My Last Post…. of the year!

Usually, for my last post of the year, I like to recap the year past and offer my prospects for the year to come.

In light of recent events, I am not going to do this.  Suffice to say 2011, especially the last 6 weeks, was one hell of a year, with major positives like training Chewie to drive and enjoying 4 solid months of driving him all over the place, and a fun win with Luke and my husband at a new horse show, to major down turns as we all know.

My leg is slloooooowly getting better, and boy do I mean slowly.  After last week’s blow-out and hospitalization and following infection, I am still not better, although as I told my husband today, I am becoming a “proficient limper” so I am mobilizing around a little better.

Today was “my day” and I went to the barn to see the horses (twice actually), and saw War Horse, and dinner and frozen yogurt.

It has been raining allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day.  While the year is not quite over yet, what a way to ring out the old year… with rain. rain. rain.   The horses are soaked, and rather miserable.

I think Dixie was the most miserable of them all because she doesn’t keep a blanket on.  Well, I do have 3 blankies for her, but if *somebody* would stop pulling them off and sideways… eh hem.  I digress.  She’s wet, but none the worse for wear.

Chewbacca and Luke came in for a warm bran mash, and even Dixie had a little although she’s too fat so I rarely ever give her one.  I was trying to give Chewie a kiss.  Chewie gets a little gushy about kisses.  He tries to act like he doesn’t like being kissed, but I know deep down he does.  lol.

And uber pookey pony at the year’s end, too.  All wet, at least from the neck up.

War Horse was a very good movie.  It was quite a little bit like Black Beauty, the horse switches from owner to owner, and the story is somewhat about the life of the owners and how the horse fits in to their life.  It was incredibly poignant and I was in tears more than once.  I love Black Beauty (I’m talking the most current re-make, done in 1994, starring Doc’s Keeping Time).

War Horse made me want to go back to the barn and give my horses a big hug.  So I did.  I’m a little muddier for it, but I love my horses very much and really was compelled to let them know that.  I think Black Beauty has a lot of replay quality, but I’m not totally sure I’m compelled to see War Horse again any time soon.  Not because it wasn’t a good movie, and not because it was too sad.  Maybe because it is 2 1/2 hours.  Long movie.  But it had war scenes on par with Saving Private Ryan.

I won’t spoil the film.  It takes place during WW I and the horse, as said before switches owners several times.  What the horse experiences throughout the film is amazing, and I can’t help but wonder what my own horses experienced in their lives prior to me?  Obviously I don’t think Luke and Dixie saw many wars, lol, but I wonder what their owners were like, what their lives were like.  Chewbacca, I have papers, and a fairly-tractable history on, but Luke… ?  And Dixie?  Both unpapered, and came from who knows where.  Luke I was told was Amish-bred and sold at auction once or twice.  What the heck did he see in his life before we got him from his less-than-stellar-strangle-carrying former abode?  I can’t imagine.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yea, War Horse.  So overall, the movie is filled with an incredible story, wonderful acting, and lovely horses everywhere.  It’s also filled with war time misery, the unthinking concern for the work horses of the war with only a few who truly care about the animals, and many, many, many dead horses.    Over all, I don’t think War Horse cuts it as a kids movie in any way.  Black Beauty at least, although getting me to ball my eyes out at least twice, still is kind of light and kid-safe.  War Horse is not.

Of course, there are also unrealistic scenes of things horses really don’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t do, but hey, it is a movie.  The scene that got to me the most was the barbed wire scene.  I won’t spoil it.  But having had a horse run through a single strand of barbed wire, suffice to say, I don’t think Steven Spielberg ever saw with his own eyes what barbed wire really does to a horse.  There was more than a fair dose of poetic license with that sequence, but during it evoked a scene reminiscent of the story of the WWII soldiers that laid down arms on Christmas.

I am looking forward to 2012, although my list of goals for 2012 has taken on something of a new form.  I just want to be well enough to drive my horses and look forward to competing Chewbacca, Jesse, driving Jesse and Dixie tandem, and getting my husband and Luke to their first major show.  I just want to be well, and have 2 legs to be well on.

I doubt I’ll be up to see the ball drop, usually never am.  But I hope you all the best for 2012 and will enjoy seeing your resolutions!  What do you want to accomplish in this upcoming year?

Have a good one!




About kshai1715

I am a lifelong equestrian, photography enthusiast, sci-fi lover, and sci-fi convention & costuming geek that also loves movies and video games. I am a hard working 30 something woman that survived cancer and am looking forward to a long, healthy, self-empowered life. Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy reading about my horses (and the rest of my life) as much as I like writing about them.
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6 Responses to My Last Post…. of the year!

  1. I am still struggling with my impressions of War Horse. While I love the movie for what it is as a movie, for me it goes deeper than that. Usually, I don’t put much beyond the superficial into a book or movie. After all, a blue sky might just be a blue sky to the author or screen writer, right? Right!

    Ok, so I saw it on my birthday, a day already ripe with mental mayhem and old luggage following me around. But, BUT, the entire time I was watching the movie, all I could think about was the pain and suffering caused to so many because of the war- BECAUSE of the war started by my 4th cousin. Yes, my great-grandmother was cousin to Kaiser Wilhelm. And I’m pretty sure I really only thought of these things as I spent the holidays with family I haven’t seen or talked to in years visiting me, so history and resemblances and all that happy horse poo was brought up. So, clearly crazy runs in my family. I think I need to give it a chance again, when it’s out on dvd and I’m in a better head space.

    Hope you continue healing and that 2012 treats you much, much better!

    • kshai1715 says:

      Well, for me, any show or movie with horses in it is open game for criticism on unrealistic horse scenes. One of my biggest pet peeves is when they dub in the sound of a horse whinnying in a situation where the horse would never be whinnying. Ugh. I HATE that. War Horse, I thought was full of the biggest horse bull I’ve ever seen. Sooooo many unrealistic scenes of how horses behave, how they act, etc. Black Beauty even had less unrealism, and the horse narrated the film! lol. That being said, War Horse was still a good movie, and I enjoyed it. But I am the type that picks horse scenes to pieces, everything from what bit they’re using, to how the rider is handling the reins, to whether or not the horse whinnies in a stupid moment.

      As far as family goes, just remember, you can’t pick ’em. So, don’t look at your heritage, just focus on who you are, and you’re nothing like your ancestry.

      Enjoy the New Year!

  2. RiderWriter says:

    I truly hope you are feeling better soon, and that 2012 brings you good health and lots of great horse activities! I think your plans in that regard sound great. Incidentally, I find it so hard to believe that Luke, obviously a fine-quality Hackney pony, was handed around so much. You were so smart to spot the “diamond in the rough!”

    I saw WH on the 26th, with my husband, mother and 16-yr-old son (who had just finished studying WW I in History class). None of them really knew what to expect but I sure did, since I read the book. To tell the truth, I wasn’t even sure if I should go since the trailers had me in sobs in 30 seconds flat. 😦

    Turned out there was enough movie wrapped around the super-hard/emotional parts that I did “ok.” Plus, like you, I stayed busy mentally critiquing the unrealistic horse stuff. Yes, the whole barbed wire thing made me rather upset! That is EXACTLY what I told the family at least three times afterwards: I’ve seen what ONE strand of it can do to a horse, let alone dozens! Absolutely ludicrous that Joey could run through two or three multi-strand fences, become entangled to the point of immobilization, stand still for hours without dying of blood loss, and emerge with only a scratch on his leg. Which the idiot doctor then pronounced as a “fatal wound!” Hah. That looked like it was worth slapping on some Corona and calling it good – no stitches even needed.

    I also was a little irritated at the way Albert and Joey were reunited, only because it was TOTALLY different from the book so I wasn’t ready for it. Plus, it was completely obvious what would happen. My son leaned over and said,”I think we’re about to hear an owl…”

    Having said all that, YES, I really did enjoy the movie. I was worn out afterwards and Hubby’s hand probably hurt from me clutching it. I especially liked how SS caught all the nuances of Joey and Topthorn’s expressions. That horse who plays Joey deserves an Oscar – he is simply fantastic!

    (One more nit-picky criticism from a Midwest-dwelling former Ag department employee: anybody stupid enough to plow a field vertically on a hillside deserves to have his crop washed away…;-))

  3. kshai1715 says:

    I thought you were supposed to run the crops vertically down a hill so they didn’t get washed away? I thought if you run them horizontally, they would get washed away? Guess I had that one mixed up, but I don’t know anything about crops, but I do know a little about driving.

    I just know it’s pretty stupid to buy a young, light breed horse and do absolutely no driving training with it, and then want to shoot it when it doesn’t plow your field. That had me thinking through the whole movie. And then the barbed wire incident. That horse would have been S-H-R-E-D-D-E-D. Oh well, I digress.

    Thanks for the compliment about Luke 🙂 He is such a good little guy, I’m so proud of him, and very glad to have gotten him. Especially for $600. The day we saw him, his owners brought out a cart taped up with duct tape, and a harness with bailing twine replacement parts. They went to hitch him up, stating he hadn’t been driven in the 2 years they owned him, but his former owner drove him a few times, and as they were hitching him, they accidentally hit him in the legs with the shafts and he nearly got loose.

    The place was in the middle of no where, nothing around for miles, so we would have been hunting loose horse through woods and fields and dale for hours. It would have been nuts. I was a little reluctant to put my green-and-nervous husband in the duct taped cart, but once the pony was hitched, all went well, and I knew right away this was going to be a good pony. He was weedy, unmuscled, underfed, hadn’t been ridden in a long time, and not driven in years, but he was the best pony out of the 6 or 7 we looked at. He was carrying strangles and got my other horses and most of the boarding barn infected. (oops). Fun times.

    This is the picture of him his sellers sent us of him driving:

    And this is what he looked like when we brought him home that January day, now 5 years ago!

    A far cry from the fancy show pony he turned into:


  4. RiderWriter says:

    Well, now you’ve got me thinking: maybe I DO have the crop thing wrong! *heads off to Google* Nope, it’s called “contour plowing” when you go sideways across the contour of the hill, it’s pretty much de rigeur these days, and its purpose is to keep water and plants in the furrows as much as possible. Also, it’s general practice to clear fields of rocks BEFORE one starts off with the plow and horse. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw those two heading for the huge rock because at best IRL you’d be looking at an extremely broken plow share and worst an extremely broken horse or boy from flying metal… 😦 And need I mention a light horse could simply NOT pull a plow through virgin soil by himself. Absolutely no way possible. Two-horse draft team needed, at a bare minimum!

    Okay, thus endeth the agriculture lesson and picking on War Horse (I’m already writing about it over on my blog but will skip that rant). Thanks for telling me more about Pookey Pony’s back story, it’s fascinating! I have a little dream to try driving myself one of these days… I’m not super far away next door in MO, you know, so one of these days I may just turn up in your neighborhood for a lesson if you’re willing! 🙂

    • kshai1715 says:

      Well, if you ever do find yourself in my neck of the woods, I would LOVE to take you out for a drive and give you a lesson 🙂 You should definitely give driving a try. You may enjoy it!

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