Making Hay
Week of January 1st, 2006 | The weather was warm and cloudy.

Julia looks back on 2005.

Julia looks back on 2005.

A letter from Julia

Saturday afternoon, I felt the urge to get up on my horse and just ride-ride on my horse—run away from my troubles and fears—express myself! I pull on my riding gear and fly out the door as my mother calls, "Be careful! And not too fast!" Yeah, yeah, I wave as I grasp a lead rope and run out to my horse.

Half in hour later my pony Tasha is ready to go.

"Are you ready," I ask, starring into her eye I say, "Promise me you will do your best to make us dissolve into one living creature." Tasha refuses to give one sign that she promises, reluctantly I hop on her back, hoping to hop off alive. Lately my pony has been quite a handful, always wanting her way. I say black, she says white, I say night, she says day. When riding a horse you need to agree, both rider and horse should be happy, you need to learn to make one creature out of both of you.

As I began to ride the trail, I noticed the sun was just beginning to set. I urged Tasha forward into a trot and then a canter, I wanted to get to the best spot on the farm before the sun set, a good 1/4 mile away. Before I knew it Tasha was racing at a full out gallop by now. It felt so good to just let the horse go. Tasha loves to run fast, I love it too. I feel so free. This is the one time in my day where I can forget everything, I can run away from it. And you don't even need to run yourself.

The sun was just setting below the horizon as we reached my favorite spot to watch the sunset. I took in a deep breath as I sat and watched the sun. Then I rode Tasha through the woods on a narrow path that my dad had just recently cut. It's a thick woods full of oak trees and it has hilly areas. It's my second favorite place on the farm. As Tasha and I took a turn that leads to the outskirts of the woods, (which is surrounded by pastures), I saw the heifers grazing in the pasture right next to the woods. I spotted my favorite heifer, Bella. Bella has a black spot around her eye, I named her Bella because that means beautiful in Latin. All the heifers stopped eating and stared at us. I talked to them the way I usually speak to animals--they knew it was me. Heifers are so curious, that I always try to think what they might be thinking.

After I finished the trail in the woods, I got back on to the path heading back home. Just then I passed a huge pasture and wanted so badly to go for one more run through the field. I steered Tasha into the field and she just threw a fit! She began to buck and rear and she kept trying to turn the other direction. She wanted the ride to be over. I tried to control Tasha the way I had learned in my lessons. I kept fighting her until she gave up and I got my way, that's the way all my trainers had taught me. But sometimes I think; why is the rider always supposed to get their way?

Happy new year, and peace on earth,

Julia K.

Farm Fact: There are about 75 million horses in the world. A horse's height is measured in hands. One hand equals about four inches. Horses have a keen sense of smell, hearing and direction. Their skin is sensitive and will respond to the slightest touch.

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