Tonka Tells Me To Fix It

By Terry Golson

Where Tonka lives, there are six paddocks, and each has a sparkling clean tub of water.


The other day, after I rode Tonka, I cooled him off (as best I could in hot, humid weather), put on his fly mask, sprayed on bug repellent, and put him out in his paddock.

I like to stand at the gate and watch him. It’s a gift to myself of 30 seconds of calm before I hurry off to the rest of my day. Sometimes Tonka cuts a rodeo bucking move, which is fun to see. Sometimes he ambles off, which gives me a peaceful, content moment.

On this day, Tonka walked over to his water tub. He put his nose down, but didn’t drink. Then he lifted his head and looked at me. I looked back. He gave the bucket a sideways glance, and then he stared at me. I could see the expression even with the mask on. This photo wasn’t caught at the exact moment, so doesn’t do the look justice.

If he had fingers, he would have been pointing at the tub saying Fix that. Tonka gave me one more look, then turned tail and walked purposely away.

But what was there to fix? The water is always pristine. I knew the barn staff had filled it just hours before.

I walked over to see. There was a drowned chipmunk floating in it.

Tonka got a cleaned out bucket and fresh water.

Which just goes to show that even when they’re fifty feet away in their paddock, your horse is still talking to you. It’s best to pay attention.

5 thoughts on “Tonka Tells Me To Fix It

  • Duncan Hughes

    reminds me of a long-ago part=Siamese cat, whose yowls and growls I am pretty sure I understood, before he died around the age of 18.
    Couldn’t tell you how, but I seemed to get it right pretty often.

  • Rosemary Corning

    i feel like it’s my personal mission to tell you how yogic you are and help (if i’m able) grow your love of it. Those moments that you enjoy, that pause before you dash – like all of us – back to the important life stuff, that’s the spot. Feel the ground under your feet, maybe wiggle you toes loose from each other in your boots if it’s possible, and allow the weight of your body to really feel supported by the earth. Your feet are the living breathing conduit to that living breathing earth. Just turn your mind towards that awareness for a moment or two – unless you can stay for longer. And then our busy, wonderfully multitasking minds want something else to do so let it settle on looking at your breath. Toggle Back and forth for a few moments, feet to breath, grounding into how it feels to be alive in a living breathing body. Notice anything that comes up or maybe settles down. Everything you do is Yoga! Thank you for All you do and Share!!!!! Much Love

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