Anyone who has visited MisFit Farm learns quickly of my reservations about poor Bill, our miniature horse. He IS cute - he is small, which always pre-determines a certain level of cuteness. His coloring is exquisite. His mane and his tail are lovely. He has a nice, soft, muzzle, rounded, fuzzy ears, lush, velveteen eyelashes, and soulful eyes. But as my equestrian aunt pointed out to me once, you don’t ride the mane or the color. Those things are nice, but they do not make the horse. And I guess that underlies some of my reticence around wholesale acceptance of Bill.
I am not sure how Bill fits into my utilitarian view of the world. He is a sweet boy, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to give him a “place” here at the Farm. He seems to want for a task that makes him uniquely integral to the overall quality of life here. I have resolved to at least start the process of teaching him to pull a cart through this summer. I think that would be quite fun. There is a total horse-drawn carriage parade in Lawrence every winter, there are neighborhood Fourth of July parades, there are visiting friends and family who might like to go for a ride. I have thought this through and it seems feasible, at least in theory.
Of course I am uniquely un-qualified to teach a horse to pull a cart, never having done so before. As a matter of fact, I cannot remember ever even riding in a horse-drawn carriage or cart, and I know for a fact I have never ridden in the pony carts that are the chosen vehicle for miniature horses to pull. So although I have this theoretical world where Bill happily halters up and trots down the road, our shiny red cart in tow and me or some other person sitting comfortably and in control at the reins, this world exists only in my imagination, where it is likely to remain. The more likely scenario looks a lot like a hairy WWF match as I try to put a halter on Bill; should we eventually get him to don the necessary equipment and actually attach a cart to him, it most likely ends with the cart wrapped around a tree, or an overturned cart being pulled on its side down the road, and me running either after or away from the whole mess.
Thankfully, the need to stake out a place in the world sometimes resolves itself.
As I rounded the cedar tree to make my way to the pasture for morning chores today, I discovered Bill’s purpose.
A closer look is warranted.
And a short video clip to boot, because I knew no one would ever believe it otherwise, and I can't blame anyone for that:
And a link because FB hates my videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgtaJCuuooc