When I started asking for a pony when I was 5, I would say I was a typical little girl. When I checked the front door every Christmas/Birthday honestly expecting to see one and quietly cried to myself when I didn’t find it, I would say I crossed a line. When I turned 7, my mom finally caved, kinda. She let me start taking lessons… under one condition, I had to choose between riding lessons or ballet (I had been taking ballet for all of 4 months or so). Done! I traded in my tutu for some Wal-Mart cowboy boots. And even though I didn’t know it at the time, that was the wisest decision my 7-year-old self ever made…. my lack of inner balance and coordination was destined to shatter my Swan Lake dreams.
Being practical and knowing the instant I actually sat on a horse I might change my mind, my mom didn’t send me to a fancy barn with fancy horses where we’d be required to buy special shoes, pants, helmets etc. (don’t’ worry I wear a helmet every time I ride, it was just different back then.) She managed to find a woman with a few horses and some time to let me come out and ride an hour a week. I now know I was learning to ride gaited horses, but at the time I was on a horse! Her name was Jadi! And she was fuzzy! I loved it. Even though we mostly walked around in circles and the highlight of the “lesson” was when I got to stand up on the saddle while the horse just stood there, I loved it!
So as my mom saw that I in fact was not afraid of these giant creatures and truly did enjoy my time at the barn she made me a promise:
“If you keep riding and still like it after 5 years… I will buy you a horse.”
Now I don’t know if she thought I’d forget this little promise or she thought I’d grow out of it after a while, but neither happened. And after 5 years of walking/trotting/racking/whatevering around some woman’s backyard, my 12th birthday fast approached and I reminded my mom of our deal.
And she kept her word…. His name was BeeBop and he was beautiful!