Monday, September 14, 2009

Always Look a Gift Horse in the Feet

Last November, a friend called to ask if I wanted a filly.  My friend Heather has been breeding horses for a number of years.  She was well-aware that I have always admired her horses. They are athletic, versatile, and intelligent but nearly extinct Cheval Canadiens, better known as Canadian Horses.  I love this breed! They are the national breed of Canada -- sometimes called Little Iron Horses.  It is an ancient french baroque breed originally sent to Canada by Louis Quatorze (King Louis the XIV).  They jump like deer, are calm, well-rounded (I have cut cattle on them), and are generally sweet-natured. They are hardy, short-coupled easy keepers with great bone, and, most importantly, fantastic hard, strong feet -- something with which I have grown very unfamiliar in the last few years.

Jane Savoie and the Fear of Wild Turkeys

 One bright fall misty morning, Ping and I went out for a hack.  While riding through some woods we popped over the crest of a hill.  Suddenly,  huge flapping brown blobs seemed to fly out of the trees from all directions like Dorothy's flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz! It seemed a flock of melegris gallopavo (aka wild turkeys) were roosting up there -- taking both the old redhead and myself completely by surprise. I, having absolutely no presence of mind, stopped breathing.  But the old Pingster just hunkered down for a moment before calmly walking on.