Belgian Tails Part One

My adventures with the belgians began on an overcast day in march of ’75 when I landed on the front pasture of the alaska homestead in a plane with skis to land on the snow. I had arrived with tickets in hand for courage and wisdom to fly back to seattle to be home for Passover. The plane was waiting so they had ten minutes to go pack and fly out. Ten minutes later, I’m standing in the snow with my bag in hand, being a new member of the new confidence household.

I was IMMEDIATELY BLOWN AWAY by the shear MAJESTY my surroundings. The pasture rolled down to kachemak bay only fifty yards away, then four miles across the water, a mountain range just exploded out of the water with a thin band of forest, then blue glaciers climbing straight up.

Anyways, I digress……… on the way back to the main cabin, Bud, Blonde (very pregnant), and Sunday came strolling over to check us out. It was love at first sight. My memory is a bit hazy on who was there when I arrived. I think the crew was confidence, vision, humility, rehiah (sp), diligence, and willing. What I remember was how comfortable the household seemed with itself. All veterans. No new people……. Friends all around.

I already new that vision was into horses and in short order I asked her about the horses and said I wanted to help. I began right away helping with feeding and hanging out with the horses. What was exciting was how pregnant blonde was. She was due any time. Bud was like something I’d never seen.

I settled into the early spring life of spending lots of time indoors (still heavy winter by seattle standards with frequent snowfall), drinking tea/coffee, reading lord of the rings out loud. Saunas, too, were a daily event.

One morning, about two weeks after my arrival, I headed down to the front pasture to feed the horses. There, standing next to blonde was this beautiful little filly. I stood there for several minutes just taking it in……… the horses, the bay, the mountains. God was shouting. I left the alfalfa feed and ran back to the house with the news. In no time we were all back with the horses. Then….. back to the house for breakfast, coffee, and trilogy.

Around mid day, I got a hankering to go down and check on blonde/baby. When I got to the front pasture I spotted bud and sunday, but no blonde. Off to the west was the creek that meandered along the side of the valley out to the bay. Standing by herself, next to the creek bank was blonde. I ran over to where she was and there, in the muddy creek bed, five feed down, buried to her neck, was our new girl. I jumped down and pulled her out of the mud and carried her to where I could get out of the creek, then put her over my shoulders a took her back to the cabin. Everyones jaw dropped when I walked in with a muddy, shivering Windsong.

We had a guest tent next door to the cabin. Someone built a fire in the stove and when it was warm, vision and I took winsong over and cleaned her up with warm water. What was amazing, was how rapidly this hours old horse became calm to our handling her. When she was clean and dry, I put her on my shoulders and took her back down to her mother in the front pasture. It was a happy re-union. Then back to the cabin for afternoon popcorn, coffee, trilogy.

Fast forward, next day…… a snow storm was blowing when we began our day. Went down to front pasture to feed/check on the horses. All seemed fine; windsong was next to her mom, drinking away. So………back to the cabin for breakfast, coffee, trilogy. Simple life huh?

Late morning, I start getting the urge to check on the crew, so I slug on down to the front pasture and low and behold, looks just like yesterday. Bud and sunday with no blonde. Wander through the snow and there, again, is blonde by the creek, alone. At this point, just replay yesterday. By the end of the washing/drying session, windsong was actually acting affectionate towards us.

There were permanent effects on windsong resulting from her first two days here on earth. From thereafter, she never had any reservations with getting close to people. She loved people. Years later, I could go into her pasture, where she would come over to see me. Then I would run away from her and she would chase me like a puppy. The sad aftermath from the creek, was that her right knee had been permanently damaged. After I had trained her to harness, right from the getgo, with any effort whatsoever, her knee would swell terribly and she would limp. I was always very sad about how her life turned out. On the positive, she was the most affectionate horse I ever handled.