Santa Fe Horse Shelter. I loved the sense of purpose that came with pulling on my “chore clothes,” getting in the car, driving out of town and into the high desert, then arriving at the Shelter. Lilly, the bay mare I worked with, greeted me with a nicker and suddenly all was right in my world. Hers too, I like to think. That's my daughter with her in the round pen.
Grunnien Ranch website, the family got started raising yaks when, “Grandpa and I were driving through the country and he saw some sort of beast standing on the back of a trailer and tossing hay to his friends. Turns out they were YAKS! Grandpa wanted some...” Within a month, the yaks were on the ranch and the family’s journey had begun. In yak circles, Ky might someday be a good enough handler to be called a Yakalero.
Brabant Belgians. We visited while she was waiting her turn to compete in a driving competition. She told me that the Brabant is the foundation horse for the American Belgian. She’s been driving teams since she was in third grade and plans on attending Colorado State University this fall as a pre-vet student. I was impressed with her confidence around the big horses and was reminded of what it felt like to watch my own daughter drive the old Ford tractor when she was harrowing the fields on our small family ranch in Wyoming.
Chores not only give us a sense of purpose, but when chores involve animals, they also give us a sense of belonging to something larger than ourselves. A child welcomed each morning by the nicker of a horse, or the bawling of a calf, or the eager yipping of a puppy waiting to be fed, is a child grounded in what it means to matter. And matter, as defined by Random House, means to have substance.
Substance, and grounding, are important. Especially for the children of a movie-star President and his First Lady. Maybe, on days like this when the schools are closed, Sasha and Malia will be able to venture outdoors and return with a little dirt on their boots, the kind that grows grass, and flowers, and trees, and character. Hopefully, they won't be "fertilizing" the new White House rugs installed by designer Michael S. Smith. But I hear he likes to mix casual with formal -- fancy furnishings with dog-friendly fabrics.
Which reminds me, I've been wanting to do a blog on public parks and anti-dog ordinances. It won't be pretty.