lessons learned from a horse.

Scotch peeking out to say hello

while i’ve often yearned to live the little house on the prairie life, the truth is, i’m as suburban as it gets.  i’m even allergic to horses.

as a kid, i used to save up my babysitting money to ride horses on fridays with my friend katie krause.  we knew nothing about horses and were allowed to take them ourselves for 2 hours anywhere we wanted.  we ended up at the elementary school soccer field on ponies.

into a swarm of bumble bees.

two of them each found a home in each of my pony tails (on my head, not my horse).

i screamed.

i got bucked.

that promptly ended my illustrious horse-riding career.

my good friend, Deanna Lyn, is President of the Board for the Colorado Horse Rescue.  she’s always been a horse lover, and about 8 years ago, she moved from southern california to live her dream on some acreage with her horses.  her determination, intellect, personable approach, work ethic, and care for animals is admirable.

indeed...horses to rest laying down

while at her wedding at the Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat, Colorado, my husband and i learned a lot about horses.  the first thing we learned is that horses can sleep while laying down.  they won’t die.  why did we both think that?

next, horses can survive and thrive in the snow.  they grow thicker and fluffier coat.  sometimes, blanket/jackets are put on horses so that their coat doesn’t get too fluffy so that they’re easier to groom.  the closest analogy i can think of is a shower cap after you’ve had your hair blown out for 2 hours.

a horse’s temperment can be determined by the spots on its face.  generally, a white spot smack dab in the middle of their head above their eyes means they’re good-natured.

horses whinny for a variety of reasons.  handlers can usually discern the different types of whinny.  food.  boredom.  illness.  just like a mommy can figure out her baby’s cries.

cattle dogs exercise the horses at the indoor arena at Vista Verde Ranch. It's like a game of cat and mouse and exciting to watch!

‘cutting’ horses are used to single out cows from a herd.  cattle dogs are also used alongside horses during cattle drives.

Dodger, cattle dog in training. Who me?

cattle dogs, like this adorable puppy, are bred and trained to be gentle with the horses, and smarter than the cows.  

horses like to goof off and roll in the dirt.  when one does it, others soon follow.

wild horses are generally trainable and are usually physically stronger and smarter than domestic horses.  however, they can be tricky and dangerous to break.  people often forget that animals require professional training, especially if they’ve been in the wild.

Thousands of horses, like dogs, are rescued each year.  They’re found malnourished, mistreated, abandoned, and neglected and brought to safe facilities to rehabilitate.  Much like dogs or cats, families can also adopt rescued horses.  I had no idea that unrideable horses have been adopted and very effectively used for autism therapy and disability rehabilitation.


this city slicker learned so much about these beautiful animals and is grateful for the wonderful opportunity to get re-acquainted with them this past week.  i’m already stocking up on allergy meds for our next visit to the ranch!

About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.