Memories. . .
I love walking down memory lane and taking in the sights and sounds of days gone by. Reading this post about a little girls first time riding a pony made me think about the first time I met a real live horse.
Oh I saw parades with the horse prancing down the road near my house on the Forth of July. Blue and red and white ribbons in their hair. I stood in awe of them as they clipped clopped down Main Street. Even going to the little pony rides at the fair. Docile little fuzzy ponies that wouldn't move faster than a turtle pace. I loved that. I don't remember any fear of them.
My first memories of fear of horses occurred the first time I met a horse live and up close. My sister was taking lessons at a local stable. She was in her teens while I was still only about 9. High Style Stables was a local stable that catered to the saddle seat crowd. The upper, much nicer barn, was box stalls for the boarders. Most stalls housing a tall lanky saddlebreds.
The lower barn was for the schoolies. It was not half as nice. Looking back, I am a little ashamed that I supported a stable that kept their horses as they kept their schoolies.The schoolies were kept in tie stalls unless used for lessons. No turn
out except for once a year. I think on Christmas they let the horses out
into the one field This was before I knew better.
This day I remember walking to the barn with excitement. From the outside I could hear shuffling of hooves and people talking. It was dark in the barn. I couldn't see anything until we walked in. As my eyes adjusted to the light, the sweat smell of horses greets my nostrils. Cobwebs decorated the tie stalls, which were bearly big enough for the horses to lay down in. The walls between the horses were solid all the way to the ceiling by the horses head and half way by their backs. It gave the whole place a rather cramped feeling.
So looking down the aisle all the horses tails, as well as what came out under those pretty tails, was in the aisle. Not that there was an unpleasant order, as it was ventilated well, and the aisles were cleaned regularly, but horses poop. I see all those horse butt sticking out is what made me feel a tad bit of trepidation. I knew what horses could do with those back legs.
My sister wanted to put me up on one of her favorite horses. That meant walking into the tight space of the tie stall. My head was right at belly level, right at the level that if the horse shifted his weight, my head was going to be trapped between the wall and his big belly. I don't think either my mother or my sister was really looking at the situation that way. At the time I don't think I would have been able to tell you why I was scared of these big animals. I just remember looking at those big feet not far from my little feet and feeling like I had no where to run if the horse moved.
In the end I don't think I got up on a horse that day. I was scared of them. I guess that might be where it all started, my slight fear of horses. Yet I left that day wanting see horses again. I loved them even more. The next time I went into the stable it is when I got my first lesson in riding, but that was a few years later. After my sister had stopped riding.
(not my photo ... )