Saturday, May 8, 2021

Conversations On the Fence

 Boy oh boy, have I been through it the last eight, nine, ten years? Has it been that long since I wandered off the blog?

I am not the same Mugs who left here. Life has educated me in many ways that I wasn't prepared for. 

I'm quieter. I think, observe, mull, dwell, and absorb the chaos that swirls around me. Then, I spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to meditate. I'm too twitchy, my mind jumps from here to there and does not want to focus on an inner light, thank you very much. I can't escape the appeal of a deep interior quiet though, so I keep trying.

If any of you old-timers join back up with this particular posse, I'm not sure you'll agree with my turn of thought. I am still horsaii to my bones. If I didn't have my dogs, well, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be. The last few years I've been both making peace and searching for it. Ironically, I have cut some long-term ties I thought were forever, sometimes, with a sudden sharpness I never knew I carried. So, the conversation could be interesting and I hope a few of you join in.

The one thing I know, an unshakable fact, is that I am myself here on the Chronicles. Maybe a little writing will help my current search for who the hell I actually am.

Long ago, I hid from the readers of this blog the fact I had one arm. I didn't want it to become a focal point around my horsemanship. Now I don't give a shit. I've survived too much to think it matters. 

I have Parkinson's Disease too and was recently diagnosed as living a lifetime of clinical depression AND plunked down about three-quarters of the way around the spectrum. 

There, the worst is out of the way. I talk about it now because I realize how intrinsic all these things are to my life with horses. Since this blog was always about living with horses, to hide any of it is kind of a lie, and I'm not willing to go there.

And here is a story:

"Stop asking your horse what it thinks when you're on the fence."

I can't say the Big K was shouting, but I could have heard him just as well from the other side of the arena. "We could have stepped into that turn a little earlier," I said.

"You missed a plus half at least," he said.

"It was a good turn," I said.

"It could have been a great one, but you have to pick the perfect moment and tell that mare to turn. You can't go into a huddle and talk about it. Your horse doesn't understand a score sheet, she's just going to pick the softest route every time."

"Mmmm, you mean like a real cowhorse? I lost points because she set up that turn the way she did?"

"You lost points because you didn't set up the turn, she did."

"But she had a valid point," I said.

The Big K didn't think I was funny. The little group of eavesdroppers sure did though. He muttered something about needing a beer and stomped off.

"So Madonna, do we want to follow him and buy him that beer? Nah, me either." I stepped down loosened her cinch and led her back to the stalls. We were out of the money that day, by half a point.


  1. I guess I don’t really have anything to say, other than I want to let you know I am listening real hard and I am excited when you have written something because it is always worth reading. Re. the spectrum, we are all on it somewhere. I cannot understand why people keep asking me questions that they don’t want the answer to and then get angry when I do what they have asked.

  2. I am grappling with the reality that I always wanted to go down the fence, and apart from half a dozen tantalizing times, that I probably now never will. It is most likely too late. Maybe you cant go down the fence any more, the good thing is that you can tell us what it was like. Despite always owning a decent cow horse I hardly ever got to use it. I am finding that having done other things is not much of a consolation.

  3. OMG. You are not just back, you are here with us. Thanks, Mugs. My Parkinson's is keeping me out of the saddle just now. Will be back soon, I hope. Stay well and keep conversing with us, okay? Loves ya, loves that Madonna girl.

  4. Good to see you posting again
    You are such a talented writer.

  5. Glad to see you’re back. I’ve been reading from the beginning and have often re-read my favourite stories when needing to escape the craziness of life. Your stories have helped me think more deeply about my life with horses and other animals and I have become a more empathetic rider as a result. I never commented before when the blog was active and after you had not updated in along time I thought you were gone from the blog in some way. This time round I will not miss the opportunity to let you know the stories you tell have such an impact. Especially when you change course, disagree with the herd, have a “turn of thought”, those are the stories that make me think about my own relationships with animals, those are the stores that have made me kinder to them. Thank you for all the time you spent writing all those blog posts over the years. Thank you for the time you will put into future posts. Thank you

  6. I have read Mugwump Chronicles off and on over the years, not sure I ever commented though. Always felt that your writing deserved more than whatever I had or could say at any particular time.

    Just thought I'd chime in now just to say how much I have enjoyed your writing style and sense of humor that your posts are real and always worth taking time to read.You are a great writer and take me into a world of horses and love of animals that I just never have experienced personally and so its very generous of you to share it.

    I did try horseback riding on my honeymoon.....wasn't the best decision in retrospect to do that on a honeymoon. LOL!!

    I had a close friend with Parkinson's and participated on a forum for a while helping him collect information from others, so I know it is a challenge...a designer disease they'd say, not exactly the same for everyone.

    Your writing is a treat and I thought you ought to know that from someone who doesn't comment but is most appreciative.

    With Thanks,

  7. I write to you from the library as I don't have internet at my house.

    I have never met the Big K, but I can hear him through you.

    This story was short and sweet but I gave it a good chuckle.

    You just go right on and keep being you. Love you!

  8. A post from you is always a treat, and I'm glad to see you're still with us.

  9. Been reading your blog for almost a decade now but only sporadically commented. Thank you for coming back. Thank you for sharing!

  10. So great to see posts from you. I've been reading since the beginning and have learned so much from your stories on horses and dogs. Your ability and willingness to dissect a situation and get to the root of the issue has made me a better person and able to connect with my animals in a way I never did before. Thank you for that and I'm looking forward to reading whatever you have to share.
    BTW - Your honesty about where you are, and who you are, at this point in your life is refreshing and it is what makes your stories special. All the best to you!


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