I couldn't wait to get out to the stable to see Dirt Face today. Yep, my horses' name is Dirt Face! He was named after the character, Dirty Steve, swho was sometimes referred to as Dirt Face, in the movieYoung Guns, by my ex and though I tried to change the name several times, Dirt Face stuck and he is now lovingly referred to as Dirt.
It has been ten days since I've seen him (we were on holidays) and I was afraid he might have forgotten about me. I hollered into the pasture, glad no one else was around, I'm sure I sound stupid walking out into the middle of a herd of horses yelling the word "dirt"at the top of my lungs. He looked up mouth full of grass, took a look at me, his ears perked up and he started coming towards me! He remembered me...or at least he remembered the treats I always carry with me. As he sauntered towards me, I smiled, thinking about how much I have grown to love this horse. He isn't the prettiest horse I've owned, nor is he the most talented, nor the smartest and he certainly isn't the most well bred, but he is mine, he is loyal and I love him! We've been through a lot over the last 8 years together and not once has he complained. Not when he left the huge farm he was raised on until he was 4 and came to live on my acreage with me, not when I dragged him off to the mountains for four days, 2 weeks and a handful of rides after getting him. He didn't protest when I wanted to change his name to KU-JO after he bit a kid riding a pony in the mountains (the attempt at the name change didn't stick.) Dirt never muttered a word about having to move off my acreage to move to my friends' Connie and Craig's place to live with Shadow and Ed and Twinkie, not a peep out of him when he moved away from there to another acreage in Pigeon Lake where he shared a pasture with a couple of other geldings and a donkey named Sausage. Dirt moved back to Sylvan with me, where he had to live on a tiny acreage in the rapidly growing beach town, surrounded by never ending new home construction and hammering. Dirt, without a fuss, made one last move, to the stable on the outskirts of Calgary where he shares a pasture with his new buddies Graffitti and Mozart and a few bullies like Finnagan.
Dirt took his pulminary ventilators like an angel when he got heaves from eating off of a round bale, he stood patiently while my girlfriend Jenn and I tried to "team trim" his hooves, (I held his foot up while Jenn used two hands to work the nippers.) He bravely stayed in a stall (new experience) and trotted a thousand circles (though he'd never been asked to go in a circle before) when I wanted to ride him in a clinic in Red Deer! Yep, Dirt has been one hell of a trooper.
That being said, you gotta know, that he has complained about plenty of other things, mostly loading in trailers and being tied up! You should see him pull when he is tied to...anything! He usually ends up breaking ropes and summersaulting backwards out of trailers, down driveways and through yards. In fact his pulling got so bad that when I took him to a mountain camp, it became consencous that he should be "broke of that habit." We put all kinds of "gears and pullies" on him, tied him to a big post and proceeded to antagonize him with a tarp. Our goal was to get him to pull and then all the ropes and pullies would tighten making things uncomfortable for him and hopefully he would figure out that when he pulls, life sucks! We waved the tarp in the air, Dirt pulled and pulled and after about 10 minutes we were all exhausted. I have no idea if this production cured Dirt of pulling, I refuse to tie him. He and I, we have an agreement, if I dont' tie him, he'll promise to stand as long as I want him to without moving. It has worked incredibly well for us. I can leave him stand with the reins on the ground while I go in the house, make a snack, blow my nose and have a pee, he'll still be standing right where I left him when I come out! He's stood while I've spent time in outhouses, digging in the trunk of my car, pitching tents and setting up camps. The "not being able to be tied up" thing doens't bother me and Dirt, it just bugs every other horseman we come into contact with. See, that's the way it is with horse people, they always want to slove problems, they always know "just the thing for that," but Dirt and I don't have a problem, we're happy, we've learned to co-exisist!
Dirt will happily move forward in a straight line with his head down for as long as I want him to. He is not the best at turning, or backing up or bending, flexing or any other fancy moves, but hell, if you wanna go straight forward, he is the horse to be on and I love him!!!
Dirt Face, around the edges your a little rough
but through it all you've been tough!
You started out as a baby everyone thought was too small
but your heart has proven to be nothing like that at all!
You've been with me through the lows and highs
and a pile of relationships with guys.
You never shake your head at the mistakes I've made, or the ones in sight
You simply move to your next home, (loading in the trailer is your only fight.)
You've had to stay in pastures with donkeys and eaten off a round bale
you've been kicked and bit and had your lungs fail
when I was busy you were left in pastures, alone to long
but through it all you've stayed loyal and strong!
You've never complained or pleaded a case
for being the horse that you are, I love you, Dirt Face!
ok so the poem isn't that good, but I am getting tired, it is 12:30am Toronto time and I am still ticking by that clock! Good night!