We all have dreams. Sometimes we know what they are from a very early age. For the lucky few those dreams are fulfilled while we are young. For others there is a bit of a wait. I have always loved horses but I rarely got the chance to be around them. I fantasized about having my own horse for most of my childhood. It wasn't until later in life that I was in a position to begin the process of making my own dreams come true.
When I turned 49 I realized that if I didn't learn to ride NOW...I probably never would. So I set out to educate myself about horses and then to find someone to teach me to ride. I rode one of those "worth her weight in gold" lesson horses, the kind that will put up with beginner after beginner after beginner. I rode her once a week for a year ...then I sponsored her which gave me the freedom to ride her as often as I wanted. I guess I averaged about 3 days a week. One of those days being lesson day. I did that for another year. A lot of people would have gotten over it by that time...the work, the expense, the cold, the heat, the mud, the mucking of stalls, the smell. I didn't get over it. I decided I wanted a horse of my own but I didn't think I could afford it. One day a good friend told me "if a person REALLY wants something they will find a way to make it happen. It turned out to be good advice...I really wanted a horse of my own...so I bought Boo.
He was beautiful, and muscular, and about 10 years younger than my trusty lesson horse. He was not a hot horse, but he was also not a beginner horse. Yet, I was still quite the beginner having never ridden any horse other than the lesson horse I started out on. It didn't take me long to figure out I was over horsed. Either this guy was going to scare me off of riding, or I was going to ruin him with my inexperience. It was shortly after I bought Boo that Lauren entered our lives. She was probably all of 14, but she could ride circles around this old gal. Lauren needed to move up to a better caliber of horse, and I needed someone to keep Boo tuned up, toned up, and amped down.
For the next 2 years we were a happy horse family. Lauren would ride Boo in her lessons and I would ride him in mine. We split up the week and Boo would get worked 5-6 days a week. Lauren showed him in the Arabian class A circuit. She did ring classes like hunter pleasure. She did sidesaddle, and native costume, and she did dressage. She went to regionals with Boo, and we both did trail riding. Lauren did OHSET. It was the best thing that could have happened for Boo and me. It gave us time to get to know one another and it gave me time to become a better rider. When Lauren moved on which is inevitable in that type of situation we missed her, and when the time was right we found another excellent young rider to help keep Boo in shape and keep him showing.
Lauren is in college now and today, while home on spring break, she came to visit Boo. Horses must have a long memory because Boo remembers Lauren. He was quite happy being the center of everyones attention. It was a beautiful thing to watch seeing a horse and a young woman reunited. I am happy to have been a part of it. All in all between both Boo and Bay, we have had 5 young women share our horses with us. There has been tremendous value and satisfaction in the arrangement both for the people and for the horses. These are young women I will always care about. They are young women whose lives I will follow. They are young women I will never forget.