June 04, 2005

I've wanted a horse since I was three.

I really don't know why, but the love of all things horse-related horses was obviously in my heart and soul. Like most of the stories you read about horse crazy girls, a Tea towel tucked in my pants became my tail as I cantered around the neighborhood with my other "horse" girlfriends. My day dreams were always horse related. Along with pretending to be a horse, I collected plastic Breyer's horses, and I even had a rocking horse with moving legs.

My night dreams were also filled with horses. I had a powerful recurring dream that a horse would come down from the hills behind our house. With complete confidence and freedom I would ride him in total unity, without a need for saddle or bridle. We would escape off and away down the street towards some new adventure.

My mom and sister contributed to my addiction. At a very early age, my sister would take me to the park and put me on a very realistic playground horse. She would sit behind me on this horse, bounce me around and make all of the appropriate canter sounds, and while whispering in my ear, she filled my imagination with all of the scenes we were riding through. This was magic at it’s best.

Even though we couldn't afford a horse, my mom went out of her way to provide the chance for me to ride. She took me to Griffith park where there was (and still is I think) a pony ride. There were three different tracks, one each for walk, trot and canter. I was hoisted up, strapped on and sent around a "lap." It was glorious. Even writing about it now creates a certain feeling of nostalgic longing to see this place that fed my earliest horse cravings.

Once I learned how to hang on, my mom took us to ride at a local stable. I remember she rented a nice big horse, put me on a pony and kept the pony on line while we went on the trail. This little pony would trot while my mom’s horse would canter. You can imagine these rides were always tough on my backside.

When I got older my sister took me to a place called Pickwick Stables where we rented a horses by the hour. I would show up on Saturdays and beg to do the grooming and tacking myself; the whole time I pretended that the horse was my very own. My love for horses was so great that I saw these stable horses as the most beautiful creatures imaginable. Knowing today what I do about the condition of most stables horses, I obviously had on rose-colored glasses.

During those years I got good enough that I rode with just the little bareback pad I had purchased. So intense was my desire to own a horse I even started making bridles and halters. My heart, spirit and mind were captured and for those few hours I was in heaven.

After college I was able to find people who wanted to have their horses exercised, so I continued getting my horse “fix.” When these horse situations weren’t available I always found a stable where I could ride.

At the age of 40 I went with my friend Thalia on a trail ride at Mammoth Mountain. I remember on the ride that I declared it was TIME; I had waited long enough to own my OWN horse. I came back home, talked to my husband’s daughter and we both went out to buy a horse together. As a side thought, I sure recommend that if you really want a horse but don’t have a professional barn where you are going to start out with support, find a knowledgeable friend or previous horse owner and share the experience. Debbie and I had a grand time getting things set up and in working order and I’m very grateful to her for joining in this early stage.

The horse we purchased together was named “Dan” and he was proving to be a challenge. He had been an arena horse and we were trying to convert him to trails, which was a difficult thing for this horse. We decided to help Dan by taking him out with another more experienced horse that a neighbor was willing to let us use. That’s how I met Buck.

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