Once upon a time I had horses. It was something I had dreamed about for as long as I can remember. When I was 22, I became a proud mamma of a sweet little girl, and my first horse. I couldn't believe my dream was finally being realized. I added several horses over the next couple years, and also 2 more sweet little girls. It was a lot of work trying to manage both, but oh so worth it. I can still remember how the horses would come running up through the field when they heard my creakity screen door slam shut, when I went out to feed. I loved how they would nuzzle the back of my neck on a warm summer day, when I had nothing else planned other than to hang out and smell them. Oh the horse smells are the most wonderful to me! I loved buying hay and picking it straight out of the field, and then coming home to stack it. I loved the fact that I knew I could eat anything I wanted on those days as well, cause you knew you where burning TONS of calories! I even miss the bright early phone calls from the neighbors calling to let us know that our stud pony was out AGAIN, and eating their flowers..or the time my hubby tried to catch that pony while wearing only his underwear. :-o.. I also remember how hard it was to carry one child on my back, and push the other two in the wheelbarrow, as I was going about my daily farm chores. The frozen water buckets that had to be thawed out twice daily in the winter wasn't the best either. There was also a spring flood that had hit our little barn one year, and I spent most of the day digging ditches all around the barn to ensure they had a dry bed to sleep in, only for them to think it enjoyable to walk in my ditches and undo everything I had just done.
Even though horse ownership was hard, I loved it. I loved that even though there were days that the weather just wasn't suitable to doing outside chores, it was always suitable for riding. I loved the fact that I could trust my big paint so much, that we rode alone. I had my best thinking time those days. But with three small children, I REALLY needed those thinking times. I miss the over night trail rides with friends and their horses, and hubby even came along on one of those! I miss being able to say "yep, I have a horse".
I can still remember the LONG process of breaking our half linger pony. We named her Fry's Golden Honey. Sweet Man had cut down some trees and sawed them up on my Dad's sawmill to make me my very own breaking pen. One day, after several months of training, I had thought she was safe enough to take out of the breaking pen...she saw it as an escape. We tore up through the path like a wildfire was chasing us. I just knew, I was either going to die, or have the time of my life. Well, I didn't die...:-) Then the vet bills starting coming. Our best horse got caught out in a storm on New Years Eve, while we were away for the night. He ended up having a twisted gut and we couldn't save him. He is buried in that beautiful breaking pen. His name was Baltic Reed. When our friends heard about our loss, they offered us a "free" pony from the farm that our Golden Honey came from, as a companion for her. We accepted and loaded our three little princesses' up and took off with our rusty Ole trailer to go pick her up. We named her Fry's Chocolate Brownie. You see a theme here? We like food. She was sweet, but had coliced on us several times. On one occasion I spent two days walking that pony ALL over our property, tubing her with mineral oil, having the vet come out several times and gave her several shots. The pony lived....our bank account didn't. I think the bill for that one time was over $700. Meanwhile the three little princesses' are growing up, eating more and needing braces, clothes and activities. Something had to give...... As I stared at my dream, I realized it had become my families nightmare. I realized it was selfish of me to keep trying to make my dream work. I had three small toddlers who needed so much of my time and attention.
We sold my horses. The day the new owners came, I had to leave. I just couldn't bare to see them drive down the driveway with my dream that I had waited for, for so long. With it being fall, all the old memories have started coming back. Fall was always the best riding time for me. The summer garden work had slowed down and the weather was perfect for throwing on that bright orange vest of mine and taking off into the woods, just me and my horse. Yesterday I got a new edition of a horse magazine in the mail. That of course brought up the questions from the girls of why don't we have them and when can we get them again.?? I seriously thought about throwing myself a pity party, because I know right now we can't. Instead, I think I will count my blessings, that for one time I got to live and love the dream that I had always dreamed, and now I am realizing there are other dreams that are just as exciting.. Maybe one day I will get to try again at horse ownership, when money isn't so tight and my time isn't so divided between chores. But for right now....I am a cowgirl without a horse...