Friday, January 23, 2009


Inspired by mugwump chronicles

There are some of us that are born with a desire to break the bank, spend endless hours in the worst weather conditions, forget sleep and most of all ourselves for a chance to be with horses. There are those that grow out of it and those that never think of anything else but horses.

I recall the first time I saw a real horse that I can remember. I am sure there were times before this but none as vivid as this one.
I seem to have the ability to remember things from when I was young in shocking clarity. I was barely two years old when my one grandmother died. She was schizophrenic and had cancer. I remember her coffin, a delicate pastel purple with dark lilacs painted on the corners.
Another memory from when I was two was picking out my first dog, Baby, our yellow Labrador. Baby was a faithful companion but that is not what I remembered the day by.
We went to a local farm where they sold antiques out of their cute little rustic barn. I don't remember the four puppies there because something else like magic had captured my full attention.
My parents talked business with the lady and I watched from between two fence boards, eyes glued to the vision in front of me.
A man on a chestnut horse running faster than anything my little eyes had ever fell upon. They were galloping down a fence row, the man's hat had blown off but held on by stampede strings around his neck. He leaned into the horses mane; brown hair whipping his face as the hooves that carried them both hovered just above the grassy earth with every stride. I could hear each beat with the loud thump of my heart. They seemed to run forever before turning around and galloping back down the fence. I was captivated.
I probably stood there for a few minutes but they seemed like hours. Etching the image into my mind and soul.

I went home that day and designated an old steam trunk we kept on the porch the stable. This is where I kept all my "horses" There was a chestnut like I had seen, a grey, a white and my favorite, the long limbed, powerful black stallion. I would open the trunk and take off at a gallop and leap as far as my young legs would let me onto the lawn. It was my imagination, it stretched and still does. The back yard was a huge meadow that went for miles and miles. We hid in the evergreens as our forest and stood by the pond that was the ocean.
I played horses at school, found friends that played with me. We would run around nickering and winning until the teacher would call and we would gallop to the line up to see who won the race.

In reality when I go past that same cute little farm where we got my dog, the fence they raced is only 120 feet and the man that flew on that horses back is now old and crippled. The horse is still there but something tells me he doesn't get ridden much anymore. I stopped one night when no one was around and patted that old gelding over the fence, silently thanking him for awakening my dreams and creating memories.

If only.

My mother has always loved horses so I can say it probably is hereditary. Her best friend was a farrier and wild cowgirl in heart and soul. The thing that sticks is the grandmother I mentioned. My mother used to tell me stories, I know they hurt her at one point. Now she makes sense of it all that she was witnessed and experienced the bond and calm that one finds when spending time around horses.
When my grandmother had one of her "episodes" she would get her basket and take a walk across a couple fields to visit the local equids. Along the way she would gather grasses and weeds to feed them. My mother reported that when she returned she seemed to be in her right mind. No doctor or medicine in the world was or is capable of doing that for her condition.

So I invite any of you (I know there isn't many but spread the word please!) who reads this to blog, in your own blog and write about the first memory of a horse. You don't have to be horsaii but everyone goes through a stage in life where we are captured in the hypnotizing hoof beats of equus.

1 comment:

Sara said...

That was a great story, and I can fully relate to your grandmother. I just wish I would realize that I need to take my 'medicine' sooner. It never fails to make me feel better when nothing else will.

Just found your blog. I'm enjoying it so far & think I'm going to order a nurtural bridle. I'd looked into it a while ago, and let it fall by the wayside.

I'll have to think about my first horse memory...A friend and I were comparing notes on horse-crazy childhood symptoms. She had horses and I didn't, but we had to laugh at all the same things we thought and did.

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