Cayuse Corona Community, Week 11

A note from the Editor:

Here at Cayuse Communications, we’ve been thinking about our community of horse owners and riders. How best to come together and share during this time? We’ve reached out to friends to see how they are making lemonade from lemons and coping with the strains of the pandemic.

The Cayuse Corona Community is a recurring feature. We’re from California, New Mexico, Maine, Utah, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, and Colorado. Please join us by leaving your comments below.

View all Cayuse Corona Community content here.

Concurrent with these Cayuse Corona Community pages, we will be offering weekly giveaways, including goods from Jec Ballou, Redmond Equine, Kershaw knives, Pharm Aloe Equine, Hitching Post Supply, and the Cayuse Communications library of books. Read more about that here.


Nicole Churilla is a BHPS steering committee member and horse trainer. She wrote to me from her home in Ohio:

Nicole writes:

Holmes County is home to a large Amish community

The month of May always reminds me of my past graduations. From high school and two college degrees, May has always been a time of year where there is transition. However, this May, there was no transition for me. This year, I celebrated one year of working full-time.

Instead of planning my summer living arrangement while stuffing boxes with Mom and pushing the dolly with Dad, I was grateful to stay put in my current home. In the last four years, I moved nine times. I remember how endless it felt to pack boxes and then stuff them into cars, trucks, SUV’s and mini U-Haul trailers.

Nicole snaps a pic from a recent ride with her horse, Reno

Through the process of living here and there, I hardly wanted to decorate or invest in furniture. What was the use if I just had to pack it back up in the blink of an eye? I never felt comfortable as I continued to settle and resettle. There was never a solid grounding throughout my four years of college. I had my own niche, lots of friends, and fantastic grades but something was missing.

I felt certain of my college path, but knowing it was temporary made me restless. I was treading water. My arms and legs were moving, and yet, I was only keeping my head above water. It wasn’t the schoolwork that bogged me down. It was the missing piece of wishing I was pursuing something more fulfilling.

Reno in his new hackamore rig from Hitching Post Supply

It wasn’t until last year that the restlessness subsided. Then I started to feel secure and could foresee a long-term plan. It was easier and natural to invest in the things and people around me. Once I stopped treading water and started swimming, my attitude changed for the better.

Here in Holmes County, Ohio, the COVID-19 Pandemic is starting to feel less like treading water and more like swimming here. The stores in Historic Millersburg are opening again and tourists are strolling the sidewalks. The cozy restaurants are accepting some dine-in and patio customers. There’s a whiff that life may make its way back to being half normal this summer.

Although the pandemic can be synonymous with “these uncertain times,” I think it’s important to remember that there are many things in each of our lives that are still certain. My certainty is that I feel most at rest pursuing my horsemanship. My certainty is that if I feel like I’m treading water, then I have got to start swimming.

Debbie Hight is a BHPS board member, horse owner, and occasional guest columnist for Cayuse Communications. She writes from her home in Maine, where she is caring for barnyard and, most recently, her 10 year-old grandson, whom she is homeschooling.

William and Roxy

Debbie writes:

We are currently in our third month of Covid-19 life.  School ends on June 17. The lesson plans still come in strong every day.  I think that I am counting the days with more fervor than William is, though I must admit that I’ve learned quite a bit.  William did a project on the western region of the United States and contacted Maddy Butcher about why she lived in Colorado, after she’d lived in nearly every region of the United States.  You just never know where your sphere of influence may extend!

William is still a bit anxious about riding after his terrible fall.  I don’t blame him.  But, it has given him more time to be observant.  He noticed that Roxy did well on the ground with simply a lead line and rope halter, but when he asked her to trot along side him that she braced.

Well, the trauma of the saddle slipping during the accident apparently had quite an effect on Roxy.  So, Amy Skinner has sent some groundwork videos in response to our needs.  I wasn’t sure that a 10 year-old would be successful with groundwork, but I was wrong.  He is observant and has more feel than I do.  His comments and suggestions are on target.  He is happy standing with Roxy, talking about her day, and grooming her.  He even has tough old Postcard Jack licking and chewing.

And, the true sign of success is that Roxy will once again follow him around the arena without a lead line.

Posted in Cayuse Corona Community.

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