How it Started

When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Own a Horse - DID IT

I begged my parents for years to buy me a horse. No go.  We lived on a large farm with a barn and 65 acres of grassy fields.  Still, no go.  When we moved into town we had a tiny house on a 1/2 acre.  I asked again.  STILL no go.  Later my mother told me she was waiting for me to keep asking and she would have bought me one... sure, she says that later.  I gave up asking when it was clear to me it was never going to happen. (Early lesson; never give up.)

We had been married for a couple years when my husband and I bought a tiny cottage on 2 acres in the country and my husband surprise me with my first horse.  She was a big Morgan Quarter Horse cross, nasty tempered and sick and tired of people pestering her.  We paid $75 and took her home in a rented trailer.  I rode her in the tight confines of the pasture for a week or so before opening the gate and heading out into the big open field where she promptly turned into a rodeo bronc and sent me flying.

I came to with my hubby standing over me looking really concerned.  When his face stopped spinning in circles, I got up and retrieved the beast who was calmly munching grass a few feet away - and smirking.  All my city-boy husband said was, "You've got balls."  (Thank you, Nancy Drew.  See post below for an explanation of that comment.)
Eventually I settled on a sweet, two-year old, half-Arab named SurFear who would remain mine until he died at age 32.  He led a charmed existence for a horse.  As a foal he was born in the backyard of two little girls who would sneak him into their bedroom for tea parties.  They dressed him in hats and served him carrots on a plate.  He grew up believing that is how life should be for a horse.  I never broke that faith. 

He was an amazing animal, the kind of compact, patient and gentle companion horse every little girl dreams of.  More like a Golden Retriever really.  He followed me around the yard, nuzzled my pockets for treats and loved to go on long leisurely rides through the woods, over the streams and along the trails. Shake the bridle and he would come trotting over and put his head in it. He loved going for a ride as much as I did.  I referred to him as my Psychiatrist because he listened so patiently to all of my complaints.  My most enduring memory is of him eating the Christmas gingerbread house - it was his favorite treat, served annually. 

As he got older and I couldn't keep him at my house, he spent several years at a camp for disabled kids where his willingness to lie down on the ground while his long "My Pretty Pony" style mane and tail were brushed by a bevy of adoring little girls made him a popular attraction at camp.

I always said, "I'll never be old as long as I own a horse."  Losing him was so hard.  I cried for days.  I've looked for another horse, talked about it, but in my heart I know there will never be another horse in my life.  I've had the best and nothing less will ever do.

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