Don’t get me wrong, life here in Bear Valley Springs is mighty sweet; but I had grown quite weary repeating, “Goodbye, Winter. It was nice knowing you. See you next year. Don’t hurry back,” only to have Mr. Winter come roaring back for an unwelcome encore. (It snowed here last night—two days before May.) A weekend of uninterrupted Spring was a lovely gift. And, of course, there is no such thing as too many horses about.
Naturally, I fell in love with a couple of horses that were new to me. That's typical of me, I'm afraid. I’m a sucker for great looks and spirit. But, two of my sweetest treats came in the form of reunions of sorts with old crushes of mine.
One of the sweetest reunions was with the black gelding, Dortel. Dortel, the wild man. Dortel, who puts on the tough guy, I-will-eat-you-alive act one minute, but in another stands peacefully while I croon to him in my nonsensical and butchered Spanish. I whisper “Beunos dias,mi Querida. Usted es muy dulce . Mi caballo negro es muy hermoso. El Caballo es muy grande, muy elegante.” (Good day, my love. You are very sweet .) Okay, laying it on a bit thick, but I’m kinda crazy about the beast; and, as for the next part, he certainly is black, black as coal, and very beautiful. Then, the horse is very large (That’s a lie. He’s an Arabian and far from huge.) Very smart. (Yes, maybe too smart for his own good.) Dortel doesn’t know what I’m babbling on about and certainly doesn’t care that I am close to exhausting my miniscule Spanish vocabulary. I would feel even sillier talking to him about el gato (the cat) or telling him that el rio es rojo (the river is red). Therefore, the next stage usually ends up being “El caballo es muy loco y El Diablo, Si, uno caballo malo . Muy, muy loco en la cabeza.” Dortel isn’t fazed by being informed that he is crazy, a devil, bad, and even very crazy in the head. He just seems to like the sound of the Spanish language. Well, I think it sounds nice, as well, so we visit that way for a while.
Years ago, I met my friend at Silent Knight Farms, because of Dortel. She was walking him out after an endurance ride in Malibu and the moment I spotted them, I was smitten. She looked friendly and I asked the stranger if I might take some photos of her horse. She smiled, said sure, and that’s how it began. She became a client first, then a dear friend. And all because of this muy loco caballo. It was grand seeing him, this weekend, at liberty in one of the larger turnouts. What a joy he is to watch. Like the wind.