I love horses. I always have. I remember pretending a broom was a horse when ai was a preschooler and we lived in a little beach town in Southern California. That was as close as I got to any horses.

Then my parents moved to a farm in Washington State when I was 6 and for my 7th birthday, I got my first pony. Horses were my passion throughout my entire childhood and I briefly rode at the college level. I had limited resources, but lots of natural talent and tenacity. But it's an expensive sport and after college, family and work commitments pulled me away for a number of years.

Then, when my now-11 year old daughter was about 4 years old, she rode a pony at a school fair. When the ride was over, she screamed and cried when we tried to take her off the pony. We let her go around again...and again....and again... and the next day I started calling around, trying to find a place where she could take riding lessons.


Jane's first pony - Dickens - '02

For the past seven years, hunter ponies and horses have been the biggest part of my daughters life.


She's far more naturally talented than I am, and just as passionate. It's so much fun to share this love with my daughter. Unfortunately for me, I can barely afford for her to ride, much less for me to have the time and energy to get on a horse. But when I do, I still find that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, gives me more sheer joy than being on a horse. As it is, I enjoy just being at the barn and enjoying being around the horses. I like pretty much everything about them. I am optimistic that in a few years, there will be a little more time and money available and I will be able to take back up the riding career I left behind before I had children. In the meantime, I enjoy watching Jane ride.

Jane at Tryon Hunt Club Show - July '05

This is my longwinded way of saying how sad it made me to hear that Barbaro had to be put down yesterday. It left me in tears. And then this morning I found out that a horse I know and really liked also had to be put down yeserday due to complications from injuries that just couldn't be made right. He was such a sweet, wise guy, who taught many people to ride. He was a very talented hunter horse, quite successful in the show ring, but he always struck me as just a very wise and patient and willing teacher.

Humans are so lucky to get to have relationships with horses.

Jane and Conco - 2005


Cathy (cmloebel@wisc.edu) said...

Oh, I hear you.
The only thing more joyous to me than getting to care and ride my horses (some of my best friends have been bought right off the meat truck) is watching my daughter love them just as much.
THis morning she insisted on wearing her horsey sweater and carry her Ty beanie baby horse around.
My parents despise horses. I bought a QH colt the second I moved into my college dorm room. He's turning 13 this year.At the age of 29 I finally bought myself (ahem, the children) an 11 hand chubby hackney/welsh cross, black as midnight.
My daughter (who is two) sits on his back and combs his mane while I curry him and pick feet. His winter coat is so long it all but covers up her tiny legs and bottom.
For me, this simple horsiness is the good stuff of lfe.

Jane said...

MOM,TAKE THAT LAST PIC AWAY!!! its a horribe picture (haha) just kidding!