The following poem is by Sandy Baker. She previously published it in the Redwood Empire Trail Riders newsletter, the Roadapple Gazette. This ties in well with Valentine’s Day and hints at spring not far away. We all know that cold-backed horse getting rid of a few kinks before a ride–but does this scare the guy away?
Good As It Gets
by Sandy Baker, © 2010
Lying side by side upon the weathered roof
of the dilapidated old no-chickens coop,
we named the drifting billowy clouds
as kangaroo and Taj Mahal and cows.
Hand in hand we lazed away the hour,
til leaning over, Will kissed me long and deep,
his gentle hands upon my face and eyes.
And coming up for air, I sighed, Let’s ride.
The horses knew they’d get a bit of grain
or clutch of sweet first-cut alfalfa hay,
and so stood idle not considering the bridle.
I haltered up the mare ‘cause she was sturdy,
put her on the longe line, loping her in circles.
The new green grass, so rich, turned her into a bitch.
As she kicked up heels and arched her back,
in nervous voice Will asked, “We’re riding that?”
Just give her time, I said, she’ll soon be fine,
she needs to get her stretchin’ bucks out now.
I picked her hooves and brushed her smooth,
then we two sat as one astride her bareback,
Will close behind, arms tight around my waist.
Rocking to her gait, we walked the dirt road past the fences,
Will’s warm breath in my hair, his lips upon my neck,
my senses nearly shouting This is good as it gets.