Thursday, July 28, 2011

Closing a chapter

I’m finally back in Finland after four crazy days in Switzerland during which we finalized packing up our home, sent our stuff off and cleaned the house from top to bottom.  I did take a moment to visit Becky and Col, which I felt was important.  I really wanted to talk to Col and tell him how Little Love was doing.  My friend in California, who is talented in animal communication, said that Little Love was a bit sad and worried about Col.  He was fine, the same old Col, but I have to admit that somehow the atmosphere was different without Little Love.  Less harmony. 
While I was gone, my friend Melissa visited with Little Love once.  It was her first time hanging out with Little Love “alone” (meaning without me) and apparently Lilo was at her best behavior.  Not that I ever expected anything else J  Melissa had a good time with Little Love.  I’m so happy she is in both of our lives and am looking forward to seeing her relationship with Little Love grow and expand.
This morning, when I finally woke up in Finland again, I couldn’t wait to get to the barn.  When I’m away from Little Love for a few days, I feel such an ache to get back to her, it is nearly unbearable.  It’s hard to explain and I’m not sure I truly understand it even myself.  She is my peace, she is my Zen. 
It was pouring by the time I made it to the barn.  I had called the barn owner beforehand and promised to feed the horses their lunch so she could go home early.  I took Lilo inside to eat, in hopes of soaking her feet while she ate her hay.  She was a bit bug-eyed, which is what she often is when it rains.  She used to get quite nervous on rainy days at Becky’s, but after months of living there, she finally relaxed and a rainy day was just another day.  But now that she’s at a new place again, her old “rain trigger” is back again.  Bad things have obviously happened in the rain or during rainy days long time ago and those memories die hard, if they die at all.  I took her into the barn aisle and she was fine, but when I asked her to put her foot in the bucket, she panicked.  She immediately “told” me she needed to go into her stall.  In the stall we managed to soak the front feet for 18 minutes, but then the thunder got quite loud and Lilo didn’t feel safe with her feet in buckets.  Totally understandable! 
I think she has gained a tad (a very small tad) of weight and her feet looked a bit better.  She has been wearing boots outside in dry weather, which I think has helped.  At least there were no more tears or breaks.  I think it’s true what one of my readers suggested, which was that perhaps she “wears” the hooves short.  I’m fairly sure she will never have a lot of hoof height.  And that is just how it is.  But it would be nice if the horn was a bit harder.  But that will come with time, I suppose.  If we are lucky. 
A new horse is coming to the barn tomorrow evening.  She is a Friesen mare and her name is Metku (ok, that’s not her real name, which sounded long and complicated).  They will be putting all four horses out together on Saturday morning.  This is an event I would love to see, but it looks like I won’t be able to be there until later that day.  Family obligations, so to say.  Sometimes you have to what you have to do.  I’m hoping the fourth horse will bring some balance to the herd, as Manta and Kira are quite tight.  Or rather Manta is tight with Kira.  I have a strong feeling that Kira and Lilo could be great friends, given a chance.  But, in an case, four horses are usually better than three.  I am looking forward to studying the herd closely in the coming days!   
I am now officially moved out of Switzerland.  And I have to admit that last night when the airplane took off, relief was strongly present.  A chapter in my life has closed and a new one is about to begin.  I will always remember Switzerland as the place where I took a different turn on the path of the horse.  Or no, that's not right.  I took that turn in California, but it was in Switzerland that I started blazing a trail.  What will happen in Finland?  Only time will tell.


  1. Just like Griffin's fear of tractors -- I think Lilo may always "worry" about the rain -- but with your understanding and help she can get to a place where she may not be crazy about it -- but knows that she CAN deal with it and she will be o.k.

    I love that you are "sharing" Lilo's friendship with Melissa. Does she have internet access? ....maybe she should start a blog about her own interactions :)

  2. I'm with Carol, I'd love to hear about Melissa's experiences with Lilo. Glad to hear you said hello to Col and Becky, I'm sure they were both glad to see you!
    Oh, the stories that will come forth from observing these now four mares! I'd imagine our Little Love will be her gracious self and have everything in order in no time! Congratulations on starting this new chapter in Finland, and what a journey this will be!

  3. When you say "hoof height," do you mean the distance from the hairline along the wall to the ground? Or do you mean the vertical height from the ground to half-way up the toe wall through the hoof? Cos if the length along the wall from the coronet band to the ground is short, that's fine. I used to trim these Friesians where their previous farrier couldn't bring himself to shorten their hoofs as much as nature intended as they have such big legs, it looked weird to him - so they were always chipping and stretching and having problems. If you trimmed them according to the sole landmarks, their hoofs looked oddly small on those great legs, but their feet were healthy.

    And yes - I'd like to hear about Melissa's experiences with Lilo too!

  4. June, I mean the vertical height! I agree with you about having a short hoof length (the distance from the hairline to the toe along the hoof wall)
    And all of you... I had been thinking of asking Melissa to write some comments on this blog about her own learning curve with Little Love and now that you all brought it up, I did. So, you can see her first post above! :-)