The horse's pasture to the East...

Friday, December 3, 2010


Remember what it was like on Christmas morning when you were a kid? It was overwhelming for me. I'd get so excited the night before that I couldn't sleep, couldn't eat and when the cousins were over for the holiday, I couldn't stop talking either.

The Mom's had to post sentries outside the bedroom doors to keep us in bed until morning, at least until we all collapsed from exhaustion. I was nearly always the last to sleep. The anticipation was wonderful and terrible.

I'd toss and turn, talk to my dog about what I thought I was going to get because I was absolutely sure I'd been good enough to get everything I'd asked for, and then I'd toss and turn some more.
Well, today my new Paintshop Photo Pro program arrived in the mail. There weren't any wrappings to take bows to save. But I still feel like a kid in a candy shop with deep pockets and all the time in the world to choose what I want.

I'm still learning how to upload photos and how that works on this BLOG site, so there's a random feel to how they're being used tonight. This doesn't tell a story the way I'll want it to. For now I'm sampling and playing. Sort of like I did with Lucky and Apache today.

Yesterday a friend of mine, another Parelli student further along on her journey than I am on mine, found my Blog entry. In it I'd complained about being thoroughly stuck smack dab in the middles.

She reminded me that there are five zones, seven games, and any number of patterns . Then she said "Keep it light and try something new that you haven't done before. "
I thought about that suggestion for a while. How do I take what we've done before and make it different? Where do I begin? And how do I sustain it?

No place like the beginning.
I sent Lucky out of the barn doors and asked him to wait for me, using my twenty too foot rope. And I played with him from much further out on the line. I tried to stay at least fifteen feet away from him. We weren't pretty together. But oh, the conversations we had!

He'd turn and flick his ears at me, more concentrated than I've seen him in quite a while. " Like this? Again? How about the other way?" He kept trying to come in, so I'd let him but only for a brief moment. Then out I'd send him with a new request. " Let's go sideways to the next tree."

We got tangled in our was much harder to keep our focus from that far away. I tripped and laughed. He came to me to see what was going on. He's just as pretty from the ground when I'm laid out flat with the giggles as he is when he's standing in the sunlight and it makes that gorgeous line across the topline of his back.

In short ... WE HAD A BLAST! All I had to do was change the perspective by changing the distance. By the end of our session both of us had our energy up and our ears forward. Maybe I"m beginning to get the hang of this? We shall see. At any rate, when we finished today he was still licking and chewing when I took his halter off and gave him his massage. The deep sigh he gave me as we finished said it all.

You can see from the photos that it was one of those "many and varied" kinds of days. My favorite kind of weather too with crisp, clear air and clean blue skies.

I thought I'd give my "kind of random, whatever you have in the fridge" sandwich recipe to match the feeling of the day. It isn't really a recipe. Just something I made up to go with the creative juice I'd just shared with Lucky this morning. I'll give it to you the way I made it. John loved it and had me make him another one, so I guess it must have passed the test.

NANCY'S STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART SANDWICH RECIPE, to be served with creative juice and random laughter :

1. Start with the best rye bread you can find. We bought ours at a local bakery, where they bake the bread in a wood fired stove.

2. Assemble : Left over baked sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in to thin slices ...thinly sliced red onion ...thinly sliced yellow summer squash ...slivered red pepper ...slivered green

pepper and shitake mushrooms.

Heat your favorite iron skillet at medium high and pour a tablespoon or two of olive oil in to it. Stir the vegies in it until lightly browned and flavor with soy sauce and diced candied ginger.

While that's browning, turn your other skillet to the same heat and spread your two slices of bread with mayo on both pieces. Add some chow chow pickle relish on one side.

3. Carefully pat the vegies on top of the relish side and gently press the

other piece of bread on top. Spread real butter on it and put it in to the hot skillet to brown, buttering the other side as it lightly browns. Turn it over and let that side brown. If you want to, add a bit of freshly grated sea salt...but not too much...on the outside of the sandwich.

I served it with Brazilian Lemonade. That's a mix of coconut milk (about 1/4 cup) and limeade (about 3/4 cup) mixed well.

Your sandwich will be a bit messy, with things coming out the sides. That's OK. Hold it over the plate while you eat it and then eat all the fallen out parts with your fingers, licking them afterwards. Sandwiches are supposed to be finger food!

I am ever yours, Nancy, smiling again.

(The new photo program has a thinify setting and settings for painting out wrinkles and blemishes. don't be surprised if I miraculously begin to grow younger before your very eyes! *huge grin here* )


Unknown said...

Hi Nancy,
I found this post through a comment on facebook... I think. I opened it yesterday but just got to reading it, so I got a bit fuzzy on how I got here. :)

Thanks for sharing your stories. It is always inspiring to read someone else who is engaged on the path of discovering themselves through horsemanship. I've not been successful in finding too many people writing about such things.

I write my own blog at

Nancy, smiling! said...

Nice to meet you Les! I'm glad you stopped by. If you're not a friend of mine on FB, send a request so we can stay in touch. I'm always looking for other people who are on a similar path to mine.
I post my BLOG entries to FB every time too, so they're easy to find.
I'll go check yours out.
Nancy, smiling even in the cold...