Monday, February 17, 2014


I love singing.

I mean, don't get me wrong - I'm not great at it.  I'm just kind of okay.  I can mostly stay on key, I don't normally sound like nails on a chalkboard, and if you hold a single note for 5 or 6 seconds straight, I can even find harmony. Sort of.

For the record, in my next life I'm going to have a voice like Julie London, or maybe Ella Fitzgerald, or Etta James - all smoky and sultry, and come-hithery.

In fact, since the majority of you will never actually hear me sing.. can you just imagine I sound like them? Please?  And in this imaginary daydream, can I be wearing some kind of evening gown, and I'm all draping myself over the back of my couch, crooning some jazzy thing, and I'm holding a drink in my hand, and it's not sloshing over the side, because that's just how cool I am?


Anyways, back to singing.  I love to sing, and one of the things I was most looking forward to was singing to my boys as they got older.

I could just see it - I'd sing them soft little lullabies, and eventually they'd get old enough to sing along with me, and we'd just totally bond....

I just remembered right now I've already written a blog post about what happens when I try to sing with my kids.

That video?  It's still like that.  I'll start bursting out into song - REAL song, not loud, goofy Rickrolling -  and my beloved offspring will do everything they can to make me stop.  "Mama?  No singing.  Please.  STOP.  STOP.  NO SINGING.  NO, I NOT WANT TO SING WITH YOU.  NO, I DON'T WANT YOU TO SING.  NO SINGING, PLEASE."

I'd be insulted, but they think Carly Rae Jepsen is better than Etta James, so I don't really trust their musical taste.

Anyways, this brings me back to this afternoon.  The boys went down for a nap, and The Bean was studying for the last section of his CPA exam (woot!  You're gonna do great, babe!), so I snuck down to the barn for a little quiet time with Caspian.

The truth is, I don't get much quiet time with Caspian.  I know this is going to come as a shock, but it's actually not very relaxing, trying to clean and care for a horse while chasing after two hyperactive little boys.  It's better than the alternative of not owning a horse, but still.  Trips to the barn aren't quite as soothing to my soul as they used to be.

To throw another log on the fire, up until a couple of weeks ago, I was really having problems bonding with Caspian.  Oh, that doesn't mean I don't really enjoy my time with him, and he's an awesome horse - but he's no goofy, puppy-dog gelding.

(Spoiler:  Last month we had an unbelievably awesome breakthrough that I'm planning on blogging about later.)

He's an awesome horse, gorgeous to look at, wonderful to ride, sound, steady, sane... but for the most part, while he'll stand for you to hold him, or love on him, or even hug his head, his heart really isn't in it.


After our ride today I had him in the cross ties in the barn aisle way so I could untack him and brush him down.  He's starting to shed, and it's actually been kind of amusing watching him try to remain stoic and "manly" when I scratch his itchy spots (another spoiler:  He totally can't.  I win every time.)

I'd finished everything and was getting ready to put his lead rope back on to lead him to the stall, when I felt him lean in towards me.

The thing is, with Caspian, his friendship offerings are very quiet.  If you aren't desperate for them, like I have been, you'd probably miss it - but the barn was quiet, and I was moving slow and quiet, and I felt it.

He's so good - so very good, with the boys, with their craziness, with my fumblings, with everything - that I've been trying to respect his desire to not be pawed on.  I mean, I want to hang all over my horse, and scratch under his chin, and play with his lips, and kiss him on the soft part of his nose..... but he would prefer that I don't.  He'll let me - but that's just it.  He'll let me, because he's nice, not because he likes it.  And since he gives me everything I ask for, and more... it seems like the least I can do is not force my neediness on him.

The thing is, ever since I made that decision and quit trying to force him to be something he's not, he's been relaxing more and more.  And this afternoon, as he leaned towards me that infinitesimal amount, it felt like such a gift.

I stood there beside him, leaning my forehead on his strong neck, right behind his head.  With Jubilee, I used to lean in the hollow of his withers, but with Caspian, it's the dip where his neck meets his head.  And I leaned there, ignoring the way his shedding hairs were starting to stick to my chapstick, and I felt him enjoy me being there.

We both just stood there, motionless for awhile, while I reached under his jaw with my free hand so I could cup the other side of his face and scratch his cheek.  And then, I'm not really sure why, I started to sing.

I was singing very, very softly, mostly because for all that I felt alone, I knew that someone could come into the barn aisle at any moment, and it felt like such a personal moment that I didn't want to share it - I wanted to be able to hide it if they did see, and just pretend I was grooming him, or something.

But the thing is - when I started to sing... Caspian leaned into me heavier.  His head dropped, and his neck curled slightly around me... and as I stood there, with the rain pouring hard on the tin roof of the barn, and my finger curling through the bristly hair of his cheek, I felt my horse listening to my song.

His head dropped even further, and his breathing became very soft, and I watched, amazed, as his eyelid fluttered lower and lower, until finally, it closed.

And that, my dear blog friends, is why I'm selling my children so I can spend more time with my horse.  Because he lets me sing him to sleep.

And, also, because he's better looking than they are. Hopefully by the time they get old enough to search the internet, this post where I admit that will be so far buried that they'll never find it.

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Blogger Carrot Top said...

Awww <3

February 17, 2014 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger redhorse said...

I love those sweet moments. I wish my gelding was as well behaved as Caspian, but he's a little bit like your sons, always looking for something to get into, always looking for someone to annoy. He'll be eight this year, so I'm hoping he'll magically mature and stop acting like a teenage boy.

I would gladly make a bid on your sons if they were a few years older, they might come in handy cleaning stalls.

February 17, 2014 at 6:34 AM  
Blogger Scamp said...

I love those moments! I also like to sing, though my voice is stupid sounding enough that I just don't have enough f's to give about whether other people hear me crooning to Tico. :) And the songs are usually silly "Ticoman, Ticoman, the gauchos all call you amigo" (based on a song my mother used to sing about Ferdinand the bull). I also have conversations with him, where I say things to him and then reply for him in a goofy voice. "Well Tico, what did you think of our lesson today?" "It was way too hard, way too long, and I really earned more than one Pumpkin Flax Kashi bar, you skinflint!" That sort of thing.

I think the barn kids all think I'm insane.

The other night I had a dream where I was at the barn, and as usual babbling at Tico, but he was holding up his end of the conversation admirably. I told my husband and he asked "Did he sound like Mr.Ed?" I was a bit offended by that - "He sounded like TICO, not some TV horse!"

The barn kids might have a point.

February 17, 2014 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger JJ said...

Honestly, Becky, I felt like I was right there in that barn with you. I could feel, hear and smell it too (smelled like horse poop, rain and sweet hay/horse smell), right!? LOL.

Really, though, I love love love this post. It gave me a horse fix! I also know what you mean about the singing. My dearest daughter will have NONE of my singing...she covers my mouth and pretty much tells me to shut up. Nice ;)

February 17, 2014 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger neversummer said...

That nearly made me cry.
My grouchy old gelding does not like to be touched either. I sing to him all the time though. His song is Chopo, It's about a beloved cow horse who dies, I don't sing him the verse about dieing I'm afraid it would make him sad.I only wish that he liked it when I sing to him, you lucky thing.

February 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger RuckusButt said...


February 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Veronica Foale said...

Isn't it just so lovely when things work like this? I also love to sing, but I don't think I'm as good as I'd like to be. Amy likes it, but Isaac still shrieks. Sigh.

February 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Funder said...

Rare moments are even sweeter for their rarity :)

February 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Albigears said...


February 17, 2014 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

<3 Beautiful.

February 18, 2014 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger AareneX said...


I sing to Fee all the time. She has her own "playlist" that depends on what we're doing, but my favorite is "Personal Penguin" (google the Davy Jones version on Youtube, he's much more adorable than me...also more adorable than the Dragon...)

February 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Liz Stout said...


February 19, 2014 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger nettie said...

Very sweet.. I loved this post !! It took at least 4 months before my lease mare started to trust me enough to allow full grooming everywhere. Now 1 yr later I still have to remind her sometimes & then there are days like today where she decided she wanted to groom me... All night I had keep telling her ok, but I don't want to feel any teeth u monkey face ! Trust/ bonding doesn't come as quick as we like, but it's the slow development & the special moments such as u described that keeps us drawn close to them. Not to mention the the glow we all feel after that near perfect ride... :) :) seriously I read the post to my non-horsey husband & he almost understood/smiled. Btw love your blog !!!

February 21, 2014 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I envy you. I can't sing. Can't carry a toon, tone deaf and beat less too. Nada! Horse pins his ears when I try! What I do do is purr. Just in the back of my throat kind of trilly thing. Apparently I use to purr when I drank my bottle. He puts his head in my arms, I lean my head just behind his ears and I purr to him. . . He has started to purr back. It is a low deep in his throat nicker that harmonizes with my purr. I get what you are feeling. Yours is even more special because it is so new. :)

February 28, 2014 at 7:49 PM  

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