Monday, September 15, 2008

The Big 13

Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday. I don’t think I’ve ever told you, but I wouldn’t have Silk or Siete if it weren’t for my child. When she was just a baby, she was horse crazy. We lived in California and there was a gardening store and plant nursery walking distance from our house. They had three old ponies in a corral with a little barn. Every day, my daughter would beg me to take her to see the ponies so she could feed them carrots.

After a couple of months of fattening up these spoiled ponies, I decided that I would look for a barn where I could ride Western and my little cowgirl could see real horses. I found a place with a sign saying “Cowgirl Heaven” over the door, and we spent most of our time and money there. It awakened an important part of me that had been lost for many years. That’s when I bought Silk, but she was too spirited for a child to ride. I would borrow the horse in the neighboring corral, a good old boy named Buster, to let my 3-year old daughter ride around bareback as I led him on “Ranch Patrol”. It reminded me of myself when I was her age.

My child began riding on her own when she was four. First, there was Jinny Jigs, a 20- year old Quarter Horse that I called “the Mother Theresa of all horses”. Then, there was Dusty, a 28-year old Paint stallion who was a big Teddy bear. When Dusty died, my daughter cried harder than I’d ever seen her cry. She said to me, “Mommy, I think my heart is breaking.” She still misses him and talks about him. A month later, Siete was born, and my daughter had a horse of her own.

When Siete was first being trained, the guy who was starting her told me, “She’s a great horse for a little girl.” I had a feeling that he was being derisive, but I laughed and agreed with him because that’s what Siete is-- my little girl’s horse. In recent times, the electric bass guitar and other interests have taken priority over horseback riding. It’s funny though that when I ride Silk, my daughter suddenly appears out of nowhere at the corral gate asking for a turn.

Last week, one of my daughter’s teachers asked the class to write about the most important events in their lives. My daughter wrote about Siete being born. So, even though there are other distractions, I know that her heart still belongs to the horses. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart, from Mom and Silk and Siete!


M. C. Valada said...

Awwww. To both the story and the picture. Happy birthday to your daughter.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Happy birthday to your daughter. She shares the same birthday with me. Us Virgos rock!

Pony Girl said...

What a nice post. Happy Birthday to your daughter! I did not know it was your daughter that led you to horses. Did you ride as a child?
Sometimes, kids do lose interest in horses. I know the lady that taught my sister and I to ride, her first daughter was really into horses and probably ended up being a serious horsewoman. Her second daughter never had an interest. She played soccer and the piano. I guess that mom was lucky she got at least one cowgirl daughter out of the two! ;)

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Hope your duaghter has a wonderful birthday. Amazing what children add to our lives isn't it.

Heidi the Hick said...

Happy birthday!!

Mine is 14 now and even though the distractions are many, she still loves her tiny mare. Even if she gets too tall to ride her (which I'm sure she will) that horse will never lack for hugs and scratches.

I think it's wonderful that you and your daughter, and your horse and her daughter, are such a great team!

Twinville said...

What a beautiful story, especially reading about the beautiful relationship the two of you share that also surrounds horses.

Happy Birthday to your wonderful daughter! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch
New Mexico

Victoria Cummings said...

THnaks, MC - I'm really lucky to have such a wonderful kid!
NM - Happy Birthday to you!
PG - I rode and was all about horses until I was about 18. Then, I was obsessed with making movies and lived in NYC and LA for many many years and stopped riding. So, I guess my daughter got the "horsey gene" from me, and helped me remember that once a cowgirl, you're always a cowgirl.

billie said...

Happy birthday to your daughter!

My children brought me back to horses as well - while son was in pony school I would sit and post the trot on the bench, and then ride the canter right along with him. :)

He is 13 now and has not ridden in over a year, but he still enjoys the horses and visits them daily with treats.

My daughter is a different story - it was obvious from the age of 2 that she was part equine and every time I turn around she's on the back of one of the horses here. It's wonderful to have that connection, and that our children so often bring us back to the things we loved but strayed away from!

AnnL said...

Happy birthday to your daughter. How nice that she re-kindled that love of horses that was in you, smoldering in your soul. It's a special gift the two of share.


deejbrown said...

Happy birthday to your daughter! May she live long and be as positive an influence on this earth as her mother.

Gecko said...

Happy birthday to your daughter! A lovely story about Silk and Siete, there's always other things young girls want to try out, good to hear your daughter still loves her horses though!

Anonymous said...

I loved watching my girl grow up with her horses. The love of horses is definitely in her blood and she is the reason that we bought a couple of quarterhorses last year.

Esther said...

Aww, that was really really cute! I didn't know Siete was your daughter's horse! I have to see if Isolde becomes Tabita's (my niece) one day!

smellshorsey said...

Horses keep girls safe and are the world's best distraction.

How cool is that that your daughter led you back to horses?

Now, how do we keep them interested in horses? (My daughter is 13, too, and beginning to notice -- yikes -- boys!)

Horses I know how to deal with. Boys, not so much.