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Growing Up Around Horses and Cows

Today was a fun day as we took the ponies out in the woods and rode between all three farms. My friend has a little sorrel pony named Ginger, and I have a dapple-gray pony named Mack. We go everywhere with these ponies and ride them all the time.

My dad brought Mack home a few years ago and surprised me with him. He had been a show pony, so his hooves were really long so he could stretch out, and I had to wait to ride him until his feet were trimmed, but I did not care. I fell in love with him the minute I saw him. He had the longest white mane and tail, and I couldn't do anything but hug him.

I was shocked that my dad bought me the pony because he called them hay burners. He knew I loved horses all the way back to Colorado and the horse we boarded for a man. I would stand out at the corral talking to the big paint horse and wait for him to come close to me so I could pet him. I wasn't very big, but I wasn't scared of him. I smile when I think how much dad hated that horse. He had to throw a lasso around him to catch him so I could sit on the horse's back. The horse didn't care if you rode him; he just did not like being caught.

As much as I loved having that horse around, he had to go home to his owner, and I turned my attention over to a white-faced Hereford calf. She was so pretty, and eventually, Dad put a halter on her, I sat on her back while she ate, and dad worked around the barn. Susie became my substitute horse. She got so used to me sitting on her it was no big deal when I sat on her, and dad led me around the pen.

So, the day the pony stepped out of the trailer, my heart just fell in love. My friend lived next door, and her dad bought her a pony, too, so we did a lot of riding over the years.

Today was different as we walked the ponies back to the woods, and we talked about school and all the fun things girls talk about when they are alone. We joked about the cute boys in class and laughed about silly things that happened to us.

Moving back to Ohio and starting a new life at my grandma's farm was new to me. I had grown up with mountains around me and longhorn cattle in the backyard. My best friend Angie wasn't here. Ohio was all new to me. The land was flat and we lived in a bigger house. I had to make new friends at school and I didn't feel like I fit in. It would get better I knew that.

Days like today were days I would never forget. I loved going on rides and spending time with my best friend. Mack took care of me, and he put up with me, even when I tried to get him to walk through the creek. He would walk around puddles, and I had to walk down to a place there was very little water for him to cross. I spend many days in the barn brushing him down and talking to him. Mack listened and loves me right back.

I know someday I will have a horse of my own, and I will love it just like I did Mack. After growing up in Colorado, it was in my blood now. One day I will be involved with something to do with horses.


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