Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Horse Drawn Goddess Comforts

Today we started growing next winter’s food.

We’d already started growing this years food. Fava beans and peas are up. Lettuce and radishes and spinach are darn near close to eating. And there are green onions and green garlic big enough to eat now. And some wild greens big enough to eat (the mustard is flowering already).

And we are, of course, still eating last year’s food -- tonight’s supper is french fries from our trying to sprout potatoes. The french fries are soft and very brown (the starch is turning to sugar) and absolutely delicious. And there is corn and all the preserved food.

But today we plowed the corn and potato field.

Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

I had the best time. First I got the horse out and fed him where I groom him instead of in the field. Then I spent time just grooming him, and working a touch on his feet. Oh, is he shedding. And every year I find birds nests made out of his hair. Then it was harnessing him and trekking to the garden with the whole family (and the donkey who will not be left behind).

(The kids had some chores and did things to help us but mostly played in the creek all day -- it's a tough life being homeschooled.)

And then it is in the field and working and paying attention to the furrows and to the condition of the horse (but not to the plowman or the driver of course). A little more than half through is a rest break for the horse. Shade and grass and water. Husband brought me a sandwich I had leftover from working yesterday and a soda because I forget to eat and it is not pretty. Then we finish. Horse is so good but he was ready to quit too.

After plowing I took him to the bee creek and he took a draught, but I didn't allow too much of course. I'd unharnessed him already, and took a bucket with me, and began pouring buckets of water over him. It is as close to a bath as he's ever gotten. I watched the sweat wash off with the cold mountain creek water. His feathers were full of burdocks so I combed those out, and used a little mitt thing to massage him with, and then combed him because his hair is so long the comb might be the only thing to reach to his skin. More water all the time, one bucket at a time.

People who wash horses have seen this, but a soaked to the skin horse can get awfully slick. And like I said, this is as close as he gets to a bath and obviously he hasn't had this done since last summer sometime and it was just such joy to watch the water pour off of him and the smoothness of his hair over his muscles. And he was obviously enjoying the treatment too.

When I finished with that I walked him back to the house. Husband took the harness up for me, bless him, or I would have had to put the harness back on the horse to get it to the house. Back at the house I brushed him some more.

He's still shedding. And I bet he'll be a bit stiff and sore in the morning. Like me. But oh, this is fun. I do not find a world without machines to be a depressing prospect at all.

Then I took a bath myself and ate french fries.


Peggy said...

sounds like a perfect day!

Anonymous said...

A joy to read. For real. This one put me there, more than most.