Snow Fest and Winter Break

This @rticle was posted by Djeault on Friday, February 22nd, 2008 at 4:43 am

HuckleBerry JIM

§ 1. Winter Break starts later, on this Friday, 2008fev22.

§ 2. Wednesday, 2008fev20, Jean-De-Brébeuf High School held its Snow Fest; amongst the activities, horse riding was shared by a dozen of students and three teachers. We were shown how to pass behind a horse: if the horse knows you’re there, you may go right behind the horse, or else, you walk 10 feet behind the horse, who will only kick, if it’s surprised: horses are nervous animals; they like routine. Getting nearly 20 horses out one morning implies getting them out everyday, for 2-3-4 days, before the actual visit of the group.

§ 3. My horse, please, pronounce horsY, is called JIM. Jim is a 6-year old, Belgian draught gelding; tall and powerfiul, he also was saved from the Slaughterhouse’s buyers: the Ranch des pionniers got some of their horses there; others were born on the Ranch. Some of us had 30 years old horsies, whereas I was granted JIM. In Mark Twain’s historical novel Adventures of HuckleBerry Finn, first published in 1884, the protagonist’s companion is a tall, strong, young, black slave, who escaped from abusive masters, just like JIM, the 6-year old, adolescent horse with a creamy coffee, skin color and a whitish golden mane.

§ 4. I got to ride JIM, because he’s energic and nervous; at 6, he’s still a playful adolescent. JIM and I were second in our file. Twice, he let me know he’d love to take the lead and have a playful run, but I held him back, for the sake of the group: indeed if one horse runs, the others too will likely want to run… Horses sure can run and make you bounce through the air. However, the path we took was on top of 4-5-6 feet deep snow; thus, a running horse’s leg could easily sink into the snow, make the horse slip or fall and send its rider flying, hopefully into the snow. I do remember two of those fligths: one, off a running Shetland mare, on my way to work, and the other, off a running donkey, in Mexico, at the end of a long work day: we were running back the donkeys to their pasture. Horses, donkeys, poneys or mules can abruptly stop while running: that can send you flying, legs up and head down; if so, you must roll in the air and land on your feet: it’s a risky, though kinesthesic business!

§ 5. Some other horses were smaller, gentle, safe, mature and older, some being 30 years old: a teacher said horses live 40 years; I thus suggest that a horse’s age x 2 = ± human age: thus, Jim was like a 12-14 years old, but nearly a fully grown force of nature. After the ride, back in its paddock, I thanked him again; throughout the whole ride, I gently spoke to him, Jim, and congratulated him for behaving so nicely, sometimes scratching it.

jim and djo


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