!Nunca supe cuánto amo a los animales ... ¡especialmente a los caballos!
I never knew how much I loved animals (especially horses!) until I moved to Baja Sur. I did once go to horse camp as a kid ~ in the second grade, a Methodist church camp ~ and I did fall for my assigned horse, Stormy, the biggest (since I was the tallest girl) and only black horse they had there ...
And I did, in fact, get corralled by my Uncle Fred + Aunt Kay into getting on a horse that hadn't been ridden in YEARS at their Pennsylvania farm a few summers later. That wasn't a very smart idea on someone's part. I was quickly bucked off the poor nervous animal, who threw me into a hardened cornfield after dragging me along on it's side a few too many strides when it bolted.
Yeah yeah yeah, I got back on it for that symbolic moment that finally satisfied my Aunt and Uncle ~ but that was it for me and horses for a while, especially when I next discovered rocketships, and after that, ceramics. Who has the time or money to keep a horse, let alone ride and groom it properly, anyway?
Now on my morning walk around Todos Santos's outer villages I find a menagerie of breathtakingly somber horses standing tied to trees along the dusty and often garbage-heaped streets. I can't bear seeing them confined on short leads in abandoned lots with almost no vegetation, certainly no water, and no shade cover for hours ~ for some, days. All this in the dead of summer in the desert heat of Mexico?
Now I take my morning walk with bags of watermelon scraps and cantaloupe rinds, carrots, and apples. I look for as many tied-up horses as I can find in an hour, spreading the fruitarian love around the neighborhood. So far, I've met Estrella (Star), her mother Fresa (Strawberry) who's expecting another foal this Christmas, I can hardly wait!), Amigo (Friend), and another lovely unkempt brown horse who, I'm told, doesn't have a name. The one I love the most is a creamy white, also unnamed. I've named her Leche (Milk) and she whinnies now when she sees me coming. It makes me tear up every time! Now I've learned from mi vecina (thanks to my beginner Español class, that Leche is actually an identical TWIN! I was shocked! So now I have no idea if I've bonded with uno o dos caballos blancos, so just in case, I've named the second girl, "con Leche" (with Milk). It would be a Christmas miracle (Santa, are you listening?) if I could acquire Leche-con-Leche both para nuestro futuro rancho...a gal can dream, right?
It wasn't in our original plan to have horses at Taller de Terreno (Field Workshop). Now that I've dug out my work boots and leather whip (thanks, Daddy-O and "Nasty Nick's") and have begun researching amateur horse-training online, Kevin has started taking this little obsession of mine seriously. There's talk of buying more land after we sell my co-op space in Emeryville, CA. We could fence in a separate area to let the horses (what horses?!) roam free in the desert-ocean landscape. I could lead Leche con Leche by my whip's tail down the road to our land -- I'm KIDDING! I'd stop buying shoes the rest of my life to buy them! Wouldn't you?? Just look at these faces!!
These two animals pictured above are actually being fostered by mi vecina, MaryAnn, who also claims to know nothing about horses, but simply had compassion for Estrella (left) who was attacked at birth by a pack of neighborhood dogs ~ la banda de perros. Her mother Fresa (right) is very protective of her, as is their foster mother, thankfully! Fostering means MaryAnn pays to feed, "water", and house (read: look after them in the empty "se vende" lot adjoining hers) these two animals year-round for nothing in exchange ~ well, there's el amor! I bring these two sweeties carrots for treats; they do get daily heno (hay), agua (H20) and un poco de sombra, but still they're always happy to see me on my way to the less fortunate caballos en el barrio.
This "FriendsGiving" (Día de Acción de Gracias, en español), I am thankful to have connected with the seis o siete caballos I've met here in Baja so far. The thought of them literally gets me out of the bed in the morning when I'm in pain and feeling a little bit sorry for myself. When I see those horses pulling toward me on their ropes I'm reminded to count my blessings for comida, mi casa y mi libertad. I really am living the dream.
At the bottom of this page you'll find a SUPPORT button that takes you to our donation page. You can buy a bail of alfalfa for these sweet animals and I will personally deliver it! Stay tuned for more opportunities to help feed, clean, and house Baja's often-neglected or mistreated animals. Thank you very much. MUCHAS GRACIAS!