Monday, November 23, 2009

Brought to You by the Letter H


Aww, man… I was so excited when someone mentioned horses as an “H” word for this week’s post, because I know we have a bunch of photos of us with our horses growing up. I know, because I can picture them in my mind. Ones of our swayback horse Candy Candoo in the driveway, ones of Jake and Molly – yellow and red little foals – right after they were born. We have pictures at 4-H events and one of me standing on a barrel in the backyard helping my brother Jerry practice for the barrel races.

We had horses. We have pictures. But apparently, I don’t have the pictures.


Someday I’m going to have to confiscate my siblings' albums that obviously contain the pictures I can see in my mind… but I have a feeling they aren’t going to hand them over if they know said photos will wind up on the blog. :)

Most kids growing up ride their bikes with friends around neighborhoods, but we had more horses than bikes and more siblings then neighboring friends, so we rode our horses into the little nearby village of Irvington to get candy at the general store. I realize that sounds like I’m telling a far-fetched story about walking to school in the snow, barefoot, uphill both ways… but we really did have horses. And a village. And a general store.

Gotta love country life…

My brother Jerry had a stallion named Kid that was the worst horse ever. He was spirited and mean and only let people on his back so he could try to buck them off. Needless to say, I never tried to ride that horse. My brother Jim got a quarter horse named Bogie for Christmas one year… poor kid thought he got seriously screwed in the Christmas present department until Dad mentioned, after the rest of us had ripped into our gifts, that there may be something left out in the barn.

Isn’t that that the coolest thing? To walk out into the barn and find your very own horse for Christmas?

My horse, Sparky, was the smartest, oldest and orneriest horse. He was a smaller, black and white horse that Dad actually had when he was younger… once you got a saddle and reigns on him, he was a perfect animal. I could literally say “right” or “left” and he’d know what I was talking about. The only complaint is that he preferred to trot more than run, which can leave a tush pretty sore after awhile.

But believe me, that horse knew how to run. We know this because Sparky was an instigator when my siblings would try and catch their horses. He would see people walking up to the fence and take off in a dead run across the field… and every other horse followed right after him. I’m thinking when mom suggested for us to go for a ride, she was probably thinking she had a couple hours of peace and quiet… not just because of the riding, but because of the time wasted trying to catch the darn animals.

Now, I know you all have read the story about my brothers going for rides on their horses and propping me up by the kitchen sink to talk to them through the sprayer. And you probably think that’s as gullible as I could get. You should know better by now. In truth, it’s trumped by the times when I was very little and they couldn’t catch Sparky. Instead they drug out a plastic, spring-hinged riding horse and told me to ride on that in the yard while they rode around on real, live, actual horses.

And being the ridiculous, youngest sibling that I was, I did it.

I’m still waiting for the old “what goes around comes around” adage to kick in, but so far they seem to have gotten away with it.

While the six of us kids may have grown up with horses, the deepest love for the animal resides in my beautiful niece, Rebecca. When she was little she wanted nothing more than to be a horse herself, and would trot around the house on her hands and knees for hours on end. [You must click here to see pictures of her bucking…]

Becca’s obsession with horses has only grown, and she spent most of her time this summer caring for her horse, Brandy.

horse becca

As it happens, the only old photo I could find was one of her mom with her horse Jenny when she was around Becca’s age. [She’s either going to think it’s fun to see both of these photos together, or she’s coming after me for posting it…]

horse laura

Like mother, like daughter. :)


Ok, peeps… leave your “I” topic suggestions for next week’s A 2 Z post in the comment section!

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