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!