A person that truly loves something, no matter how they try to avoid it or their life brings them out of contact with it, will feel an aching, an emptiness in their life without it. Existence becomes almost meaningless, empty, tasteless, numb. There were always three things that made me feel that way: writing, drawing and horses. I occasionally pick up a pencil to draw again, and I have recently begun writing again. These things refresh my soul and enrich my life.
Horses are harder though. You have to know someone with horses, or have the resources (land and money) to own and take care of your own horse. As of right now, I have none of those things. My house is in the suburbs, there’s not a pasture or barn in sight. And it’s not just that easy to move either, we own this house. Last week some time I got this mad hankering to watch Black Beauty, one of my all time favorite movies. I cried (of course) and all those feelings of love, fascination, joy, rapture… all those things I felt about horses came flooding back, overwhelming me.
Then Saturday, I was at the Ozarks Romance Authors meeting and the speaker was a “western” writer. His sister had recently written a book with a young girl riding a horse on the cover. On the back was a picture of her with her own horse, looking all majestic and gorgeous. I got to meet her and talk with her briefly. Then I wrote a blog about my favorite books, several of which…. that’s right…. had to do with horses in some way. I made the mistake of getting passionate about reading Robin McKinely again and I remembered why I loved her books so much: her characters always have a close bond with either a horse or a dog the size of a horse.
I have been listening to the Hero and the Crown on audio book, the main character in this one is a red head named Aerin who fights dragons and re-tames this old war horse of her father’s named Talat. The picture to the right always reminds me of this book… but she seems to be a lot nicer to dragons than she was in the book. The first time I read this I was in 8th grade. My adorable little English Teacher, Mrs. Bastian, recommended it to me. I read a book in 4th grade called Pounding Hooves, about a girl who draws and becomes obsessed with this wild arabian mare that moves into the field close to her house. I started reading Beauty a few weeks ago but it isn’t holding my attention. Last night I dove into The Blue Sword again, which was better than I remembered. It’s the sequel to The Hero and the Crown. The horses have names like Red Wind and Fire Heart. The main characters of all these books have these deep bonds with their horses and a love of riding. Of course, it also doesn’t help that I “liked” the Cowboy Magic page on facebook and now I am daily inundated with pictures of beautiful horses from them. It makes my heart sick with memories.
I had a horse from the time I was about 12 to the time I was 16 or so. My broke single mom convinced the old man that owned the field down the road from us to let me use it and she helped me get the most wonderful thing I have ever owned: a Palomino mare, 15 hands high, and her name was Ginger. I was in love with everything about her. Her eyes, her feet, her hair, her whinnie, her smell… everything. I remember when we went to get her, the old guy selling her was a good man. When I saw her I started crying, I couldn’t believe something so wonderful could be for me. My brother in law at the time, Hoss, was a horse man and taught me everything I needed to know to take care of her and be safe around her. I miss him, but more accurately, I miss those days.
I remember the first time we cantered, how exhilarating it was. The first time we galloped!! The time she decided to go down to the pond for a drink while I was riding her and then she decided she would just go for a nice little swim across the pond with me still on her back! It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I fed her sweet oats, apples and carrots. I brushed her and played games with her. No wonder I never got my school work done. I was in love. The picture to the left is of me when I was about 12 riding my horse, Ginger. My childhood friend, Kara, is peaking out from behind me! I miss those sweet simple days.
In the spirit of those days I started looking at ads for horses on craigslist and came across one for a herd of mustangs that a guys was training and selling for like $125 each! Lots of colors, lots of choices and it was right here in Springfield!!! I checked the address and it was close to my work, like 2 minutes away. I got off work early and went to see the people and as it turns out it was a place that gives classes on horsemanship. It’s a big beautiful place, they keep the Greene County Sheriff’s Posse horses. They are state owned and operated.I talked to one of the trainers/care takers of the horses and she said that if I wanted to I could even apply as a volunteer. I was so excited I could barely move… I feel like I’m twelve again! I’m gonna do it! BEST THING EVER!!!
So, as a treat and hopefully to start a relationship with the people of the ranch so we can volunteer, Heather and I will be taking an adult beginner class there next weekend. It’s 4 hours long and you get to learn all the basics of care, grooming, saddling, catching, feeding and so on. Oh, and I will be riding a horse for the first time in about 13 years. I am so excited. I can’t wait! Neither can Heather. 🙂
Now, here are a few other horsey pictures… just for fun. Enjoy!