My Love of Horses
I was fairly young when I had my first encounter with a horse. My good friend, Katie, had suddenly bought a horse! I was so excited. She kept it at a place just outside of our village. We could ride our bikes so she could ride. It just so happened that they had a Shetland pony there named Colonel and I was given permission to ride him when Katie rode her horse. I was so grateful to have a horse to ride that it didn’t matter that he was small compared to her horse. Colonel had an attitude though and didn’t always appreciate having a human on his back or being told what to do. He was grumpy. One day, we were riding in the fields and Colonel started galloping. I was inexperienced and just tried to hold on and get him under control. He started galloping towards the orchard. Perhaps my inexperience saved me as he ran into the orchard and my neck caught a low branch. I was swept off his back onto the ground. Luckily, I was unharmed as I picked myself up off the ground. Colonel was standing nearby and it seemed like he snickered as I brushed myself off and got back on him. From that time on, we had a much better relationship.
My friend then moved her horse to a barn much closer to town where we could easily get to anytime. Just my luck, there was another horse there that I had permission to ride anytime. This horse had been neglected, malnourished, and overall mistreated. My heart ached for him the moment I met him. I gave him lots of love and tender attention. I was in for a surprise with him as well. There was a country lane that led up to the main road which was, at the most, three miles long. We had a wonderful ride out to the road and then we turned around to return to the barn. My horse took off at a fast gallop. I was so shocked at the change and tried to get him to slow down but it seemed that nothing I did worked. I became frightened because I wasn’t sure what would happen at the barn. I decided to put my body down close to his and hang on which was a wise decision. He ran right into the barn and into his stall. I later learned that this is called “barn crazy”. He became much better after this incident or maybe I became better at handling him. He continued to heal and improve in every way.
Soon my friend had her own stables with other horses that I could ride. I loved helping out in any way I could just to be with the horses. I would beg my father for a horse but, he being a sailor, would buy us children a sailboat. I loved sailing which is, in some ways, similar to riding horses. You steer the boat and maneuver it to change direction or change the speed.
Over the years, I still loved horses whether watching them at the track or going riding while on vacation. It’s wonderful to ride in mountains, rainforests and on the beaches. I will always love horses.