Becoming a little more Texan

By Haven Lindsey  in  blog  on  11.14.2015

It was just a regular afternoon, nothing special or dramatic with absolutely no indication that I was about to become a little more Texan.

As I sat in my zen-like office with the ficus tree and twinkle lights, I watched as one kitty struggled to stay awake in the windowsill while another one snored soundly in the adjacent, empty paper box. I was actively participating in a conference call. I noticed the call coming in on my second line from the horse farm and although I couldn’t stop to answer, I knew immediately something was wrong. As kind and caring as they are, in my experience horse farm owners do not call just to say hello or to ask what you had for lunch that day. They text, email and communicate with me but when they call, it’s never a good thing.

As soon as I finished with my call I simultaneously dialed the phone to the farm while rushing to change into farm clothes intuitively knowing I needed to be there. I was on my way to becoming a little more Texan, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I soon learned the reason for the call. Marley was choking, struggling to swallow and very uncomfortable. He had something lodged in his throat and that old saying, ‘you can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’ is apparently quite true. Marley needed to drink but you can’t force a horse to do that.

In one of those rare, surreal moments when the stars and planets align, cars moved out of my way as I drove to the farm. I felt surprisingly calm…as if I were driving in slow motion and watched the road open up before me. It was as if nature was clearing my path.

I arrived at the farm to see Marley leaning against a fence with that far-away look in his eyes that no one ever wants to see on any living being. I calmly talked to him, massaged his throat and worked to help him swallow. An hour elapsed…then two…and slowly he began to respond. He began to walk and move around a bit and eventually he turned and threw up all over me. A combination of bright green bile, alfalfa and general horse spit immediately made up my evening ensemble. Green goo covered me and was dripping off my wrists. I could not have been happier.

Becoming a little more Texan.

shadowsAs he stabilized I walked over to check on Sunny and Max and saw they were covered in mud, a result from the rain we’d recently had (despite having had been there two days ago!). I decided to clean their feet and shoes knowing that abscesses can happen quickly in muddy conditions. Virtually impossible to clean the muddy hooves of muddy horses without getting muddy, I quickly managed to cover the layer of horse vomit with a layer of smelly mud. It was as if I was a soft serve ice-cream cone being dipped in one flavor and then another.

Becoming a little more Texan.

As the moon rose and the egrets settled into the trees surrounding the pond, I was comforted knowing that the horses were all ok. I pulled away from the farm realizing just how tired and hungry I was and laughed at being as dirty as I can ever remember being and at peace knowing my horses were all ok.

Becoming a little more Texan.

And then I hit the armadillo. Swerving at the last minute, I was not able to avoid the already dead animal lying in the road. It felt as though I had hit a cinder block and sure enough, within a few hundred yards the dashboard indicator let me know that indeed, I had a flat tire.armadillo

Becoming a little more Texan.

Grateful for run-flat tire technology, I took the risk and drove home remembering that my car would run on a flat tire for a limited number of miles as long as the car is driven slowly. As I gradually meandered home with the emergency lights flashing a warning to other drivers as they whizzed by, I realized just how little I cared about the tire and how happy I was that Marley was ok.

Becoming a little more Texan.

As I finally got close to home, filthy, exhausted and hungry, I stopped to pick up something to eat.  Covered in vomit, mud and sweat, I looked nothing like the stereo-typical beautiful Texas woman and was slightly concerned about my appearance. I quickly learned I had no reason to worry. No one looked twice at my terribly disheveled ensemble and the cashier laughed with me as I explained just a little bit of my evening. We laughed that my experience was like a country music song which was good and then he said, “it’s ok, you’re a Texan now”.

I made it home safely and texted my friends about the experience. I was surprised that within a matter of minutes, my friends shared videos and songs about their beloved state…and about horses…and armadillos. It was fun and reassuring to read their messages and watch the songs about Texans and horses and armadillos and about taking care of your horse before anything else. Your horse comes first.

It wasn’t something I consciously decided, I intuitively knew. You take care of your horse first…how could you not?

Becoming a little more Texan.


Two days later all three horses were fine, the flat tire had been replaced and I sat working in my zen-like office with the ficus tree and twinkle lights. Two kitties sat watching the birds from the windowsill and another one was sound asleep in the paper box when the doorbell rang. A package had arrived from my dear friend born and raised in Texas. In the box was a bright red, white and blue Texas flag and on a card he had written, ‘Welcome Haven, you’re a Texan and Texas is damn glad to have you’.

I’ll hang the flag very soon because I’m damn glad to have Texas.

Thanks for reading,

~ Haven