Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Horsing Around, Part 2

Yesterday, I did indeed ride Cupcake—for about 15 minutes in the pasture. Even though she's only 15.1, I still had a problem getting on. Given age, weight, and health issues, I couldn't raise my foot high enough to mount, even with the step-stool. Cupcake stood like a rock, though, so I can't fault her. With some help from John and my friend Kathy, I sort of climbed up the saddle. Then Cupcake and I tooled around the pasture for about 15 minutes.

At 27, Cupcake still has her power steering, still works off the leg—and is still slow. The slowness I do not mind, although I did back in our show days of the 1980s. Slow is fine now. I've slowed down a lot myself in the last couple decades.

Cupcake's main problem yesterday was excessive whinnying. Cousin Mary had already mounted 16-hand Melody (Mary is younger and more agile than I am) and had taken off down Bar Ridge Road to the farm. At almost 19, Melody still has a lot of go—so she went. Cupcake, who'd been grazing in the front pasture, didn't see her pasture mate leave.

It wasn't until I'd called Cupcake in, tacked her up, and returned to the front field to ride that Cupcake realized she'd been left behind. So she whinnyed. And whinnyed, etc. We're talking loud whinnying here. Every time she whinnyed, she sort of vibrated. Remember those mechanical horses that cost a quarter per ride. That's how she felt. Interesting ride.

Later, after I'd untacked Cupcake, Mary and Melody returned. Both mares were reunited, and no doubt compared notes about their experiences. Then Mary drove down the road to see if her own horse was rideable. If so, she'd ride by later.

Turns out that Doc, her old Quarterhorse gelding was indeed rideable, so Mary returned about the time John was leaving on his tractor to move round bales at the farm. For a moment, it looked like a parade on Listening Hill Road:

Then Mary and Doc went one way and John and tractor the other. The parade was over.

And this as good a stopping place as any.

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Blogger Amy Hanek said...

So... we can assume that EVERY year on May 30th, there will be a horse and tractor parade?

Sounds like fun! I'll be there next year!!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

Becky, before you know it, you're going to be running cans with Kelly and I! You go girl!

Seriously, I know, it's tough getting up there after a big break...and getting older. I'm still using the mounting block myself.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

No chance that I'll ever run cans!

Cupcake and I did some games classes in our younger days. We even won a few back-up races. Cupcake may be slow going forward, but she could shoot backward like nobody's business.

But barrel racing? Nope! Not even gonna try.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Amy Tate said...

Becky, I know all about the whinneying. Flame my mare went into season at a show once. It was horrible!!! I was so embarrassed. If the hollering at every horse wasn't bad enough, she had to go and put her backside in every horse's nose. I wanted to cry!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

You can win MONEY... Ha ha.

Hey, I bet you're sore from that little ride.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

In a decade of showing, Cupcake and I maybe won enough money three times to pay for gas, dry cleaning of riding habit, and entry fees. All the other times, we lost out.

Not sore a bit from the ride (just from aging, arthritis, etc.).

7:44 AM  

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