Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mane Event

Dressage forms spread across the floor, a small barn to the left, a tent to the right, Gabby sits in the middle playing with the small riders dressed in cowboy clothing as well as equestrian wear. Barrel racers are mixed with the sleek thoroughbred horses. Even the little colts get into the action.

My granddaughter loves horses as did her mother and her grandma. I wonder if little boys have the same attraction to this wonderful animal. My daughter and her daughters were not raised on a farm nor did my parents have horses later in life. So why this love?

In my attic sits a saddle that hasn't actually be used since 1965, the year my horse died. A few years ago, Gabby placed the saddle over a box and hooked the reins to the exercise bike. "I'm riding your horse, Grammy," she explained. Yes, I remember pretending to ride a horse in my youth. A saw horse and a rope, and I was riding a sturdy steed. I remember the day when I was about twelve and the horse was delivered to our house. I remember the first day of my senior year in high school when my horse died. Yes, the saddle has traveled from Ohio to Wisconsin to Beaverton, Oregon. A piece of my past I find difficult to sell. A saddle that is about 70-80 years old.

Gabby cuddles up against me as we scan the dressage photos on the computer. She ooos and ahs picking a favorite horse that stays her favorite until the next picture appears. We both share that strong desire to pet one of these beasts, to sit in the saddle and ride off across an open field.

I always thought that my love of horses stemmed from the cowboy shows I watched in black an white on the old Raytheon television, but now I'm thinking maybe not. Of course, Prince Charming and all of the other Disney princes rode in on white chargers. Maybe it is the romantic in little girls that loves the horse. Or maybe, just maybe, it is just one look into the eyes of a horse that captures us and takes us in.

I need to stop writing now. I hear a little horse on the floor calling me to come play. "I want the quarter horse!"


  1. I was a horse-crazy girl, too, but my parents could never afford to buy a horse for me. That didn't stop me from reading about them, drawing them and imagining owning one. It is a part of my childhood that I wouldn't give up for anything.

  2. I inherited my horse from a great-uncle. Once my kids and I were on a trail ride when a hat fell off. I hoped off the horse picking up the hat. My kids were blown away that I didn't need someone to hold the horse and help me back up. Still makes me chuckle.