Friday, August 8, 2008

Memories of a Horse Crazed Girl

Growing up, I was a horse crazed girl without a horse.

My first memory of my love for horses is of when I was three or four. My grandpa had been a horse trainer in the early 1900's in Northwest Ohio. I never learned this until much later, when I was an adult. One day he took me to see horses. I wore my little red rain boots. He sat me up on the fence to see all the horses. I remember being thrilled and happy. Later, when I was a teenager, and was recalling the story to my mom, she informed me that Grandpa had taken me to a stock yard. I was sad but now realize, it was not a big deal back then (in the early 60's) to go to a stock yard. Of course now, I would be horrified but being as it was a good memory with my grandpa, I see it as my first introduction to my love for horses.

I always wanted to ride the ponies at the fair. Now, I feel bad when I see those ponies going round and round. But still, it was my love and innocence that sent me to the ponies.

Our neighbors had a couple horses and a pony. I would go visit when my parents allowed me to. I remember the pony being named Bubbles and was black and white. I am a sucker for paints/pintos. Another of their horses was Bonnie Blue. A bay quarter horse. One time my friend and I hopped on Bonnie when she was out in the field. We invited her over the the fence with promises of grass from the other side. Then, when she was beside the fence, we hopped on and let her walk a while. Then we simply jumped off. I was afraid the people might not like that we were on Bonnie.

For years I tried to persuade my parents to let me have a horse at the neighbor's place, but my parents said no. Today, I realize, they were right. Horses are a big responsibility and lots of work. I don't think I truly realized that when I was thirteen. I may have lost my love of horses instead of it growing over the years.

Every year my parents and I would go to the Ohio State Fair. I always wanted to head to the horse barns first. One time my dad put a sticker on my shirt that read "If lost, call the horse barn."

I went through periods where other interests took over but seems always, at some point in any given year, my yearning for horses would be strong. It's as if something were missing from my life and I needed it there to complete me. Even into my adult years I would often go through weeks of pining for a horse.

When my husband and I were first married there was another young couple down the road. We had our son within a year of our marriage, the other couple had no kids. That couple decided to adopt a wild mustang. I can remember being so mad because they could do that and I was stuck home with a baby. We didn't have much money either at that time so a horse was out of the question. Now, I drive by that field, I still see that wild mustang, now domesticated and living a quiet senior life with his pasture mate. I realize, everything does come in it's own time, if we let it.

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