Monday, May 12, 2014

Ever look at your horse and think...

"He's MINE.  This sweet, wonderful, beautiful animal is mine.  How did I get so lucky?"

I had one of those moments this morning.  Gave Riv his medicine, picked his stall, and had a few minutes to hang out and give him peppermints before going to work.  I was looking at him and it just kind of hit me..  "this is my horse."  It's so easy to take horses for granted, it's kind of humbling and amazing when you realize how lucky you are to have them.

When I realize how much I don't appreciate my horses, I want to kick myself.  For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to have a horse and ride.  I remember going to bed on Christmas Even when I was maybe 6 years old and wishing I'd get a horse for Christmas... which was silly, because I never actually told my parents I wanted a horse (not that I'd've gotten one if I asked, but still.).  By middle school, I was reading all the horse books I could find (The Saddle Club!!) and looking up horses and riding in the encyclopedias in the library.  (Yes, encyclopedias.  I really wasn't born in the 50s!) 

Around 8th grade, we got a catalog, I think from Valley Vet or some farm/ranch company, with tons of horse stuff.  I came up with the idea that we could get a horse and keep it at home!  Add on to the garden shed for a stall, get rid of the pool and fence it in for a pasture.  I wrote up a list of all the stuff I would need (including those horrible $150 saddle sets that include the pad, girth, bridle, and bit), along with a list of arguments for why I should be allowed to have a horse.  I never got up the nerve to actually present my case to my parents (not that it would have mattered, pretty sure we're too close to the village to have a horse), but it would at least have given them an inkling of my untapped passion.

I was able to ride a little bit here and there, mostly just bareback on a friend's ponies (I fell off a lot) and a couple of guided trail rides.

At the end of my freshman year of college, I decided I wanted a summer job with horses, so I found stables in the area.  The first one I called there was no answer.  The second one said sure, we can use someone to clean stalls.  And I've been there ever since (this is the Old Man's barn).  It was over a year later, fall of my junior year, that I started taking lessons while doing a study abroad in England.  I kept up lessons when I came home (first lesson I took here was on the Old Man!)...  and here we are.

It's kind of funny that I never expressed my all-consuming desire to ride to my parents (or siblings... or anyone), because as far as my family is concerned, this whole horse thing came totally out of the blue.  Which.... haha.  No.  It's been on my mind for as long as I can remember.

It took me a good 15 years to finally start riding, and another few years before I owned a horse... and now that I have 2.5 horses, I almost never ride.  Sigh.  If my 10 year-old-self could see me now, she'd lecture me something fierce.


Yay ponies!

River was being adorably dopey this morning...

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