I love horses. I absolutely think they are amazing and beautiful. I look at their images in the art on my walls, and think, “They’re so beautiful“. I love to be around them, touch them, look in their eyes, and smell their necks. I’m not that much into riding, though. It all goes back to my childhood…
I was a very fortunate girl to get a horse when I was 11 years old. My horse cost my folks $75, and her name was Babe. Babe was a swaybacked, 25 year old Thoroughbred mare, 8 months pregnant, bred by an Apaloosa Stud. He had a perfect white blanket over his rump with big dark spots on the white blanket. I saw him at some point in Hermiston, Oregon. My Uncle Dan found the mare, and somebody went to get her for me.
Well, you can’t ride a real pregnant mare, who is uncomfortable in those last, big months. The new filly was born to Babe on April 12, 1972. I still remember my Dad coming in to wake me after he discovered the foal when feeding early that morning. What excitement!
We lived less than a mile from the Fairgrounds, where our horses were boarded. We scurried down to the Fairgrounds, and I saw the foal. Amazing, how sweet newborn anything is. She was a chestnut filly, clean, white blaze on her face, and four white socks that went nearly to her knees and hocks. What a great surprise! She was in perfect health, standing, nursing, laying down again. I remember sitting with her in the stall. Just sitting next to her. I handled her from the very first day.
As a kid who wanted to ride, I was frustrated to be left out from other activities, but I learned from my 4-H leader Donna Miley, and my Grandad Steve Nevil, and I loved this foal. There is so much to learn from the ground. I am a big believer in ground training – which now has a different name – and those early years of my horse training has been a big benefit to me now that I work on and around the big ones.
For more information on horse communication and expression, read Horses Don’t Lie, by Chris Irwin. Check to see if your library has it.