At this time on this morning 31 years ago, we had already been up for several hours. Bill's sister Margaret was here for a visit, and if I remember correctly, we had driven the day before to Polson, Mont., to visit my friend and former student Patti Brown.
So, we were all pretty tired after that drive, but that didn't stop me from getting up in the night to go check on Mrs. Black.
She was out in the barnyard and she was with child, and that child was on the way.
By the way, Mrs. Black was a horse. I had bought her from our friend Jean.
Let me explain a little more. One morning when I rode my bike over across the lake to a place where I thought Mrs. Black had moved after I'd sold her to my friend Carolyn, I accidentally took out a long section of electric fence, which was not that visible when I had pedaled down a driveway.
Knowing I had to put the wire back where it belonged but not knowing if it would shock me, I went to the nearest house where a lady came outside to her porch in her bath robe.
"I came over this way looking for Mrs. Black and accidentally ran through some of your fence," I announced.
The puzzled look on the lady's face inferred to me that she wondered why some adult woman would be riding through her electric fence at this time of the morning.
I'm sure that thought was running through her mind, but she was much more concerned about another item.
"Who's Mrs. Black?" she asked.
"Oh, she's a mare I used to own and knowing she was in a pasture somewhere over here across the bridge, I thought I'd ride by and see her," I explained.
At least part of my sudden appearance at her door started to make sense. We talked about the electric fence, and assured that it was not gonna shock the beejeebers out of me, I said good bye, wasted no time putting it back where it belonged and rode home, once more feeling the embarrassment of my lifelong klutzdom.
When we did own Mrs. Black, a big black registered Quarter Horse mare with bloodlines going back to Thoroughbred legend Man o' War, we bred her to my sister's Barbara's Arabian stallion Sunrise Request aka Ricky.
Well, in the early hours of that morning, Mrs. Black gave birth to Black Rambo---Black because of his mom's name; Rambo because of the Fourth of July or something dealing with tough guys. It all made sense to us at the time.
Rambo was a solid bay; he grew into a handsome 16-hands. Rambo was always rambunctious and at times obnoxious, but for riding, he turned out to be a dream.
My sister Barbara trained him and rode him at shows in Montana and Washington, at one time earning some champion ribbons in hunter pleasure and show hack at a regional show. My sister Laurie also cleaned up in some classes on him at a local show or two.
I simply rode him and enjoyed him, admiring him even more as at different times and for different reasons he lost the sight in each eye.
Rambo's health problems over the years cost me a lot of money, but I never regretted the vet bills because he was such a special animal. When you can ride a blind horse and lead the pack of other riders on a trail with rough footing, you've got a good horse.
One day when Rambo was 22 and had lived here at the Lovestead with his buddy Casey for one year, I spotted him outside of his pasture enclosure trotting around in a truly disoriented state.
Several times, I saw him collapse to the ground, get back up and start running different directions, often coming in contact with obstructions and obviously oblivious of what was happening to him.
In short, Rambo was suffering from an aneurism and had to be euthanized. It was one of the saddest days of my life until a month later when Rambo's buddy Casey died from a twisted intestine.
The two are buried in the far pasture, and I still think of what great friends they were to each other and for me. So, on this Throwback Thursday, which is Rambo's birthday, it's fun to reflect on what a wonderful horse he was.
And, the painting. This next week marks three years since we lost our mother. She did that painting of Rambo, and she won a special award for it in an American Mother's art contest.
So, there's lots of meaning and a host of memories involving her and a special horse.
I also included one of her paintings at the bottom of this morning's collection (taken around the place last evening and starting off with the adorable fountain my sisters gave me for my birthday).
Mother never really liked that painting because of some technical things she thought could have been better. I liked it though cuz my mother did it. So, she gave it to me since it was never going to be turned into a notecard.
I can't remember if she meant for the three riders to represent her three daughters, but I'm guessing they could---with two showing proper jumping form and the third looking a bit like a klutz. Wonder who that could be?
And, it's possible that rider on the left may represent the time Laurie decided she would never pursue jumping as a horse discipline. Could be Laurie on Omar. Maybe. Maybe not.
Whatever the case, I cherish the painting just as I cherish memories of Rambo and of Mother.
|These beauties were transplanted into a bare spot in my deck garden yesterday.|
|My lens isn't dirty; the window is, and the adorable doggies keep it that way with their wet noses.|
|I enjoyed an after-dinner walk in the woods. Mama Doe and her twins were nowhere to be seen. Thank goodness.|