Thursday, April 30, 2009

How it all began..

Yeah, that's me at 3 years old.
I vividly remember as a child getting excited to visit my grandma and grandpa in the country. I was amazed at the creature he kept in his tiny barn that grazed in the sun in its little pasture. I wish I could remember his or her name. It was love at first site! I remember watching this beauty through the fence and was mesmerized by those dark eyes that would gaze into mine, the smell of hay and feed, the soothing sounds that this magnificent creature spoke to me. I was told I wasn't allowed in the barn or around the horse, I was too little to be out there alone around such a dangerous animal. Humph. I have always been one to bend the rules, especially when it was something I desired so greatly and even more so when an animal was concerned. I'd sneak out and quietly go to this wonderful horse. Was this horse dangerous? Maybe to a 3 year old...but I never felt scared, or threatened in any way. I was always approached with her own curiosity of this little thing peering through the stall slats or the white fence that enclosed her home. From day one I had a friendship, a bond with this beautiful friend of mine.
I can remember this ride on her was the first time I was ever on a horse, and the last time I was allowed to ride. I was so sad that my mom and grandma who had such a fear of horses wouldn't allow me to feel her greatness under me and that beauty of being upon her back.
I sure was angry every time I asked to ride with my grandpa and they wouldn't allow it- who by the way rode this horse town, to work, to the store. He too had a love for horses, guess that's where I got it from. It is in my blood. Luckily it was the only thing I got from him!
Grandpa eventually sold his horse as he got older, the horse was never a dangerous animal she was actually well broke and ridden constantly. I remember the sadness I felt at my visit when I discovered she was gone! I cried angry, sad tears at my loss. It really felt like a friend was taken from me.
My grandpa and I never had much of a relationship, we only shared those few times with his horse. He wasn't a man of honor, good standing in town, and actually was what some would call a bad man - hard and cold, even dangerous. And in truth he really was. But I can remember the only time I saw his eyes soften and his demeanor change was when he was with his horse. That day that I rode he was as gentle as a new born kitten, and the only time I can recall that he was ever kind to anyone. I guess we shared something in common. And he never was mean to me when I was fact I was the only member of the family that he would talk to.
He has passed away back in 1991. No fan fair. Almost no tears. But as I sat at his funeral the only thing I could really think about the whole time were those few short moments we had shared and this wonderful horse, the very first in my life, and the love of the horse that he taught and passed down to me.
Over the years as a youngster, I rode. But as I grew, other interests took precedence and my father never would let me get a horse and I was discouraged believing I'd never have one any time soon, or at least until I could have a place of my own.
Years went by and I put my dreams of having a horse of my own deep into the back of my mind. But it wasn't gone, just buried.
It wasn't until 5 years ago that I was able to have a horse in my life again. And that passion was just as strong the first time I saw grandpas horse. I saw Mae belle, my first horse as an adult, and saved her from the slaughter at a horse sale. Little did I know that she may have stood well, even let me groom her all I wanted. But to lead her? To ride her? Lets just say she was the boss no matter what we tried. She HATED men, and they could do nothing with her. She did let women ride her, me only, and was pretty much well behaved - well kinda. She really wasn't a beginner horse, she often ran to be in the lead when on trail rides and couldn't be held back at all, and kicked at the other horses when I was on her back. If she didn't know the way already she would try to bolt back to the barn and was hard to handle, I'd say quite spirited. Somewhere over her 15 years she had been abused and I gave up trying to gain her trust. She had an old injury, wasn't quite lame, it had healed..but she like to act like her leg hurt her when she was ridden. I really thought I got duped (which I really did) when I bought her - $100 should have told me something huh? And for awhile I believed her limping when I rode..but that all changed when we went on our first trail ride..heck that mare wasn't lame at all!
I did sell her after a few months for a more safer horse. I was fearful I would eventually get injured by her antics and hang-ups. I knew she wasn't the horse for me and more than I could handle as a novice rider. That's when I met the horse love of my life Babe, that I've told you all about before..the best move of my life as far as horse ownership is concerned!
But I'll always hold the memories of this dapple gray in my heart and credit that beauty for the love and respect I have today for that wonderful creature called the horse.


  1. what a great story rachel! Sad but happy. Nothing beats having all that power under you and when you open the reins in an open field and just let the horse run its little heart way to describe that awesome feeling. I miss it so much. Thanks for sharing your story. It was written so beauitfuly!!
    Can't wait for the mailman to get here! Hopefully my soap will be here today!

  2. Aw thanks Karrie!
    I hope your package arrives soon too! let me know what you think after you've used it!!! I love feedback!
    Plurk ya later tonight I'm sure ;-)

  3. LOL Rae! I have left comments on your blog before but I guess you never knew it was me...LOL!!! mail comes between 4 and 5 so I have my fingers crossed. I can't wait!!

  4. Great story Rae... you could write children's books... about horses and farms and goats... you have such a way with words.

  5. awww that's lovely, awesome memories you have!

  6. Great neat that you had someone in your family who had horses and that you got to spend time with! Sounds like you and your grandpa had a special connection over this equine passion...and that perhaps he got along better with the equines than the humans? Sometimes, I think I relate better to animals too, LOL! ;) Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

  7. Rachel I am the same as you. I wanted a horse SO bad when I was a kid. My mom and dad said they was too dangerous, it would kick me, stomp me, bite me, you know the deal you heard it too! I rode a horse when i was 8. It belonged to one of dads friends and this guys sons took me out in the pasture and put me on this great big horse cause I mentioned I wanted to ride it. Well it was one heck of a ride! I hung on for dear life...she started running, I started screaming. The boys finally got her to stop before I fell off. But I was hesitant to ride HER again although I had my eye on their other horse who was more calm LOL I have always wanted one too. And someday I am gonna get me one! Mom and dad cant tell me "no" now LOL

  8. Nope Karri never put two and two together! Thats me! DUH! LOL I've visited your blog too and well duh is all I can say! LOL
    Hi elain, thats funny you said that, I started a children s book about a little girl (leah) and her 87 year old friend who had her over for tea and had a special little cat..real stories but in book! I need to finish that even had the illustrations done!
    thanks Amy! As you can see I've always had a love for horses! Nothings changed!
    Thanks Pony I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yeah I too get along better with animals than humans! so much easier! LOL
    Libby - dont let your dreams go, dream big and live bigger! You can come see my baby's anytime!!! We'll make a picnic date now that the weather is warming up! The boys and maylee will love it! And when we have our annula hayride you MUST come, Mari and I discussed a bonfire and hayride for the team..what do you think?


Thanks for visiting the farm! We love comments and hope to hear from you! ~ Rachel, Norm, Kiddos, and all our furry friends!