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A horse of course

by Karen Brier

One of the things I love about Ruhenstroth is the horses. I want a horse. I haven’t told anyone because I know it’s not practical. I’ve never owned a horse – we did have a mule when I was much younger but that’s not really the same. I’ve heard my friends talk about the horses they used to have. Used to have because now they don’t have the time or the money to keep them anymore. With the cost of feed skyrocketing and the crazy hours that I work, I know it’s nuts. I mean, I don’t even ride. But I can’t help imagining how it would look to see horses grazing outside and learning to ride. We could go for rides up in the Pine Nuts. Riders go by on the trail next to our house all the time. A friend from work lives across the field and she has horses. So I have nurtured this fantasy in secret.

Now Jacob has asked if he can have a horse. He’s at a good age to be responsible for one, but I’m not sure any of us really understand what’s involved. This summer we’re trying to enroll him in the Chappell Ranch horseback riding camp – Wild Willy’s Horse Camp. We’d like for him to go mid-June to end of August so he can learn about horse care as well as riding. I think it will be good for all of us to understand how much work it is to take care of a horse, as well as the expense. We like that the camp gives the kids a chance to be involved in all aspects – it’s more than just showing up to jump on a horse that is already saddled and ready. There’s feeding and grooming and mucking out the stalls. And how do you bathe a horse? Is it like washing a car, but one that moves and can nip you? How do you know if your horse is healthy or not? These are things we all need to understand before we fence in the front lawn for a horse meadow and build a stable.

In the meantime, I have been reading about the Nevada B Ranch Mustang Sanctuary. From their website: “The ranch provides food, shelter, medical care by licensed veterinarians, and training as necessary. These horses are encouraged to flourish and are given full rein of the beautiful ranch acreage for roaming and playing and interacting with the other horses on premises. The goal of the ranch is to Rescue, Rehabilitate, and Re-Home horses in need. It is a Non-Profit 501-c3 organization so your donations are tax deductible.”



It’s not going to happen anytime soon, so for now I’ll continue to nurture my fantasy as I sit outside on the porch and watch the sun setting and imagine a handsome trio of mustangs profiled against the backdrop of the Sierras and listen to my neighbors’ horses.



Reach Karen Brier at RuhenstrothRamblings@yahoo.com, or 790-0072.