Wow, a heck of a good day today here in DR!
I worked with Spirit, the beautiful 3 yr old horse and then had an experience I have never had…I got to experience actually PLAYING with a horse! He is such a curious soul. I’m learning about “Horsanalities”….He is definitely an “extrovert”, curious and smart, but vacillates between right and left brained. “Right brained” horses are more “in their head and skittish and fearful”, “left brained” horses are more grounded, not super afraid of too many things, more confident about their surroundings.
It took me four days to get him used to plastic bags and now I can rub one all over his body without him spooking. It’s called “sacking out” a horse when you do this and should be done early on in a horse’s life to make them safe to be around. It’s a fun game to play and cool to see his progress, as a three year old.
The fat, white chihuahua at the house, named Pablo, peed on my shoe I believe, 😦 and now Spirit is overly fascinated by my shoes, sniffing them and sometimes tries to nip them. I bonked his nose gently with my foot as he sniffed them….and then he acted up and reached over and gently nipped my belly. He could have done a job on me if it was for real! That’s when I realized we were actually PLAYING. This all happened after I set him free in the pasture. He followed me around, wanting to still be with me. A good sign.
The horse groom, Ali, who works for Sabine invited me to go riding on the beach today on his horses again, so I went to Samaneta and waited at “La Bomba” for a ride to his house. A moto came up and the guy asked if I were “Waiting for Ali?” Ok, I got it….he was here to get me. I hopped on and off we went to the barrio, to Ali’s house. The new driver turned out to be Ali’s son. There at the house, I met Ali’s wife, Lilly, and many neighbors all sitting around chatting on the front porch. Ali had three horses saddled and ready to ride. I wanted to go see the newborn foal again so went behind the turquoise house to find her laying down in the pen. I got in there with her and petted her and noticed she was very hungry..sucking on my thumb again. We got her up and let her out to mingle with the people and it was cool to have this little baby horse follow me around and come up onto the porch to hang out with the humans, like a dog! However, it was sad to find that she was trying to nurse off of my leg! She was for sure hungry and now, at only a week old, her ribs and pelvic bones are showing. The mother abandoned her and wouldn’t let her nurse. I had thought she had died in childbirth, but not so. Tomorrow I’m going to buy a BUNCH of cartons of boxed milk to bring over to the house, as she clearly isn’t getting enough!
The ride was fun. Ali’s 23 yr old daughter came with us and we meandered through the neighborhoods saying “hola” to all the people sitting by the roadside, and finally we reached the beach. The beach was strewn with driftwood from the storm in February, intermingled with hundreds of plastic bottles, garbage which floated down the river. A sad sight but the reality here in DR.
We cantered and trotted down the beach and my horse, “Champion” was intrigued by the water and small waves. I let him stand and let the water come around his feet. Dizzying to look down from atop a horse but fun to watch his curiosity. Ali and his daughter and I taught each other our respective languages, which was fun. Hmmm…I liked this learning style. Language lessons on a horse! Innovative! Ali and his family don’t speak any English, whatsoever. It was fun to teach them phases like, “We are going to the beach on horses”. “You are my friend”. “Cowboy”. They struggle with the “W” and pronounce it like a “G”. We cracked up.
Ali invited me to come next year to stay with his family when on vacation. And at one point he asked me something that took me a very long time to decipher. We all stopped our horses on the roadside and he explained slowly and I finally understood after several minutes. Wow..that was grueling but I finally got it! “Would you like to come stay at our house tonight..Sleep there in my daughter’s room and I drive you to the ranch in the morning on my moto?” “OH!!! maybe mañana! I need to go home tonight. But mañana, si!” We talked about how now I have a Dominican family! Cool! His daughter, Louisa, is my sister and “Champion” is my Dominican horse! 🙂 Nice to know. They all seem excited about the idea of me teaching them Inglais!
I took the guagua van into Cabarete and met my sailing friend, Judith, for dinner at Ali’s Surf Camp, a very cool place I just found out about, tucked away off the main drag, on a lagoon. We sat and drank cervezas and had dinner watching the white egret and coots swim as the sun sank down and lit the sky orange, and talked about our day.
It was a good end to a good day…but, I had to still get home safely. We walked to her place across town and then I waved down a public taxi. The driver got out and I got in the front seat next to two others and the driver squished in next to me, as I have seen many times. This was my first time riding as the premier front seat sardine, my feet near the peddles and awkward legs near the steering wheel. Yikes. Intimate to say the least! Since my arm was naturally around the driver’s shoulder, out of necessity, I decided to give him a shoulder rub. We all cracked up. They in Spanish…I have no idea what they said, but it was one of those Universal moments where it didn’t really matter.
I got home to a quiet house…everyone upstairs getting ready for bed at 8:45. I found my raw coconut- pineapple frozen “cake” I made earlier, in the fridge and cut myself a piece. This was a good day, stress free, the way life ought to be.