Monday, January 9, 2023

Regards, continued


Regards #4


Regards must have been worn out with being nasty towards humans. For her, it was a full time job.She slept most of the afternoon, even snoring a bit. This was from my boss as he was the one doing the evening chores.

 I got busy turning the geldings out and bringing the broodmares in for the day. It would not be long until we would be changing the turnouts around. The broodmares would then be out during the daytime and inside during the nights as it was getting to be early Autumn. The geldings that were healing from whatever injury had happened to them during their time on the track enjoyed being outside.  Most likely, once they were sound as possible, plans would be made to find a new home for them to retire in.

Jellino was so happy with his new vocation, he would tell everyone about it. He’s such a giant puppy dog; Big and he can look fierce easily. I loved him and I don’t usually care much for geldings. Jellino was the first horse who would give hugs in return in my life. One time I was feeling particularly bad and I was in Jellinos stall, in tears cleaning up pooh and telling him about it.. I turned around and wrapped my arms around his neck, sobbing into his mane. He curled his neck down and back, giving me a warm hug. So sweet and it helped a lot. Once again I was shown how intelligent horses are and how they truly are sensitive to other’s feelings. I was just in the beginning of allowing horses to be come into my mind, to learn from them and to enjoy them honoring me by letting me into the real world of the horse. I had learned how to block the constant noise from their chatter. It was around this time that I was really getting into talking with horses. I was in my middle 20s and learning to learn, just like the horses needed to do.  

  Finally, I was done with the morning chores and time to get busy getting to know Regards. I took the carrots the I brought for my favorite girls. ClichΓ© was waiting for me. How do horses make carrots sound so good? I bit off a piece for me,too. Grabbing my brushes, I wandered around to Regards stall. She had not been outside since she arrived and she desperately needed to move. Not to mention that gawd awful stall. Yuck!  

She met me at the stall front, expecting to get a carrot, but I didn’t give it to her right away. Instead, I slid the stall door open,took a huge deep breath of bravery. Stepping into the stall, those ears flattened in an instant. Nostrils flared as she sucked in a breath of me. I got a serious flash back of pain and complete feeling of hysteria .

“ why?Why? It hurts so much! I can’t get away-HELP, someone, HELP!” 

 I didn’t have any idea why I was thinking that when all of a sudden, I realized it was coming from the horse standing right in front of me. She was studying my face as the tears began. I slid my back down the wall until I was sitting. I was sobbing for the dear mare in front of me who had dealt with so much incredible pain and fear. I remember saying over and over again that I was sorry. She asked ‘for what?’

For what they did to you… I now understood what happened. Putting my brushes down, I thought it was not going to be a grooming sort of day at all. Regards looked away like horses do when they are thinking or deciding what to do next and then took a small step in my direction. I thought that sitting in horse manure on the ground was not a wise choice of places to be sitting with a known vicious horse. I stood up and didn’t move, all the while ready to mail for the door in an instant. She was studying me as though she had never seen me before. So, I turned around in a small circle.  That surprised her. She lifted her neck up ,watching me closely. I explained that that way she could see that I didn’t have anything to hurt her with. 

Then, I stood still, waiting. It was up to her to make the first move. I would either be bitten by those humongous teeth or I might survive.  We stood there, looking at each other for what seemed to be like 2 days at least. Then she turned her head around as if she had a bit of stomach pain,and thought some more. She looked back to me and took another step, then another and another. She dropped her head and sniffed my jeans, tee shirt and hair. ( which by the end of the day, also smelled like horses.)  Ever so carefully I raised my hand to her forehead and touched her. Man, those ears flattened so fast! I dropped my arm. 

‘It’s okay, I am not in a rush.’  That’s when I remembered the carrots I had. I slid one from my pocket and she must have known that movement because her put her ears forward,looking for her carrots. I moved soooo slowly with one I my hand (which was shaking at this point) . She gently took it from me. Once again,tears flowed. Not sad tears this time,but tears of joy. 

Friday, January 6, 2023



Once upon a time…. Another Kristale…
I had a job at a small Thoroughbred farm close to Middletown Del. The job covered everything that goes on within a small race training barn. I got there early and dished out breakfast for the horses, bringing the broodmares in for the day. It was early summer and the mornings were breathtaking that early. One mare and I used to stand outside and enjoy the sunrise. She was my favorite so she was just a little spoiled.
After all the ‘night mares’ were in for the day, the farm owner would usually show up, coffee in hand. I’d get busy with stalls, dumping water buckets and rinsing feed tubs. The first horse would be out on the track by 7:00 AM during those days… before the sun got too hot. And so it would go. Most times I was done by noon and could head home.
One morning, I was just a bit late. There was a fender bender and I had to wait for them to get off the road. Guess who was hustling? My favorite mare was even hurriedly brought in much to her dismay. I was walking fast up the shed row to get the geldings out, not really paying attention as that side of the barn was empty of horses.
There I was, all but jogging when I went past one of the end stalls. All of a sudden it was like there was a big explosion from one of the stalls. A huge red explosion. Eyes all but shining red, teeth bared, mouth wide open, ready to sink onto whatever body part of me was available. I was so startled, I hit the wall on the other side of the wall in shock.
“ holy crap! What the hell is going on?!” I stood there trying to catch my breath, trying to see what it was.
Circling inside the stall was a big chestnut mare. Her mane was tangled in witch's knots, her deep red coat showed a lack of care, and her eyes were sunken into her head from abuse, woohoo, scary to say the very least. She stood there, ears completely flattened against her neck, glaring at me with all the hatred she could muster. I said good morning and went back to my normal routine. My normal horses!
I was still shaking inside when my boss came in. I asked him what Is the new horse in for??? He started laughing and said that he forgot to tell me about ‘Regards’ shipping in. He motioned me to sit down.
As the story goes, she had been a “big horse” in the world of Open Jumpers. Anything she was pointed at, she’d jump easily. She was the horse to beat back then. No one knew what happened to her as she kind of disappeared from the show world. One year, she appeared again, fit as a fiddle and began winning again. Slowly but surely, she started refusing jumps. Back then, there was no internet to find things of this sort. One time, she slipped and almost went down.
That’s when she was purchased by a couple of ladies from New York State. According to what my boss had discovered, these two saw Regards as a money-maker. They’d hired what everyone called ‘the cowboy’… Regards jumped or she was spurred and beaten with a whip. She was broken mentally and just about physically. She tried to refuse her jumps but was beaten so, she tried to jump each one clear. By then, she was not being fed. ‘don’t feed her till she decides to jump’ was the rule.
She lost weight and became a horse to be reckoned with. No one could handle her; she had become so vicious. That’s where my boss came into it all. Regards had attacked her “trainer “, breaking his arm. The story was that Regards had to go or they were going to shoot her in the far pasture and leave her for the coyotes to enjoy.
And that’s how she ended up in ‘my’ barn.
In my spare time or at the end of my day, I would sit outside her stall, talking to her. Every time I made a loud noise, she’d attack the stall wall, trying to stop me or the loud noises. One time I had to leave on time because I had an appointment to make. Hurrying to her stall, I told her that I was going but here was her daily carrot treat. As I jogged down the shed row, I heard her whisper a soft nicker. Tears in my eyes and feeling happy, I got into my little car and drove away, promising to see her in the morning.

Photo for interest…
May be an image of 1 person, riding on a horse and horse
You, Louise Leister, Laurel Fedak and 3 others


Tuesday, January 3, 2023


 1/3/ 2023

More memories…. ☺

   “I thank you for the music

And your stories of the road

I thank you for the freedom

When it came my time to go --

    I thank you for the kindness

And the times when you got tough

And, papa, I don't think

 I said 'I love you near enough --

   The leader of the band is tired

And his eyes are growing old.

But his blood runs through

My instrument,

And his song is in my soul --

   My life has been a poor attempt

To imitate the man

I'm just a living legacy

To the leader of the band

I am the living legacy

To the leader of the band.”


“And Papa, I don’t think I said ‘ I love you “near enough.”

** This song means so much more than being about Dan Fogelberg’s father. My dad, even though he never had much to say by the time I came along. He’d been shut down by my mom so often, I think he gave up. The lyrics of the last part make me get teary-eyed. I remember as I got past the snotty kid stage, my dad let me help paint with him. As we walked down our long lane, Dad pointed out some of the birds, the rabbit hiding under a bush, thinking he was hidden. He showed me how to scrape old paint from an old piece of furniture. He told me about helping his dad (my grandfather) who took him hunting geese or ducks out on “The Flats “.  His Irish ancestry gave me my absolute love for horses. Thanks, Dad.

 One time, after I had moved out, we were leaning against a huge tree after they had moved into town…   We shared a bottle of wine. By that time, he knew that his heart would not continue to keep him alive, and had begun having a glass of wine or a beer every so often. He got very serious and looked at me. He said that I was the one person who could keep the legacy of the duck carvers alive. It was in my blood… all of the others were not going to want to, but he hoped that I would continue loving this area as he did and that when I heard the shotguns over the fields and rivers, I’d remember.

   Ohhh, the wonderful stories I got to hear. From the hard work and the arguments, he grew to know as normal, the drinking that went on almost daily.  

  That was when I was much older… when he died in California, I felt him leaving me. I remember sitting outside on some steps crying my heart out. 

  I still miss him and seeing him walking down the path from my parents' house to mine because he knew I was scared of the massive thunderstorms that happened every summer. 

‘Dad, I am still scared of those storms. Yeah, I know that it’s silly, but sometimes I wish we could sit once again talking as they move through. I miss you ❤️


I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Yet, More Memories


 A bedtime story for you…

Off to sleep for me…feeling a little down thinking about Christmas’ past. This year I will most likely be alone and it’s so different from all of the others.  Certainly not what I would choose…

   I remember the first time we were hired to deliver Santa with Lynna and our new carriage. That was so long ago… All the way from the town park along the river, and  through my home town. We drove right down Main Street to the Santa House. There he would exit the carriage and greet all of the little ones waiting for him. The town was decorated with lights and fresh greens. The stores had stayed open later than usual.  People calling “ Merry Christmas” or even “Happy Hanukkah”. It didn’t  matter, there was good cheer was all over.

    It took me back to a time when I was just a kid. Then there were multicolored lights stretched across the street. Now, there are white lights. Cramers’ department store (now an antiques store) had an upper area that had been almost solid windows filled with glorious toys. Bikes, sleds and more. It looked like a fairy land to a little girl who knew that Santa would never bring such wonderful gifts.  

   Driving our carriage through town on that very first night brought it all back again. So many wonderful memories and a few bad ones, but the good ones took over in my mind. All of a sudden I was transported back to when I was a little girl, looking up at that second floor all lit up with multicolored Christmas lights in awe. The blkes shimmering , the wagons in glimmering red and the sleds? Ohhhhh, the sleds πŸ›·. 

   One little girl in pony-tails would fall asleep, dreaming of a beautiful white horse pulling a big white carriage down Main Street,  and guess who was in it? ❤️

Sunday, December 4, 2022

More Memories…


Ohmy gosh, three?

 Yes! Three!

I sometimes feel lonely for my past and it’s fun to remember good times in my life. 

I remember when I was trying to explain about how anyone can think about how it would be to think about something and the horse would oblige..Sometimes a horse will actually allow us to be in their world. The world of the The Horse is an amazing place to be allowed. I have been welcomed into many equine lives and I am still amazed at how welcoming they are once the ever missing trust is added. There was one time that I was giving a lesson using Lullaby Dixie. Dixie was the consummate show mare. When she hit “show mode” everyone knew she was coming. At home, I had her to the place where she was relaxed and happy. One of my adult students had asked about how I could do that… to merely “think “ a horse to stop or turn or even a trot. No physical signals but all thought and having the horse say “ ok, I will do that”. I have to say that sometimes I was amazed myself!

I explained how she was to do in order to be able to communicate with her horse. Non- verbally… She had a tough time communicating with Dixie,but I could see Dixie beginning to listen to her just a little bit. All my student was doing was asking Dixie to stop. Simple, right?  Not when you are attempting to Talk her into stopping, using only one’s mind.

 My student was getting frustrated and wanted to quit. She thought that she was adding more stress to Dixie, not to mention herself. We discussed it a little more and she decided to try once more. 

Around and around the ring they walked…..

My student trying to clear her mind of everything that she was bothered by,and to open her mind to hear her favorite mare’s thoughts. They must have done three times around the rings, and I sure could hear her thinking “ slooooowwwww,Dixie, slooooowwww”  Dixie was walking as slowly as a turtle might move. All of a sudden I “heard” stop, my love” . 

Dixie stopped and chewed on the bit a little, looking around at my student.  Waiting for the next thought from her rider. I looked up at my student.. she had tears in her eyes as she patted Dixie softly saying “ thank you, my wonderful friend “. We never smacked our horses when they were good, instead a soft rub or caress. Words weren’t needed but they happened anyway..

 The rider jumped down the long distance from the saddle as Dixie was pure Percheron. She hugged her around her big neck and Dixie hugged her back by bending her neck gently around her human . Absolute love… a person could feel it, if they were open enough.

To see something like that, well, it will made me a little teary eyed. Dixie got the treat she knew were in a sweatshirt pocket and then they both walked in to the barn. 


New small Business!


 Guess who decided to begin her own small business ? Yep, meeee. I have always been art oriented…. Painting, sketches ,photography and needlework.  I also love to write too. ( haha imagine that!). I have been thinking about opening an online shop but never got around to it. I have now😁. 

 At first I thought about eBay, noooo. Then Etsy but  they also want one’s first child as payment so that was out, as I didn’t have any kids to offer. What I decided on was to create a page on Facebook. It’s called “Winter Witch Design”  and anyone can see it. I have actually sold a small piece. My most favorite one too… 

I am painting rocks and making horse shoe suncatchers. I have not done many but for a couple but I think they have turned out nicely.  The rocks so far, become what the shape tells me will work best. I am still learning… 

Also, I can create personal suncatchers .. with a horse shoe from a best friend who has moved on and the person can decide which colors I will use.   If I can find where I saved the photos I will share a couple. 

Have a wonderful upcoming week! ❤️❤️

Below are the two “wols” ( remember Winnie the Pooh? Owl  didn’t know how to spell Owl correctly, thus the “wol”)   The small one has been sold… my favorite. πŸ˜‰

 The bigger “Wol” is still for sale… 

If you see something, get in touch with me . Winter Witch Designs

This is my first endeavor… it is a small pony sized shoe and I couldn’t find a decent place to get a good photo… stay tuned.

            This is going to be a tiger or ginger cat, but it’s going to get a lot more done yet.

Again, terrible photos but I hope you get the idea.

December 2022


Welcome, December! 

The Florida trip was a disaster. What I “ thought “ was going to be a chance to begin a small business changed from that to a big fat Nothing. The partnership I was told was to happen didn’t, nothing much happened with getting things ready to go , stopped. I was confronted with a grouchy person who acted like he didn’t even want me there. I tried to get along as best I could but after a while I didn’t try. Grouchy remarks got grouchy returns and I stopped trying to get his small trailer cleaned. It wasn’t worth the hassle or trouble. I got no thanks,no acknowledgement of it at all. I felt like I was heading back to where I had just gotten away from. The man is very unhealthy and becoming more so. While I was sick of the rude remarks, I did understand why. When one is worried silly about health, it sometimes makes one short tempered. Still is it okay to be rude and mean to another person?  I don’t think so…So I made plans for leaving. The auto train was my choice and Mr Grumpy at least paid for my ticket back  which was very nice of him. 

The trip to Florida was okay but I got a woman that was seriously into complaining. She told me that I might have to go sit somewhere else because She had asked for no one to sit in the seat beside her.  She grumbled almost the whole trip down. It got a little funny as she paraded about like it was her train. One time she was flouncing her way to the cafe car and ran into the porter. He in turn, told her to take her seat. I didn’t hear the whole conversation, but she was pretty much put in her place. I heard snickers from the front of the car all the way down to her seat… when the train arrived at the station, she jumped up,grabbed her bag and proceeded to get off the train. It wasn’t long till she was stopped, being told that she was to wait until the handicapped people exited.πŸ˜‰ Oh my, such a commotion! She finally got told by one of the passengers to just to sit down and be quiet. ( yayyy) 

The trip back was peaceful until it was night. I had the two coach seats to myself.  Things were super. I had been unceremoniously dropped off at the train station and had to wait till it was time to board.  Seat was found easily, and I read for a while . Like I mentioned, all was wonderful until it was time to go to sleep. Oh my lord! The guy across the aisle snored. He just rattled the windows loose! Needless to say I got very li sleep that night. Then I had a two hour drive through Washington DC to get back also. I was so tired when I finally got to where my bed was, I couldn’t keep my eyes opened.  A early night felt great.

 Sooooo, here I am, once again. Believe me, life isn’t fun right now, but I am hoping it begins to look up again. 

 I wish you all a wonderful holiday with whatever you celebrate

. Lot’s of love, family and cheer! 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy, Happy !!


A Thanksgiving story for you on this important day of being thankful for the people we love, those who are here and those who are unable to.
As many know, I gave riding lessons to adults and kids, for decades. One family had two kids taking lessons that year. It was destined to be a normal Thanksgiving weekend and I was looking forward to a few days off. Hahaha, so were my two bronze turkeys! Harry and Mary were their names. I raised them from little teeny babies and they were great friends with my chickens and horses. Harry used to strut about, tail feathers all plumed out doing his best to impress Mary, but she never showed any interest. He wouldn’t coo at her, obviously saying sweet nothings in ‘Turkish.’ Nothing.
That was the year I had the most glorious “night before Thanksgiving' that I will never forget. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Wednesday before the big weekend, I rode my favorite Appaloosa mare, Miki, bareback to get the mail. The boxes were all down at the end of the long driveway, so it was a nice ride. A beautiful day and my favorite time of the year on the best little horse I had ever owned. Perfect.
We got to the mailbox and I stepped Miki sideways to get the mail from the box. She was such a pro in everything she did. I reached into the box and grabbed the pile of mail. Being the last day for mail that week, there was a pile of it. I stuffed it under my arm, swung my little mare around, and headed home.
When I got home, I began sorting through the mail: A few checks from clients, a few Thanksgiving cards, and some junk mail. I sat down at the kitchen table and began opening the card envelopes.
There was one big envelope that got my attention. It was addressed to Harry at WoodFinn Farm.
The envelope was obviously handmade…Was it from a student? I got many wonderful things from them and this could be a holiday card from one.
Opening that card that day so long ago, I still remember it clearly. It had to be unfolded and the words were printed in crayon. As I read it, I realized that it was a thanksgiving card…. But for my Turkeys?
As I read the card I started laughing:
“Dear Harry,
We would love to have you for dinner so you are invited to our house tomorrow. Don’t bother dressing as we’ll supply that. We hope you can make it!
To the other people at WoodFinn Farm, we wish them a happy Thanksgiving. “

There was a big drawing of a turkey like Harry would look and then one of a cooked turkey on a big table. At the bottom were the signatures of the whole family. The ones who had two students taking lessons.πŸ’™πŸ’œ
May you all have a Wonderful Day!