Creed

“My horse fights with me
and fasts with me,
because if he is to carry me into battle
he must know my heart,
and I must know his, or we
shall never become brothers.
I have been told that the white man
who is almost a god and yet
a great fool,
does not believe that the horse has a spirit.
This cannot be true.
I have many times seen my horse’s soul
in his eyes.”

-The words of Crow Chief Plenty-Coups

From The West – an illustrated history, by Geoffrey C. Ward

I found this quote particularly applicable, as Zil often carries me through my battles with bipolar illness and depression. Her beautiful soul does indeed shine out of her eyes to light my world. It may sound trite, but many things people say may sound trite because they are so universally true.

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Baby Pictures

Nursing baby

Nursing baby

Notes from an old journal:

“4/27/07: Tempo’s foal was here to greet us. Looks like it will be bay, has one white stocking on hind leg. Filly, younger than Diamond’s was, so probably only a couple of hours old. Seems to be having trouble latching on to teat (around 8 a.m.) I have no idea what to name her. Tempo didn’t wax or show any signs of labor [yesterday]. Filly is beautiful, dark, mysterious.”

Here are a few photos from Zil’s first hours and days of life…

Little Zil

Little Zil

This is how I started calling her “little Zil”!

Baby! Come back here!

Baby! Come back here!

The little girl was very curious, and rightly so. Tempo, having been a broodmare, was an experienced mother. Independent and very protective of Zil, Tempo often found a way to break out of the pen at night, no matter what we did to secure it, and packed Zil off to the lush, grassy north end of the property, and then didn’t let anyone get near her precious baby. They were allowed to stay for days, as they were safe and Tempo needed the pasture time anyway (but I didn’t even get to imprint with Zil or even dip her little umbilical stub in iodine! horrors!). I wonder if that solitude is an Arab thing. We had several babies that year, and no other mamas acted this way. Anyhow, this made early bonding very difficult. Zil has always been the most stand-offish of our few homegrown.

Proud Arabian Mare and Foal

Proud Arabian Mare and Foal

I titled them after my favorite Breyer horses, the Proud Arabian Mare and Foal set. Tempo my pride, and Zil my joy.

Stretched for the teat..success!

Stretched for the teat..success!

Couldn’t get enough nursing pictures, I guess.

Looks like Tempo's teats are getting sore...

Looks like Tempo’s teats are getting sore…

so we better quit for now. 🙂