Category Archives: Sinatra

From the Horse’s Mouth: Adoption? Do you know that thing?

horses_mouth_iconHello to all my friends! I have something wonderful to share with you, but first I have a question to ask: Adoption — do you know this thing? Adoption is when someone says “Oh horse! Please come to my home and live there forever. There will be lovely hays and tasty, tasty grain for you, and also friends and fields and little houses. I am a good peoples and I want you to be my horse!” That is the thing called Adoption, and that is the thing that has happened for me and Sinatra.

Me and Sinatra have been SAFE horses for a long, long time, and sometimes we thought we would be SAFE horses forever! But one day a nice man named Chris saw my picture on the Interwebs and thought that it would be nice to have a horse like me living on his big farm. He came over to meet me, and right away I liked him very much. Chris was very calm and quiet with me, and when I stood next to him I felt like yawning, and I did yawn many, many times. Chris and Mom talked for a long time about me, and Chris told Mom that he had a big ranch where I could live with acres of room to roam and lots of different animals to be my friends. Mom was very very sad to think about saying “So long” to me, but when she saw the yawning, she understood that Chris was someone who I could be happy with. She did not want to be in the way of me being happy, so she was brave and said that Chris could take me to his ranch and that would be my home for ever.

Now when Chris was meeting me, Mom told Sinatra “Oh Sinatra! You must be a very very good horse and maybe Chris will take you to his farm for ever and ever too.” But Sinatra did not listen to Mom, so instead of being a good horse, he was a very bad horse! He screamed like a goat every time he could not see me, and he banged and banged on the metal gate because he was too far away to be my shadow. He even escaped into the barn and helped himself to some tasty, tasty grain, and made Mom have to pull on him to get him back outside. Sinatra was a very bad horse the day that Chris came to meet me, and when Chris went home, Mom told Sinatra “Oh Sinatra! You will not be going to Chris’ farm with Honeycutt because you could not have been a badder behaved horse today.” Sinatra just said “Shoelace” and went back to being my white shadow.

But then Chris said something that made Mom and all the SAFE peoples cry a little with happiness. He told Mom that he didn’t think it would be right to take me away from Sinatra! He said that he could see that I am Sinatra’s rock, and that Sinatra would be very, very sad if I was to go away. So he said that he wanted to take Sinatra to his farm and that both of us would have a home for ever and ever.

So Mom put us in the moving box and took us to a place called Onalaska which is where our new home with Chris is. Our new home is a giant ranch that is so big that you cannot see all of the ends of it. The ranch is already home to many things called Cattles, and also the ranch is where bales of lovely, lovely hay come from! At first when we came to the ranch, I was quite startled by some very different sights and sounds and smells! There were a bunch of very ugly things in the barn that made scary gobbledy noises…Mom said they were Turkees, do you know those things? Turkees are giant birds that were up to no good, I think! I watched them from my new stall, and although I tried to be very very brave, there was a little quiver in my leg that showed how worried I was about Turkees.

Later when we went to explore the ranch with Mom and Chris and my friend Debi, I saw a giant black thing off in the distance called Bull, do you know THAT thing?! Bull was black and gigantic and when I saw Bull, I turned into a horse statue made of glass! Mom laughed and told me that Bull was very far away and would not hurt me, and eventually I changed back into a horse and then I could walk again.

My new ranch also many things called Cows and another big thing called Pig, and I keep a very close eye on all these things just in case they are up to no good, like Turkees.

Chris is my new Dad and even though it was me who he wanted to be his horse first, he has already formed a very good bond with Sinatra. He says that Sinatra is one of the sweetest and most lovable horses he has ever met! He even calls him a good little horse! Sinatra does like his new home very much, and seems to be calmer and happier than before. I still have to look out for him most of the times, but now he has two friends: me and Chris. Two friends is a very good thing to have.

I miss my old home and my old Mom, but I am very happy to have a home of my own that is forever with my new Dad and my new family. I can’t talk to old Mom as much anymore, but I can feel that she is still there taking care of my friend Jay and feeling love for me and for the Big Baby. She can’t see our bodies but she can still feel our hearts. Old Mom will always be part of my life even if I can’t see her every day. I know she thinks of me often, especially in the morning when she doesn’t hear me nickering like a foghorn for my breakfast. She misses me most of all at those moments. Sometimes I call for her in the morning from my new ranch home, and maybe she hears that in her heart, and gets out of bed to feed breakfast to my friends I left behind. That would be a nice thing, don’t you think?

Here are some pictures for you to see of me and Sinatra at our new home!

From the Horse’s Mouth: The Opposite of Shadow

If you follow Honeycutt’s blog, you know that he shares a lot of secrets about horses and their interactions. Today’s update on Sinatra comes straight from the horse’s mouth…

horses_mouth_iconNow if you were to look out and see me, you would see something white right next to me. If you looked again a little while later, you would see the white thing again! The white thing is called Sinatra, do you know that thing? Sinatra is another SAFE horse who lives with me now, and he is always right next to me, being the opposite of my shadow.

DSC_1481Many years ago, Sinatra was something even more terrible than a Pointy Horse: he was a Pointy Foal! Thinking about Pointy Foals makes me want to hang my head all the way down to the ground and sigh. Pointy Foals are the most wrong thing of all. All foals should be round and fuzzy and run in big circles around their round mother. They should not be hungry and cold like Sinatra was. Sinatra is no longer Pointy, thanks to my friends at SAFE, but there is something about Sinatra that is still not quite right. Mom says Sinatra is Special, and I suppose that is why I let him be the opposite of a shadow because normally I am not the sort of horse that tolerates such behavior. Mom says she knew for sure that Sinatra was Special when she saw him eating my lovely hays right out of my lovely hay feeder right next to me! If Jay or the Big Baby tried to eat my hays right next to me, I would tell them to clear off pronto, and they would too! Sinatra just pretends he doesn’t understand and keeps eating the hays…and for some reason I don’t fully understand, I let him do this. Maybe it’s because he was a Pointy Foal, or maybe because he’s Special but whatever the reason, Sinatra is exempt from the normal rules of horses. So he is my white shadow, and I’m okay with that.

I have not been writing very much poetry lately, and that leaves a hole in my heart where art is supposed to be, so I decide to stand under the big tree and work on a new haiku. Sinatra was there, and he wanted to know what I was doing so I told him that a haiku was a very short poem with a pattern of five hoofbeats then seven hoofbeats and then five more hoofbeats. I wrote a haiku for Sinatra to help him understand:

Sinatra is white
He trails me like a shadow
A shadow that’s white

Sinatra loved the poem and asked me to write another one for him:

My hays are right here
And your hays are over there
But sure, we can share.

Sinatra would have had me writing poems about every single aspect of our lives together, but I told him that he could find great peace and wisdom by writing poems himself. He was very eager to try. His first poem went like this:

Hello! Who are you?
Who are you? What are you doing? Is that a deer? I am hungry!

Very quickly I realized that Sinatra is probably a little Too Special to start by writing haiku. I decided that perhaps he should attempt to write a knock-knock joke instead, do you know that thing? Here is one that is very funny:

Knock knock
Who is there?
Tasty, tasty grain.
Tasty, tasty grain who?
Tasty, tasty grain who I want to eat!!

That is a very funny knock-knock joke. Here is Sinatra’s knock-knock joke:

Knock knock knock knock knock knock knock
(Mom: Sinatra stop kicking the wall!!!!)
Knock knock knock knock who is there? who are you? who am I?
Knock knock knock knock
(Mom: Sinatra, I mean it!)

Sinatra’s knock-knock joke seems to be loosely based on his haiku. It may be a while before Sinatra’s Poem Book comes out.

Funny, but not funny

I was awake, but hadn’t yet gotten out of bed around 7 this morning, when I heard an unusual racket from outside. Something was on my front porch, something bigger than a raccoon, something…white? With hooves? Sinatra, is that you?

At least he’s not selling Bibles…

You see, Sinatra has learned a new trick in the past 48 hours, and that is that if you stick your head through the fence and just keep moving forward, eventually you end up on the other side. I have lovely vinyl three-rail fencing on my property, and it’s kept the horses safely where they belong until now. But Sinatra figured out how to walk through it — maybe by watching me do it? — and since then, he’s exited the pasture he shares with Honeycutt three times. He did it again sometime between night check and breakfast, and not only did he come up on the porch, he also pulled some things out of the cab of my truck and did some gardening.

Walking through a vinyl rail fence does take a toll on one’s body, so Sinatra has a couple of ugly looking wounds on his neck where he skinned himself…but maybe they just look bad because of the contrast between the red marks and his snowy white coat. When I went to retrieve him and return him to the pasture, he was standing quietly by the barn and he actually looked a little sad. I stood with him for a few minutes, and suddenly realized how badly I have failed this horse.

Sinatra does have it pretty good. He lives in a pasture with his good friend Honeycutt with “lovely hays” delivered three times a day. The two horses keep each other entertained, and there’s always Jay to boss around if Honeycutt isn’t available. There’s shelter from rain and sun, and very little is asked of him. But that’s the problem right there. I don’t do much of anything with Sinatra besides care for him. He’s not currently being ridden, which is one of the reasons he’s in a companion-type foster home, and that is partly because he’s not been sound under saddle for some time now. And I know in my head and my heart that I should be doing ground work with him on a regular basis. I use the standard excuse of being too busy, of not having time. It’s true that I am a pretty busy person. And it was less of an issue when it was just Honeycutt here, because Honeycutt is Mr Perfect when it comes to ground manners. You can leave him sit for weeks on end, and he’ll still perform perfectly when asked to run through a few exercises…or stand for the farrier…or lead to the pasture…or anything, really. But when it came to Sinatra, my excuse was always that I just don’t have time to work with him.

What suddenly struck me as I stood with Sinatra this morning, looking over his scrapes and noticing the strange sadness in his eyes, was that I was wrong: I did have time. Because I’ve been making that time in order to work with Owen. And, in fact, I looked forward to working with Owen. The difference is that working with Owen is rewarding and satisfying, because Owen is smart and respectful and easy. Progress in the form of a single step brings me joy and excitement. And because of this, I work with Owen almost every day. Our sessions are always short — mostly because he is so quick that ending on a good note can sometimes mean being finished before we’ve even gotten started — and it’s true, I look forward to them. I use “Owen-time” as my own “carrot” to get through a busy day. And I am personally committed to helping this horse get a good start in life.

Sinatra, on the other hand? He’s a pain in the rear. He’s mouthy and easy distracted and — let’s be honest — infuriating. I am not a horse trainer by any stretch of the imagination, and I know that I do not have the skills to deal with a horse as “special” as Sinatra. If I’m successful with Owen, it’s because of Owen. He is an amazing animal. Sinatra is no less amazing, but his personality is completely different than Owen’s. So I will cut myself a bit of a break and confess that Sinatra’s behavior can be maddening, and mad is not the way to be around horses. So I don’t work with him on the ground, even though I know that I should. Even though I know that by not doing so, I am failing him.

But he’s been happy here with me and Honeycutt, so it’s hard to even think about taking him away from a situation he enjoys. But I know in my heart that he needs boundaries, he needs a job, he needs to learn better behavior. Fortunately, I also know that SAFE is blessed with a trainer on staff named Terry Phelps who does have the skill and the patience to work with a horse like Sinatra. Maybe when a few more successful adoptions happen for us, we’ll have room at Safe Harbor for Sinatra to return there. We try to reserve the limited space at SHS for new intakes and horses that are being ridden but Terry uses a great deal of ground work training with our horses, and they make remarkable progress in her program.

But the tough question remains: what does the future hold for a horse like Sinatra? Not sound enough for work, but unsuitable for a life of leisure. It’s a question we have to find an answer to. Right now, I have to go make sure Sinatra is still in his pasture.

Ginger & Sinatra = BFF

Ginger and lover boy Sinatra are joined at the hip. She was much more relaxed having a buddy in turnout. They were eatting this close the entire time. Two needy horses found each other and I mean both of them! I thought he wouldn’t leave her but SHE was stuck to him like glue! Literally had to walk them into their stalls together! Awe young misguided love lol! @ SAFE


Sinatra Update

sinatra_06_05_13_01 What can we say about Sinatra that hasn’t already been said? He’s lovable, he’s laughable, he’s one of a kind. The Vitamin E supplements he’s been getting continues to help his proprioception issues, and under saddle, he seems to be feeling pretty good. Which for Sinatra means that he’s taking the opportunity to act out a bit in his riding sessions…nothing that Brittney can’t handle, of course. Sinatra may not have a great future ahead of him in the show ring, but he certainly could make someone’s life a whole lot more interesting. If you have room in your heart and your home for a lovable clown, take a look at Sinatra!

Pictures of Sinatra, just because…

Measuring the fence this past weekend, my bright yellow tape measure caught the attention of Sinatra, who left his hay to come over and have a look. Always the social butterfly…

Sinatra pictures

Here are some cute photos that Allison took of Sinatra back in July, being himself at SAFE Harbor Stables.