My daughter was 3 when we got Silk, and I started the tradition of baking a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting from scratch to celebrate. My daughter always decorates the cake.We would invite my daughter’s friends to join us at the barn. There was a lot of running and bucking and giggling with Silk and the kids happily dancing around together. One year, when we lived in Virginia, my daughter invited a little boy who lived down the street to come with us. He had done something wrong so his mother had grounded him, but when she heard that we were going to celebrate Silk’s birthday, she agreed to let him come. “How often in his life is he going to be invited to a horse’s birthday party?” she said. I’m glad she let him come because it turned out that he had never been on a farm before. He loved every minute and even got to ride Silk as I led her with him sitting bareback. His mother tells me that he still remembers it.
This year, I will make the carrot cake because my daughter still loves it, and it’s part of the ritual. There are three little kids who live across the street from us who are invited to Silk’s birthday party. My daughter babysits them now, and they love to pet the horses. Siete will try to hone in on the action, but she has to wait a month for her fruit salad. Her birthday is in May, and she will be ten years old. Hard to believe how fast it all goes.
The birthday girl knows how much she is loved, and I tell her every day that she’s the best horse in the world. When I look in her eyes, I can see that she thinks I’m the best too, and her expression reflects back to make me feel good about myself. That’s what our horses do for us.