Things Are Getting Silly Now … and a Sonnet

Meeting Lucky

Bear meets his lucky charm for the first time …


For good or ill things are getting silly now. Probably for good since a little bit of levity is a welcome change and living in the doldrums is no fun at all.

It’s week three ~ some 24 days into Bear’s treatment for an injured lateral suspensory ligament ~ and with the dust finally beginning to settle, finding stimulating ways to amuse ourselves in the depths of frigid winter is high on our list of priorities.

Thankfully, Bear continues to be cooperative and sensible during his convalescence, and the comic side of his character is once again taking centre stage. (Or perhaps I’m simply able to see it again. Amazing what happens when you open your eyes.)

During our most recent hand walking excursions, with the arena sound system set to the classical music station and Bear now on free walk (I believe the fact that his blanket stays on while we do our walkabout helps him to understand this is not an opportunity to go running off steam) he’s been following me around like a happy puppy dog. And, just like the proverbial hound out for a walk with his/her mistress, within minutes of our perambulation he leaves me a special delivery, which I then dutifully clean up under his expert supervision. After making a deposit in the bucket at Poo Corner, we continue our walkabout, and while I hum along to Mozart or Thomas Tallis or whoever, Bear ambles behind me, gently running his nose back and forth along the fake furry fringe of the hood on my winter overcoat. He’s ever so tactile.

Lately Bear’s been learning how to bow

Learning to bow has come about as a natural result of the carrot stretches I’ve been integrating into our daily walks to help keep him bendy.

Bear is a fast learner, so teaching him to bow has been easy. (He’s also rather motivated by the promise of an orange root veggie reward.) Being the smart apple he is, he’s taken this exercise one step further and bows without prompting.

For instance, we’ll be engaged in our walkabout (we walk dressage test patterns to cure the monotony) when I’ll sense he’s stopped somewhere behind me. I turn around.

“What’s going on, Bear?” I’ll ask with some amusement.

He’ll give me a knowing look with those big, baby browns and then gaze down at his front feet, one of which will be placed forward of the other. Next thing I know he’s bowing for me. Forgive me … for the carrot he knows is padding my pocket.


Carrot, please …


Oh, my goodness … he’s so cute! And just for a moment I’ll forget this wretched injury vortex in which we’re holed up and simply revel in this touching moment of joy we share.

Of course, he’s rewarded for his effort and initiative, and then I make sure to move him forward quietly so he understands the moment is ended. (Otherwise we might be stuck there for some time while he demonstrates his bowing prowess by constantly switching which leg he brings forward and bowing and repeating. … Gosh, I hope I haven’t created a monster.) As we continue his free walk, we stop to practice his bowing for as many carrot pieces as I have left in my pocket. He’s always wander struck when my pocket is finally empty.

Still, twenty minutes of hand walking goes quickly when interspersed with a little silliness accompanied by classical music.

At least we finish with smiles.

Speaking of smiles … doing so on command is next on the trick roster. I’ll keep you posted.

And now … a Word from Poet’s Paddock

Meditation 2

Shakespeare musing …


Naturally, Poet’s Paddock is empty these days, but Poet’s Stall doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. Still, Shakespeare (Bear’s registered name and creative alter ego) has had plenty of time to contemplate his navel and conjure some poetic fluff.

As many of you know, dear Shakespeare has a penchant for poetic rumination (visit PoetsPaddock for more) and from time to time I have been known to indulge his flights of fancy in this blog.

Herewith a sensitive rendering from our equine muse, transcribed, of course, by yours truly …


Sonnet XXVII

One hundred days and twenty in this stall
To rest and watch as others’ worlds go by.
And restless though I be as bouncing ball
More sad I am to hear my mother sigh.
Though side by side this journey now we trace
Our joys and sorrows cannot be the same
Tis not t’ward a finish line we race
For she is well and I, perchance, am lame.

Neigh, step by step while on this pitted path
Together wobble we this journey scorned,
Still in our hearts we harbour little wrath
For out of battles victories are born.
And though the days seem long and move e’er slow
This too shall pass, and to new heights we’ll grow.


 So, there you have it. This week is a little more light hearted, a little silly, and I pray this will continue to be the case as we move forward with Bear’s recovery. It is, perhaps, how we’ll be able to maintain our sanity during this dormant period.

As mentioned in my last post I’ve learned to acknowledge that this is, perhaps, an opportunity for further healing on my part as well. Little signs along the way are showing me this is, indeed, the case. I miss riding, make no mistake, but the intense cold makes it easier for me to focus on what’s really important right now and that’s the healing journey. I’m putting my faith in the process. Perhaps at the end of this Bear and I will come out stronger than ever and life will open up even more than I imagined.

I’m hopeful.

Nurture what you love …

Horse Mom


©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Bear’s Winter Blahs

Spring is just three weeks away but you wouldn’t know it to look out the window or gaze at the forecast. Winter still blows at full blast.

At the barn everyone ~ horse and human alike ~ is bored with it. And I know I’ve never had so much time out of the saddle during the winter months as I’ve had this season. It’s just been so cold.

And, too cold to get out the serious camera.

So, in the last few days I’ve attempted to capture, with my iPhone, some of Bear’s winter blahs.

Presented herewith.

Commentary in Shakespeare’s own words … of course. 😉



The breath of winter hath the season chilled.



And yet, somehow, remaineth I so cool.


Alone Again

Zu Zu away, alone I am not thrilled.


Digging In

But bury nose in bucket ~ I’m no fool.



For carrots glow there as a blazing sun,



And with a splendid view my heart might sing.



Yet bored, am I, when all is said and done.



The grass is yet not green. When cometh Spring?


So dramatic. 😉

Nurture what you love …

Horse Mom


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

The Gift

Winter hay

Perhaps I indulge the muse just little too much but, here again, a new inspiration from my darling Shakespeare ~ a poet out standing in his field.

I guess he knows something’s up … 😉



Sonnet XXIII

‘Pon snowy mounds of white a glint of moon

As through the frigid night the light descends

And on the breeze a hint we’re moving soon;

A chapter new begins while this one ends.

The wind of winter change doth blow it seems

To lead us to a life that’s bright and new

So Mother dear can chase another dream

And I, perchance, can help that dream come true.


For what is life if not a chance to dream?

To seek our hearts desire and make it so.

A miracle that casts a vibrant beam

Into the hearts of those who dare to grow.

My gift to she who brightens up my day?

Is all my heart can give to light the way.

Shakespeare “The Equine”
December 2013


Nurture what you love …

Dorothy 🙂
Horse Mom

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

A Change in the Weather

While I continue to tweak the next instalment of Confessions of a Coaching Intern, here’s another missive by one Shakespeare the “Equine” whose own blog I have yet to update.

As he would say: “The day hath only so many hours.”

As well, change is in the wind.

Stay tuned.


Our new official portrait ~ Photography by Cary Andrew Penny

Our new official portrait ~ Photo: Cary Andrew Penny


Sonnet II

Fall on us falls with glowing gasps of gold

O’er wooded hills in splotches splished and splashed,

And red and amber textures big and bold

Are vari-coloured leaves all smished and smashed.

My feathered friends profess a fond farewell

As to the south their beaks they point with glee,

And flap in happy vees through cloudy cells,

It seems, at last, they have abandoned me.


And so turn I my thoughts to season’s plight

Of colder rains and winds that blast and blow.

And wish for August’s warmth with all my might —

Though forecast doth, alas, predict, first, snow.

No choice now but to weather Winter’s pain

Bow I my head and whimper in my grain.


Nurture what you love …

Horse Mom


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

Why The Long Face? … More Musings from a Poet Out Standing in His Field

The Poet

Following 18 days grazing the pastoral beauty of rural England it’s time, once more, for me to step into the day-to-day and establish a routine, albeit a slightly adjusted one as I make more room for tea time. 😉

As for a certain horse ~ apparently my absence did not go unnoticed.

While I pull my vacation-stoked thoughts together in preparation for future writing projects, please enjoy the thoughtful ruminations (in sonnet form, of course) of my darling Shakespeare.

Oh, the drama …


Sonnet XXI

Woe Is Me

A fog of loneliness my spirit shroud

As separate from the one I love am forced.

My head and heart bemoan this passing cloud

No matter some might think me just a horse.

Thus plant my lips do I in grassy field

To fill the hours head down in happy place.

For to my sadness I resist to yield

And paste diminished smile on this long face.


As minutes pass to hours pass to days

In moments do I dwell my heart to heal.

Yet to the paddock gate I’m wont to gaze

In search of she to whom my heart reveal.

Perchance, as all things do, this fog will pass,

Returning to my view my lovely lass.


Fortunately there is a happy ending …


Sonnet XXII

Woe Be Gone!

The spearmint chill of autumn through my bones

Creeps as the frigid winds my flesh embrace.

Full care take I my heart turns not to stone

So mem’ries of my Love remain in place.

And to this end am glad to do my part

As from the gate a voice drifts o’er the breeze

To heat the very cellar of my heart

So flesh and bones thus warm a few degrees.


My Love, she hath returned. Oh bliss! Oh joy!

Cold wind her sweet voice carries home to me.

No more disconsolate or lonely boy

Love swarmeth in my heart as buzzing bee.

As bones and flesh alive with her now heal

The autumn’s chills no longer do I feel.


Bear Smiles

We’ll return to regular programming shortly .. 😉

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy 🙂
Horse Mom


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

A Poet Out Standing in his Field

Bear’s registered name is Shakespeare.

I like the name. But I didn’t name him.

His breeder in Germany did.

Bear’s sire, Shakespeare in Love, is registered as a stallion in the Hannoveraner Verband. If you’re interested, scroll down the stallion directory to find Shakespeare in Love. Click on the license number and it will link you to a photo of Bear’s daddy as well as his pedigree.

Shakespeare’s lineage is known as the “S” line. Hanoverians are registered with a name that begins with the same first letter of the sire’s name. This way they can be easily traced by name to a particular lineage. Note his paternal male bloodline features names beginning with “S.”

Why he was given the name Shakespeare, particularly, will likely always remain a mystery to me but, frankly, it doesn’t really matter. Maybe on some grand meta-physical scale he was always destined to be my equine soulmate and the Universe conferred upon him a name that would prove inspirational to me.

Or, perhaps, the breeder just thought him a chip off the old block … 😉

(He sure is handsome like his daddy.)

A poet out standing in his field ...

A poet out standing in his field …

Being a writer, the coincidence, if there is such a thing, that the horse I’d been waiting for all my life had been named for one of the greatest writers of all time was not lost on me.

Not long after Shakespeare arrived home my creative juices began to flow and I started imagining life on the farm through the eyes of my horse. Naturally enough, his meanderings of thought came by way of poetry. In time the poems began to formulate as sonnets.

Poet’s Paddock,” a blog currently under renovation, was born of this process. So far there are about 20 sonnets in the collection. The author? Shakespeare “The Equine.”

I’m considering compiling and publishing these sonnets as a book of poetry. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, and in light of my last post about summer saying goodbye, I thought it would be fun to share with you Shakespeare “The Equine’s own imaginative ruminations on the end of summer.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were, from a poet out standing in his field. 😉



Sonnet XX

Summer Says Goodbye

By calendar the year hath passed away

And glowing fall its presence hath announced.

Yet cooler air hath yet to come our way

While warmer days my body hath renounced.

Forsooth, what shall I do with such a coat

Grown thick in time for winter’s hoary blast?

Too soon to clip, in sweat I stay afloat

And long for cooler days to come at last.


For while warm days doth often bring me bliss

And in sun’s light I bask and graze with glee,

This errant heat I’m happy to dismiss ~

Tis winter’s fashions now I sport, you see.

Thus Mother Nature’s hot flash soon must end,

Else surely I’ll be driven ’round the bend.


Isn’t he a clever horse? 😉

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy 🙂
Horse Mom

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

The View from the Other Side of the Fence …

Bear relaxes

And now for something completely different …

Some time ago I started a blog dedicated to the sonnets of Shakespeare “The Equine.”

Poet’s Paddock was born of my love for the work of William Shakespeare and the crazy coincidence that my horse, Bear (his barn name), came into my life with the registered name of “Shakespeare,” (his father being “Shakespeare In Love”). The fact that I enjoy writing poetry also factored in.

The idea was to try to see the world through my horse’s eyes and write it down in verse. Since his name is Shakespeare, the sonnet seemed the natural form for the poetry to take.

(There is a little free verse and other rhyming schemes thrown in for good measure …)

It’s all very tongue-in-cheek and has proven to be a wonderfully fun outlet for my poetic inclinations.

So, when you have a quiet moment and an inclination to catch a glimpse of life on the farm from the other side of the fence ;-), feel free to visit Poet’s Paddock.

Shakespeare will enjoy your company.

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy 🙂


Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

“Bear … what have you done?”

Somewhere out in Poet’s Paddock (for that is what I lovingly call Shakespeare’s playpen), there is a chunk of skin — about 4″ by 1″ — with my horse’s hair on it.

Alas, a horse is a horse, of course, of course … 😦

I noticed as I was grooming him yesterday afternoon that his right foreleg below the knee was puffy. I felt around with my fingers. He flinched a little.

“What have you done, Bear?” I asked him in as stern a voice as I dare.

He gave me the wooly eyeball and stretched his neck out as he yawned.

I moved around to his left foreleg and crouched behind it to get a backward look at the afflicted right leg.

“Oh, Bear!” I wailed, the stillness of the frigid barn air amplifying my misery. “How did you do that?”

He bobbed his head up and down. Not complaining just … miserable. He’s not used to injury.

I reached out my hand and gently touched the area around an ugly red, but now dry (because of the cold), scrape that stretch from just below his knee to halfway down the inside of his cannon bone and neighbouring tendon and ligaments. It was puffy with inflammation. He flinched again, slightly.

I felt his left leg to compare. It was nice and smooth and tight. I patted it and stood up.

Bear didn’t need to tell me how he’d managed to hurt himself. I had a pretty good idea of  my own.

He and his buddy, Sam, had likely been play fighting to keep warm. I imagine Bear had been rearing at one point and as he was coming back to earth his left foot, with its metal shoe, came scraping down the inside of his right leg, tearing a chunk of his beautiful skin right off.

We’re lucky, I dare say, that the damage isn’t any worse.

I took a deep breath and wondered what to do next. In all the years I’ve had Bear he’s been an incredibly easy keeper. First aid has become fourth aid I use it so rarely. Trouble is now that particular nurturing muscle is, to put it lightly, weak.

I decided to summon Paul, the go-to guy at the barn, who was busy bringing horses in from the cold.

“What do you think I should do?” I asked, slightly bewildered.

He thought a moment. He is a gentle man of few words.

“Wrap him up. The cold weather will help.”

Now, I haven’t applied a stable wrap in years and I wondered, as we stood in the barn braced by the cold, if I would even be able to find my set of bandages. For a moment I felt frozen in time. Then, while Paul mulled where he might find some extras, I strode purposefully to the tack room and dug through the storage bin above my locker.

It didn’t take long to recover the four white cottons and bright red stable wraps neatly packaged and protected in a clear plastic bag at the bottom of the container. Thank goodness! It was like greeting an old friend you hoped never to see again because their presence always spells trouble. I had not looked at them, literally, in seven years, but in that moment I was relieved to have renewed our acquaintance.

But now I had to remember how to use them?

It’s important to wrap a horse’s leg properly so as not to cause any [further] injury. And not just one leg, but two! Both front legs needed to be wrapped to create stability. Horses, beautiful as they are, are full of design flaws. Two much stress on the compensating leg will mess it up too.

With cottons and bandages in hand I crouched down beside Bear’s right front leg. After some basic re-orientation with my tools, I began the unwieldy task of securing a cotton around Bear’s boo-booed leg. Then, carefully, I wound the wrap around it, at an even and firm, but not tight, tension. It should support the leg, not cut off circulation. When I was finished and satisfied with the result, I secured the bandage with masking tape. I surprised myself … the quality of the bandage was, I dare say after so many years, good.

Bear, bless him, was a brave boy. He stood quietly the entire time, only looking at me askance when the intervals between carrots were becoming too long.

When I was finished grooming, (and as is our usual daily routine because, I’ll admit, I spoil him rotten,) I soothed his spirits (and mine) by giving him a lavender aromatherapy facial massage. He loves that. And, once back in his stall, Bear happily indulged in his pile of precious hay and impatiently whinnied for his treat bucket as if nothing was amiss.

For my part, I guess, I shall have to stop by the tack shop on my way to the barn today and pick up some turnout boots. If I can’t trust him not to hurt himself he’ll need to wear suitable armour.

And, I dare say, I shall need to give my little darling a few more days to rest, relax and recuperate.

Truth be told, I have a feeling Bear knows exactly what he’s done … 😉


The miserable quality of the photograph says it all …

Poor Bear

Poor baby …

Nurture what you love …

Horse Mom


Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

More thoughts on flies … straight from the horse’s mouth …

I know … you haven’t heard from me for weeks and here I am posting for the second day in a row. Well, there are going to be a few changes around here and this is one of them … cross-promoting my blogs. It’s either that or get rid of a couple, and I’m not prepared to do that  … yet. In fact, I’m thinking of launching a couple more or amalgamating the ones I have … or both. It’s open to debate. The creative juices are trickling again. 😉

So, following up on yesterday’s post, Shakespeare “The Equine” (aka Bear) has an opinion of his own to offer on the subject of flies. (Written in sonnet form, of course.)

What else would you expect from a horse named Shakespeare?

Please enjoy Sonnet XV … “Fly, away!”

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy 🙂
Horse Mom

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012

Happy Birthday, Bear!

It’s been almost a month since my last post. A family crisis has come and gone and thankfully the worst is behind us.

Gradually I’m finding my way again, however as happens during times of crisis life is under examination and I am mostly lost for words right now.

So, herewith the third instalment of Ham Horse Gallery, this time to celebrate my beautiful boy’s 11th birthday.

These images were captured today while Bear and his buddy Sam were having a romp in the paddock.


Happy Birthday, Bear!

Nurture what you love …

Horse Mom

Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012