Yesterday afternoon I drove to town and noticed that a neighbor’s large herd of horses was near the road. Of course I didn’t have the big camera with me and even though I carry a little camera in my purse, I didn’t stop to take pictures. By the time I returned they had vanished- off to the other end of the pasture or into the trees. I couldn’t see them at all. So…missed opportunity.
As I drove up to the house I found myself thinking of how ironic it is that I have spent so much of my life around horses and even on horses and yet have never owned one.
When I was a small child my grandparents and several other relatives owned horses. I remember riding quite often when we visited Oklahoma, but I was never a confident rider. I lacked coordination and courage. Even though my aunt and uncle gave me lessons in how to ride around barrels, that was never something I would have excelled at no matter how much I practiced. In CA I regularly rode a neighbor’s ancient Palomino to exercise her. She had a wide girth and a bad foot. Just my speed!
I spent as much time falling off of horses as I did riding on them. One day my cousin and I rode “double” out in the pasture and encountered a snake. Of course the horse shied away from it and I slid off its rump and onto the ground. Evelyn managed to stay seated and eventually retrieve me. When we lived in CA we kept horses for a friend. I rode one little pony quite often. One day she decided she wanted to explore the chicken house. Unfortunately she could fit inside, but I couldn’t. I also couldn’t make her stop, so I had to quickly slide off her back and fall to the ground! As a teenager I helped move a feisty horse from one pasture to another. I was riding her along the side of the road when a motorcycle suddenly rushed by us. I was thrown and almost broke my nose, plus I had some nasty bruises and sore muscles. I don’t recall that I ever rode much after that.
As a young girl I spent many hours tying grape vines, cutting grapes, chopping cotton, irrigating fields, and engaging in other equally boring tasks. The only thing that got me through some of those lonely boring days was planning the horse farm I would someday own. And of course I read all of the great horse books- Black Beauty (I still have my copy), Black Stallion, King of the Wind, Misty, National Velvet. I was going to own at least a dozen and ride them all over the countryside.
Good memories and good for a laugh now. Although horses have always played a small role in my life, I think we can all be thankful that I never bought one! Some dreams are only that…