I have a lot to be thankful for this year. My family most of all. The chance to share my love of reading, writing and horses with my kids. I grew up with the Wisconsin Arabian Horse Association, and now my children have the pleasure of growing up around horses, too. My father-in-law just doesn’t get it, but I’m just like my mom. The barn was always perfect and the house was a wreck, but we were always in the barn anyway so who cared?
And then we got a new horse – a 15-yr-old Welsh/Arab mare named Moonlight that we bought for the kids. The younger the rider, the older the horse.
She was skittish and hard to catch, had one kamikaze run-in with a tree branch that just missed the jugular when it impaled her neck, but she was real easy to treat and is great with the kids. My husband Todd recently rode a horse for the first time in his life.
Horses are great for bonding, for teaching kids responsibility and caring, and they’re friends and partners that never criticize or judge. It’s only natural that I feature horses with strong, distinct personalities in my stories. It’s as natural to me as breathing. The smell of horses, hay & apples, and leather is my favorite scent. It’s impossible to be stressed around them. They don’t have bad days. They don’t care what people say to them. They just ARE. I can just watch them playing in the pasture, or groom them, and the stress just melts away.
I had a bad wreck w/Sassy this summer when she got spooked by a Harley that passed too close and kicked gravel up into her face. She dumped me in the ditch but never left my side. I had to walk her in – slowly, couldn’t breathe, but she was very solicitous. Stopped to let me catch my breath, didn’t balk or pull. She seemed to know I was hurt. Turned out to have broken ribs and a collapsed lung. When I got back on her for the first time after two months, I was shaking. Very weird feeling for someone who’s ridden her entire life. Rode Sassy around the round pen, and the yard. And she’s as gentle as if I’d placed a baby on her back. Both my kids ride her in the round pen and up and down the driveway. She reins a little better than Moonlight, but they’ll graduate to Moonlight next year.
I could never not have horses in my life, my world or my books. Even when that $1000.00 winter hay bill lands on my doorstep. I’m proud to be a “horsey nut” and I hope my kids always feel the same way.