Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Me at sixteen...

The above letter is from the Appaloosa Horse Club.  When I was sixteen, I was very much into horses and I had an Appaloosa pony named Rusty.  I wrote to the Club to get information about his ancestors and actually wrote letters to a lot of the folks who owned the horses that went into the making of him.

The lady who bought his mom also got Rusty, because Rusty wasn't weaned when his mom was purchased.  She wrote that she'd had to put her down a few years prior because she developed diarrhea and she couldn't keep weight on her.

Rusty's mom

Rusty as a young horse

Rusty's grandfather

I also heard from the people who owned Hell's Afire, who I think was Rusty's sire.  I'd have to look at his papers to know for certain.  Rusty was born April 22, 1969... a long, long time ago!

Rusty and me after we won a huge pleasure pony class at the 1988 State Fair of Virginia.

Jumping a low fence...

I miss having horses in my life, even though it's an expensive, time consuming, and occasionally inconvenient hobby.  I used to spend most weekends in the show ring or fox hunting.  At the time, I didn't realize how having horses in my life to occupy my weekend was such a good thing.  Now that I have too much time on my hands, I see how much horses enriched my life.

41 year old me also thinks it's cool that 15 year old me (the letter is dated four days before I turned 16) thought to research the way I did.  It was a lot of fun to hear from the nice people who had the horses that went into the making of my best high school friend.  We were quite a successful pair back in the day.  Rusty taught me hard work, because from the age of 12, I worked hard in a barn in order to help pay his boarding bill and for my riding lessons, which I took for many years.  I don't miss cleaning stalls on blazing hot summer days or bitter cold winter mornings, but I do miss the companionship of horses and some of the people who love them (of course, a lot of horse people can be snobs).

The older I get, the more I appreciate the animals in my life.  They have helped me be a better person.  I may have more natural talent as a singer, but back when I was sixteen, I was all about horses and dreamed of spending my life in a barn.  It still doesn't sound so bad today.

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