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Maiya and Me

My Precious

By KJ AartilaPublished 3 months ago 3 min read

This is Maiya. Maiya is a pain-in-the-butt. The thorn in my side. She has been with me for years – a spoiled brat, eating machine. She is now set to become a 50-mile horse for endurance. What??

Obviously, I don’t know much about endurance, but in my hopes-and-dreams, I envision her stubby legs carrying me safely to the finish line – and within the time limit would be super!

So, I told her our plans over alfalfa cubes. She says “Hmmm, sounds like work.”

“It will be fun! You’ll love it!”

She looked at me skeptically (she always does), chewing her cube and contemplating. “Ok. Will there be alfalfa cubes and other good food stuff?” She even perked her ears up for a moment.

“Of course!” I said enthusiastically. I tried to give her a pat, but she moved away. “Can’t touch dis!”

“Yes, My Precious. Here. Have another cube.” (Her Dam’s name is R Precious Fourmile.)

Maiya’s Pedigree

Couldn’t have been all that bad, though. Today, she came hurrying to me from her pasture. I didn’t even have to go bribe her!

The issue up here in the Northland is that winter is very, well, wintery. It is December. We have work to do. Beginning with the fact that she doesn’t care for people all that much. She does like food a lot, though! Which is great, or we’d never catch her.

Oh, and I have mobility issues, just to make it extra-interesting. I can’t really run with my horse. So how are we going to do the trot-outs? I haven’t really figured that one out yet.


Today is Friday December 1. The above was from our Wednesday and Thursday sessions – equally glorious days! Today is a deceptively gorgeous day for the Northwoods in December – blue sky (mostly), 34F degrees, no wind and hardly any snow on the ground. The kind of day that makes me think it’s okay that the two times I tried to order the heated vest this morning that was not available is okay, because I’m not going to really need it after all! Yeah – right.

Anyway, I took a new toy out for Maiya today. She wondered if I had lost my mind. Then she tried to eat my phone. She figured it out, though (the toy, not my phone - that would be great, though, as my own technology skills seem to be limited). Although she found the toy less than enriching, she did manage to enjoy the treats it contained.

Maiya after chomping on my phone.

I’m not really in the habit of anthropomorphizing my horses. I know they don’t think like this. I do know that there is a high form of non-verbal communication going on and it’s up to me to better understand and relate to it. The above conversation between Maiya and me is, of course, not real. (A human-speaking horse would be pretty amazing!) But it is part of the process for trying to focus more clearly on her emotions and communications so I can act appropriately in a way she can better understand.

Maiya figures out her new toy.

See you on the trail!

I will post updates every Friday (or Saturday because sometimes technology doesn’t move at the speed I hope.)

(Or today, as this one happened to work out, because my weekend was super-busy and didn’t include my laptop.)

I’d love to have you subscribe to my Substack newsletter to receive news of our adventures right to your inbox!

Thanks for reading and subscribing!


About the Creator

KJ Aartila

A writer of words in northern WI with a small family and a large menagerie.

My Substack

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