Tom-Foolery

a wandering pony for Sue…

(this post was inspired by a dear cyber-friend who noticed my fixation on wandering ponies. )

Dear Rosa,

I wonder if you would’ve understood my magnificent obsession, my love affair with the horse? For you they were survival. For me they were high fantasy.

I always wanted a pony. As a girl, I passed through the ritualistic time of early teenage years wanting, craving, BEGGING for a pony.

Just a small one? I pleaded.

Not even a small one.

We could use the old barn…

Nope, that’s for storing dead cars and wood (okay I added the “dead” part) and besides, we don’t have a pasture.

Ah, I said, knowing I’d thought everything out in meticulous detail, we can make one in the back yard…

Back yard floods every spring, Tudes. We’re not getting a pony.

Mooommmmm…

You heard your father, she answered from the other room.

Drat. Foiled again.

My teenage obsession grew into a love affair with all things horses. I lived, breathed and planned for these wonderful creatures to be part of my life someday. I begged for lessons and got a few. Not many, just enough to satisfy the craving, not enough to fall in love with any particular horse. Then the day came when one decided to take me for a ride, literally. There was no stopping the beast that simply wanted to head home; to warm oats, its companions and greener pastures.

I was shaken, not harmed, and learned a valuable lesson that day. Such beauty came with a price tag; one I wasn’t willing to pay. So I gave up my obsession and settled into to adulthood loving horses from afar.

Flash forward a few years and enter my world as parent of a pre-teen girl. Yup, you guessed it. The obsession it turned out was hereditary.

What do you want for your birthday this year, Sarah? She was turning 9. I should’ve guessed.

A wandering pony (okay, I added the “wandering” part).

Nice try.

Okay, riding lessons?

There was no mistaking the hopeful tone in that little voice.

Lessons? Doable.

And so we did and well, one thing led to another and soon we owned that magnificent, ornery, beautiful, cranky mare called Sadie. My mistake letting her fall in love with her lesson pony.

Flash forward a few years again.

Sarah still rides Sadie. She’s loyal to that moody mare when all I want to do is… well, let’s say sell her because that’s much kinder. It beats the heck out of me how that horse will let a three-year-old ride, smooth as silk and kick her heals up at Sarah.

And how shall I describe her?

Sadie’s a love. She’s a devil. When Sarah decided our pure-blood American Quarter horse should have a show name, I suggested “Sadie Sweet and Sour.”

And me? Now that I own one of these creatures, has my magnificent obsession come back?

You betcha.

Do I ride?

Nope. Ain’t nothing on God’s green earth gonna get me on the back of that beast. I’ve watched Sarah manage every buck, spook and quiver. I’ve watched her sail with unnatural grace over Sadie’s head and pop up unharmed when I would’ve broken every bone in my body, even the ones in my nose.  I’ve listened to stories about how that horse took her for a little “ride” in the pastures only stopping at the last-minute and on her agenda, not Sarah’s.

Brat horse. Goober. Dufus. She comes to all those names.

So, you might ask, why do we keep her?

Sigh. She is kinda pretty, with that velvet copper-color coat, those long black leggings and plump rump. She can be sweet when she wickers at my approach. She does SO love to be groomed, pampered and petted. I’ve no skill in the saddle, but apparently I am a horse whisperer.

I discovered that when you pet a horse’s ears, it puts them to sleep.

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16 thoughts on “a wandering pony for Sue…

  1. Awwwww…….and I was so worried all these weeks that you might need psychological counseling. I’m happy to see though that you’ve come to grips with your wandering pony.
    This made me smile, because I have fantasies about Norwegian fjord ponies.

  2. I know how you feel, I love horses as well. Both my parents grew up around horses, but my dad especially, he would tend to them and care for his father’s ranch, but they were working horses. Like you I must have inherited the love for these creatures, but last year I went on a three day trek, and got bucked off my first horse, near a ravine, long story short I was quite lucky, but also quite shaken up. I’ve not ridden since, and don’t know how I’ll feel about it, but eventually … I hope.

    1. Sad when we lose our confidence – but probably a good thing to respect these powerful animals. I can’t even watch my daughter ride – I make her nervous and that translates to Sadie! How pathetic… still, Sadie’s been very healing for me. She loves to be groomed and handled and she’s very sweet on the ground. Hope you find one like that someday – they restore your confidence!

  3. Grin. I have a 9-year old daughter as well . . . who thank goodness has not shown a love for horses as of yet. Love that you’re a horse whisperer–it takes a unique type of woman to communicate with those beasts, lol. I really reading this post–gave me a smile on a dreary morning.

  4. I’m always astonished at how riders (especially the little ones) manage these BIG horses. I can’t even get a 10-pound puppy to listen to me — I’m pretty sure a horse would snort at me and run away!

  5. Loved the story! I loved them from a far, painted them when I was young fell in love with the wild ones out west and love them that way the best. I can feed them but with my Border Collie if they come to close to her mommy she will back up a very large one 🙂

    1. Aren’t horses so beautiful? Our Sadie is velvet in the summer and fluffy wool in the winter. She goes from copper colored to deep chestnut. I love her and she tolerates me. Ah, ’tis the way with beasts sometimes. Fickle creatures all… (except dogs. Dogs are loyal)

  6. Ohh what a sweet (and sour) story! I totally relate to the sour side of a mare. And that is why I’m looking for a gelding this time around! Hahahaha you won’t believe this (or, after all the other similarities, you might), but my horse looked like yours. YEP! Bay with a white star. Go figure. I will have to post a pic.

    1. No way! Isn’t that amazing and wonderful and delightful! When my daughter was researching what kind of horse to buy she told me, with all the confidence of an 8 year old that we should NOT buy a mare. They are too moody. So, when Sadie came up for sale a mere year later, did it give us pause that she was a mare? Nope. Fell in love with the danged beast and that was the end of that!

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