Sunday, March 30, 2008

In the Beginning

Where, oh where did it all begin? The memories are embarrassingly strong. Somewhere, I lived in a world of Breyer Model horses and galloping my bony-kneed legs down the driveway, snorting and whinnying (I still do a great impression.) Or, putting a blanket on the arm of the couch, straddling it, clucking, and pretending to ride. Free-time was spent consuming books such as Summer Pony by Jean Slaughter Doty.

I still have that book and its sequel, Winter Pony. The pages are yellowed and well-loved. I poured over them, relating to Ginny and her darling Painted pony she called Mokey. I went grocery-shopping with my mother, but only so I could spend time at the magazine stand pouring over issues of Horse and Horseman, Horse! Of Course, and Horse Illustrated. Mom always let my sister and I pick one magazine each to buy.

It continued, an itch that I obsessively scratched. In the back seat of the car, my face pressed to the glass, straining to catch any glimpse of a horse or pony in passing pastures. Any chance to pet a horse over a fence or to ride a pony at the fair....was heaven. When we moved to property with acreage and had a neighbor lady who had a horse and gave lessons, my itch became inflamed even more. I was going to learn to ride, and get my own pony!

Suddenly, stacking firewood for my allowance and filling mason jars of coins became vital, as it paid for riding lessons. A blood bay, sausage-bodied Morgan mare became instrumental in teaching me the foundation of horse care and how to ride. She was patient, her owner even more so as we were frequent visitors to her small farm, savoring every second spent with her horses.

Shortly thereafter came my first pony. I found his ad on the local grocery store bulletin board, a black and white sketch of a Shetland pony for $150. We bought Black Jack on the spot. He was a miniature version of Walter Farley's famous Black stallion. He was small but study, and tolerated my galloping him bareback up the driveway. I soon outgrew him and passed him down to my younger sister.

In future posts I will share more detailed stories about the horses from my past, as they all have a story to tell and are a part of my cowgirl history. I hope you will join me as I share my insights, stories both past and present, random thoughts about horses, and fun cowgirl stuff in general. I hope you can find a little something special in my stories that you can relate to.

Until we meet again,

Pony Girl

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