Getting ready for Reverie

I introduced the twins to Reverie yesterday.

I figured it was time, since she’s going to be coming home in less than a month (GACK!). I didn’t want the first time she saw a pair of loud, hyper two-year-olds to take place during the stress of her move.  There’s enough craziness at our place that every day is a lesson in desensitizing:  kids on trampolines waving towels over their heads, flying kites over the paddock, wagons full of shrieking children being pulled all over by a hyper Labrador….

If I can take any steps ahead of time to make her transition to Bean Acres easier, I definitely want to.

In case you were curious, the answer to “How many people actually refer to it as Bean Acres?” is still “just Becky”. Even when I do use it, it’s usually only in my head.  There’s something about naming your property and then saying it out loud that feels a teensy bit pretentious, like you’re talking about yourself in third person.

Well, I don’t care. I’m going to keep calling it Bean Acres, in hopes that one day it will catch on.

Of course if really wanted everyone to call it by a name, I could probably should have named our home FartFartPoopFart Acres.

And if you don’t understand why that is, then I congratulate you, because you aren’t living in a house filled with mostly males. Seriously. I will never understand why farts are so unbelievably funny.

Anyways, I had a few minutes in between getting off of work and showing up at the house to get started on dinner, so I decided to stop by and see if I could say hi to Reverie, and scratch on her a little bit.

There have been times when I’ve come to see her she was waaaaay out on the back side of 20 acres and all I could see was a tiny brownish speck next to a larger brownish speck, but lately Kathleen has been putting her in a shady paddock during the day, to protect her incredibly sensitive pink nose.

I foresee a lot of Destin/long-nosed fly masks in our future.

Luckily for me, Reverie and her mom (Sparkle) were hanging right by where I normally park, so it didn’t take very long to find them.

Reverie was very, VERY interested in the twins, almost to the point of spooking. It didn’t help that Finn was in a hyper mood and kept jumping rather than walking, and that Magpie had dragged along the singing puppy she takes with her everywhere.

 

His (apparently it’s a boy?) name is Doggie PurpleBow, and bless the makers that gave him an off switch that’s easy to switch off but hard for toddlers to find.

Seriously, thank you. There are only so many times you can hear “That’s my tummy!!! Tummy begins with ‘T’!!!! T…U…M…M…Y.. spells TUMMY!!!!” followed by semi-maniacal animatronic giggling before you get the urge to run away and join a cult. That off switch saves my sanity.

For being only 3 months old, I am really impressed at how laid back Reverie seems to be. I know a lot of adult horses that would not stand still with two screechy twins coming running full tilt at them, complete with creepy singing dolls in their arms.

I prepped the twins as we got near, to better direct them.

“This is Sparkle. Sparkle is a mommy horse. Sparkle is nice.”

And dude.

Sparkle is SO nice. Every horse should be a Sparkle.

Sparkle is just a gem of a mare in a very pretty package. You could tell she really liked the twins, because she just came alive when they drew near, swooping low to snuffle at them and standing patiently as they patted the sensitive tip of her nose with their inept little hands.

Magpie, who lives up to her namesake more every day with her penchant for shiny, sparkly things, was in awe of the name.

The horse was named Sparkle.

Not only was the horse named Sparkle, but she, Magpie, also had on a pair of sparkle shoes (light up Sketchers with sequins I found at a yard sale.)

She couldn’t get over it- it totally blew her little two-year-old mind.

“Yook, Spahkle. Hi, Spahkle. Spahkle shoes! My Spahkle shoes. You Spahkle. Dese my spahkle shoes!”

Sparkle is thinking, “You’ve literally been showing me your shoes five minutes straight, saying the same three sentences over and over. I get it. I see them.”

 

While the twins were VERY interested in Reverie, and she in them, I discouraged it as much as possible.

“That’s Sparkle, she’s a nice horse. And this is Reverie, Sparkle’s baby. Reverie is Mommy’s new horse. Reverie is a baby, and Reverie bites. Hard. It will hurt. No touching, or she might bite you. This horsie bites.”

Okay, maybe Reverie doesn’t actually bite…but hey man, two-year-olds and three-month-old horses don’t mix. Reverie would probably nip out of boredom given half a chance, and I’d rather terrify the twins a bit and have them keep a safe distance than try to explain the concept to them or give her a chance to learn bad manners.

After all, for all Reverie is amazingly sweet and calm, she’s still just a foal. I trust her as much as I would trust a hyper kitten near priceless lace curtains.

The twins were horrified at the concept that Reverie could bite, and proceeded to spend the rest of their time lecturing her.

“No biting. No bite. No. Ow. No biting,” they said, over and over…. and over and over…. and over and over, in a kind of squeaky tandem Gregorian chant.

It almost made me miss the whole “Dese my Spahkle shoes” litany. I wish I’d thought to take a video instead of a pic.

You can actually see Finn saying “no bite” here.

Anyways, it’s a little disconcerting that Reverie will be coming home in a few weeks. For the one thing, it means summer is almost over, and that makes me sad. With my full-time job, I feel like I barely spent any time outside.

In addition, although I’m not nearly so worried as I would have been if I hadn’t brought home Jupiter last year…. She’s only going to be four months old.  Jupiter was the youngest horse I’ve ever owned, and he was already a yearling when I got him.

The idea of her actually being here, so young and impressionable, is totally terrifying.  I know in my head that it’s actually not, but my heart disagrees and keeps insisting it really is terrifying.  Reverie represents years (decades?) worth of dreaming come true.

The most disconcerting thing about her impending arrival is the fact that she’s, you know, going to actually be mine. I’m a perpetual daydreamer. I’m used to daydreams – they’re easy, and airy, and fun to live in…. but the Bean is a realist. When I daydream, he tends to take it literally.

 

It used to cause us issues in our marriage, because I would want to daydream with him (“Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get 30 chickens and make money selling eggs? Wouldn’t it be great if we had more property, and could raise our own beef?  What if we packed it all up and headed to Montana? Look at this gorgeous chocolate Labrador, I wouldn’t mind owning a dog like this”, etc, etc.) and he would start to get stressed, trying to figure out all the complexities of turning my imaginary scenarios into a reality.

Even after ten years of marriage, it still weirds me out when the Bean manages to turn my daydreams into reality ,and I think that’s where I am at now. The sheer realness of Reverie makes me nervous.

In my head I am Alex Ramsey on a deserted island with my amazing Black Stallion who is bonded with only me. I am athletic and confident and young, galloping bareback over deserted stretches of sand, and I always know the right thing to do.

In reality…. I’m a 37-year-old mom of four who is out of shape and struggles with depression and has never really taken many riding lessons or had a foal this young, and what the heck am I doing with a horse this nice? What if I ruin her? What if I break her?  I asked for water, but someone handed me the nice china, and can I please just use one of your plastic tumblers to get a drink out of so I don’t have to worry about dropping it?

Caspian is also an amazing horse, but he wasn’t necessarily my decision so I didn’t feel as responsible for him as I do for Reverie.  That’s not to say he’s not magnificent – he’s athletic and amazing and calm and wonderful and talented and I’ve never met a horse as honest as he is.  Still, I didn’t set out to buy him. A horse trader sold him to a horse trader, who sold him to my parents, who needed to find him a quick home after they had some unexpected hospital time.

I’m sure I’d feel just as panicky if I’d bred him from scratch.

Of all the things that are not on my control, there is one thing I can actually do something about, so I’ve channeled all this:

Image result for now what do I do

 

into slowly getting back into shape. I set an initial weight loss goal for myself back in May, and I’m almost there. Once I hit that goal I will then let myself join the local CrossFit.  I know, I know, Crossfit is the devil/the best/the worst/your savior.

I’ve heard it from a lot of different people, trust me.

The thing is, I tried CrossFit before, and it suited me perfectly. The trainers were wonderful and modified all exercises for out of shape me….

But during the free trial week I found myself getting super competitive and I pushed myself too hard for where I was phsically.  I didn’t injure myself – I just ended up having to go up and down stairs on my butt for three days because I didn’t trust my quads to hold my weight.

You haven’t really lived until you’ve tried to navigate stairs on your butt with a set of 7 month old twins in your arms.

I know you’re imagining that in your mind, and let me assure you, the reality of it was even more ridiculous.

Anyways, I figure I’m almost as the point where I can try again, and hopefully by the time Reverie is rideable I’ll be in a place where I can sit a three or four-year-old green broke horse (you better believe I’m sending her away for the first 90 days!) and not feel totally off-balance from lack of core strength.

Giving myself something to do helps. It gives me something to do while I think, and as I ponder, I’m also realizing that it’s okay. It’s okay to love something this much.

In those quiet moments where I’m honest with myself, I think that loving Reverie may be my biggest fear of all.

When I was in my early 20’s I had a flame point cat named Fuego. If you’ve never had a close connection with a pet, it will sound weird to say this, but he was my best friend.  When he escaped from my house and got hit by a car, I was devastated. That’s not hyperbole either- after I received the phone call letting me know he’d died I started crying so hard I had to leave work, and for the rest of the week I barely managed to pull myself together enough to show up for my receptionist job.

Months later, still in the midst of  my private mourning, I lay curled on my side under the covers as silent tears dripped down my cheeks. I still felt aching and raw, lonely for the way he used to crawl under the covers and sleep against me. And that’s when I had a total lightbulb moment, to the point I even muttered it out loud:

“Well, this is stupid.”

Fuego would have lived, what … Fifteen years at most? Seventeen? It just didn’t make sense to give away that big of a piece of my heart to a pet only to have it destroyed every decade or so. There wouldn’t be anything left of me when it was all said and done.

And that was that. That was the last time I let myself get really close to a pet. Oh, I still love my animals, but it’s an easy-going love, more like warm affection.

With Reverie I can sense it is going to be so much more, and it makes me nervous.

Of course, maybe I’ll get lucky?  Maybe it’ll turn out that she has a nasty PMS cycle or that she likes to pee on my shoes whenever I get close to her, or barely tolerate me scratching on her neck.  Maybe she’ll be a habitual stall kicker, or like to stomp chickens, or rub her mane out, or pin her ears a lot?

It’s a weird thing to secretly hope for, but then at least I’ll feel like I can relax, because then she wouldn’t be quite so perfect, so the idea of being responsible for such a perfect daydream of a horse won’t be quite so daunting.

And in the meantime…. if you’re looking for books on training young horses over at the St. Helens Public Library, you’re outta luck.  I’ve already checked them all out. After all, when in doubt, go to the library.