Chapter Ten: Snow Pony

It is late September. I awoke before dawn and stepped outside to the first snow of the season. For those of you in more southerly climes and lower elevations, snow in northern Wyoming at this time of year is only unusual in that it came so late; for those of you who’ve already been snowed on…ha, ha, you can have it—I don’t mind coming in second for winter!

As the sun struggled to overcome the darkness, the horses gradually emerged from the gloom. Lynx was among them, picking his way off a rock-strewn hillside down to the creek bottom. There is something special about the first snow of autumn. The horses react to it differently than to other storms. Later snows will bring expressions of dogged endurance but the first one…well, every move a horse makes can turn into a buck or a wild circle with flared nostrils and flying mane. Crazy, ecstatic races start and end on a gust of wind. It is as if they are showing Mother Nature they can find their joy no matter what she throws their way, that their power can rise up to run neck-and-neck with hers.

This kind of joy is a gift horses bring us. It is clean, it is invigorating. We should take it. In my travels I spend a lot of time seeing the dark side of the horse world: the fear and misunderstanding, the restraints and mistrust. Sometimes I see things that are downright cruel. It can weigh on me. But then I get to have moments like this one, a sunrise laden with snow that somehow horses turn into springboard to joy. I get to see Lynx, whose future was once uncertain, flying through the snow, full of life.

Update: Lynx’s back has finally healed. After almost a month off, I got on him and he never missed a beat. It makes me think that the day is coming when he will be ready for a new home. Stay tuned.

We’ve resumed our rope work and he’s doing well. Also, we took some video of him which I will post as soon as I can figure out how (tip – don’t start holding your breath just yet, it may take me a while…)