Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Training to amble

I ran across an interesting word the other day:



1. Something that limits or hinders.
2. A fishing net having three layers.
3. An instrument for drawing ellipses.
4. A shackle used in training a horse to amble.
5. An instrument for gauging and aligning parts of a machine.
6. A hook for hanging a pot or a kettle over a fire.

verb tr.: To restrain; to hinder.

Now apart from being a very versatile word with a variety of divergent meanings, the fourth definition caught my eye.

I had no idea horses had to be trained to amble. I thought ambling was one of those things that went automatically with unbroken stretches of desert, western sunsets, dusty trails and worn leather saddles. Maybe I've been confusing the cowboy with the horse.

Which poses a problem. As the pace of summer slows things down just a little, I've been okay with ambling through the weeks until school begins again and my daily writing and art routine has better defined hours. I'm still writing, still drawing and painting, but perhaps not at the same speed.

Does this mean I've been trammeled?

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