All the Pretty Horses

The Springfield News-Leader offers a story about visiting the horse park in winter:

The wreath caught my eye, but the horses made me stop to take a picture. They looked so peaceful on a quiet morning at Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center.

. . . .

If you’re looking for a break from the holiday hustle, I suggest visiting the horses. The Christmas decorations at the facility are handmade by employees and each year they add a few more.

The equestrian center is open through the winter, weather permitting.

You know what I do when I want to see horses in the snow? I walk to my mailbox.

The new neighbors to our south have two new horses and have cleared the brush on the east side of their lot so the horses can graze. Further down the farm road, the neighbor across the street has a number of pintos. The house just south of us (and our new neighbors) had a number of horses, but they’ve been gone a season or two, so their big barn must be empty now. Beyond their house is a little hollow, but cattle often graze on the next hill. And to our west, although the Double Diamond Bar ranch has been broken up, the homeowner on one of its parcels has a couple of cattle and horses just because he can.

Funny how I’ve come to take these things for granted after living out in the country for four (!) years now. Strangely, I’m the old timer on the block all of a sudden. The new neighbors to the south and west. Only the house on the north has owners who predate us, and as they’re getting older, it won’t be long until they move on to something smaller. The next house north has just turned over, too, and I haven’t seen the new owners yet.

Also, given that Springfield is a small city of a touch over 100,000 located smack dab in the middle of not much extended suburbs–you pass through rural areas to get to the nearest bedroom towns–it’s strange to think that there are some people who live their entire daily lives within the confines of that city and rarely take an excursion outside it through the rolling hills and back country roads.

And they vote.