Some dreams do come true.
I am an animal/critter lover. With the exception of a few (snakes and a variety of other creepy-crawly things), I adore and am in awe of all creatures great and small.
When I was a child my friends and I would venture into the mesa to catch lizards. Sometimes I was nice and let my little sister tag along. Or, maybe Mom told me to take her and being nice had nothing to do with it. I don’t know. Anyway, we would catch what we called Blue-tails and Horny Toads. We were always gentle, especially with the slim little Blue-tails. If you caught them by the tail the thing would snap in two. I saw many of those lizards darting around virtually tailless. I would take my catch home begging Mom to let me keep them and every time she made me set them loose in her garden.
I wanted a dog. Mom didn’t. I wanted a cat. My brother hated cats. I wanted a rodent. That wasn’t going to happen. But most of all, I wanted a horse.
My love of horses began at the age of five, roughly. Our family had rented a cabin in the mountains and across the road in a large tree filled fenced area I spied a horse grazing. My older sister and I decided to go visit this beautiful creature, and crawled through the barbed wire to get a closer look. We tried to pet him, he spooked and jumped back, we spooked and ran, he chased, my sister stumbled and he ran right over her. We were absolutely terrified. We made it out safely, my sister suffering a minor bruise and a life-long mistrust of horses. I on the other hand, escaped that mountain pasture with an all consuming adoration for those amazing animals. Life with me, as my parents knew it, changed forever that day.
I wanted a horse more than oxygen. I read everything horse I could get my hands on. For birthdays, Christmas, even Easter I would receive books regarding the care of horses, wonderful horse stories (Walter Farley was my favorite author) and beautiful model horses. I remember looking at each wrapped package under the tree wondering which one might contain a saddle, bridle or curry brush . I road my imaginary bay stallion (Cheyenne) back and forth to elementary school every day. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t keep a horse in the backyard. It had grass and a fence and everything!
My love and obsession of horses continued to grow. My disappointment grew as well. Eventually, when asked what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday, my answer would be, “Nothing”. If I couldn’t have a horse I didn’t want anything. I was such a brat. My parents could not afford the expense of boarding a horse, so they tried to keep me appeased by taking me to local rental stables and by purchasing riding lessons for me. And yes, I enjoyed all of that immensely. They almost went so far as to buy a home on the river, because the property had a corral and barn. Almost. Good thing they didn’t. It would have been a money pit.
In later years, I finally got my first horse. By then I was married, had children of my own and had moved another state. That mare, along with many others, were all my dreams come true. What a amazing time we had!
Have you ever wanted something so badly and, when finally obtained, found it to be exactly as you imagined? Or did you do the, “Eeww! What was I thinking?!” thing?