’s an article in the back of this months’ Practical Horseman by a wonderful 81-year-old rider who shares her thoughts on the eventuality of giving up riding.  "Not today," her riding buddy reminded her.  They were riding "today".  Thanks to her for pointing out that the end comes when it comes, and there’s no point getting one’s chaps flapping over it.  
Thanks for the child who filled my heart file with
baby kisses and still lets me embarrass her as an adult.
Thanks goes to the Aussie researchers who did some excellent scientific research on the best footing for horses at work.  There will be a separate post about that study, but they deserve thanks as I was in a ring-footing crisis the day the results appeared and they saved me $8,000 on unnecessary trendiness and set me on the path to Happy Horse Legs.
Thanks to Duke, who showed me a few days ago that my aging, arthritic body is more than sufficient to stop a panicked 300-pound animal at the far end of the lead rope.  I recommend the prone position, face-down, preferably in tall weeds for maximum traction.  I thank the braided nylon lead for not shredding.

A big shout of thanks to the little yappy dog across the street for reminding me in a less-than-fatal way that even the quietest, most stolid of horses can freak out given sufficient (to their minds) cause.  Prying Leo out of my lap was almost as much fun as rescuing Duke from the demons in his head.  Good day all around.
I’m grateful to my horses—the ones that never give me any trouble, at least—for being so accepting of my idiocies.  Last month Stacy Westfall wrote about being tuned in to your horse and recognizing that they have moods, too, and that what you did yesterday may well be affecting your equine partner today, so cut him some slack.  He’s flexible enough to give up his bonding time with his buds to haul your puffy butt around the block.  You be flexible enough to let him alone if he suggests today’s just not your day.  Thanks, Stacy, for reminding us.
I’m most grateful to my SA, Cliff, non-horse-guy that he is, who while I was taking Duke for a drag through the neighbor’s shrubbery, was busily removing my Dutch iris rhizomes from a nest of poison ivy in the flower bed.  And I’ll thank him in advance for replanting them and for loading and unloading the bags of mulch to keep them clear of further infestation as my butt doesn’t take activities like Duke’s roughhousing so well anymore. 
There’s more to be thankful for, but my head is starting to hurt.  It’s a beautiful, cool, sunny day for which I am most grateful, and it’s giving me a headache to miss it.  Thank you all for taking the time to read this. 
I’m outie, 'cause today's not the day I stop!


5 comments:

Susan Schreyer said...

Wonderful, Joanne! You made me smile, and think.

I'm going to start my own thank you list!

momamama said...

I am thankful for you Joanne, you are always a joy to read!

Joanne Friedman, Freelance Writer, ASEA Certified Equine Appraiser, Owner Gallant Hope Farm said...

Glad I could give you a leg up, Susan. I'll enjoy hearing what and who you're thanking.

Joanne Friedman, Freelance Writer, ASEA Certified Equine Appraiser, Owner Gallant Hope Farm said...

momamama, your artwork is always inspiring to me. Thank you for that!

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