Welcome Wednesday guests for August: Cindy Sample 8/6, Terri Herman-Ponce 8/13, Maggie Toussaint 8/20, Kaye George writing as Janet Cantrell 8/27.

Gloria Alden's latest publication is nonfiction. Boys Will Be Boys: The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys. Edited by Cher'ley Grogg was recently released and available on Amazon. Gloria wrote three essays and two poems in her chapter included in the book.


Congratulations to four of WWK’s bloggers whose books were released in the last two months. Look for Jim Jackson’s second Seamus McCree novel, Cabin Fever; Linda Rodriguez's new Skeet Bannion mystery, Every Hidden Fear; KM Rockwood's new Jesse Damon novel, Brothers in Crime; and Gloria Alden's third Catherine Jewell Mystery, Ladies of the Garden Club. All of the novels are available at bookstores in print and ebook.

Paula Gail Benson's short story "Confidence in the Family" is featured in the Mystery Times Ten 2013 anthology, which can be bought at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Times-2013-Linda-Browning/dp/0984203583/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1387240857&sr=8-2

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

A DREAM COME TRUE


When I was a young girl, I galloped everywhere hitting my thigh to go faster on my imaginary horse. I galloped through fields and woods leaping logs, across the road to my cousin's house, or to my grandparents' farm and sometimes further down the road to another cousin's house. I rode Wildfire mostly, but sometimes it was Thunderhead, Flicka or another horse in my stable of horses. I dreamed of someday having a ranch in the west with hundreds of horses.

I think my love of horses came from the story my dad told of a pony he rode one summer in the mining town in Pennsylvania where he grew up. My grandfather was foreman of the mining stable. The mine superintendent bought a beautiful black pony for his son, and it was kept in the mining stable. The pony tossed the boy the first time he tried to ride it so the superintendent asked my father, about the same age as his son, to ride and gentle it. All summer my father rode that pony, but the superintendent's son never got over his fear of it, so the pony was eventually sold.

During my galloping period, I read every horse book in my small rural school library numerous times, and at Christmas I usually got at least one horse book, too. I dreamed of horses and drew pictures of horses, but I was thirty-eight years old before I finally got my first horse. My husband heard of one for sale and took me to see it. Of course, I fell in love with that strawberry roan paint. I thought he was beautiful. A few days later he was delivered. We had no barn, no saddle or bridle or even a lead rope. We did have hay, grain and a water bucket, though.

We put him in a shed and a few days later my husband and young teenage sons started building a barn - a large barn with five stalls. A week after my horse arrived, I had a saddle and bridle. I was ready for my first ride on my very own horse. Now, mind you, my riding had been very limited over the years. Mostly it occurred while we were on vacation and found a riding stable where you paid for an hour's ride with a group on trails following a guide. Seldom did we move out of a walk, but maybe we'd trot a little and once in a while gallop for a few minutes. Neither my husband nor I had ever saddled a horse, but we'd watched while those trail horses were saddled so we knew how to do it. Or so we thought.

As soon as my horse was saddled, I mounted and headed down a trail into the woods beside our home. He was a high stepper and both of us were eager to be out and on the trail. I was euphoric. His ears were perked forward interested and curious as we went along. And then I turned him around to head back. Maybe I should have thought twice about buying a horse named Rebel because as soon as we were heading back, he took the bit in his mouth, and I couldn't slow him down. He was heading home, and just where that home was in his mind, I didn't know. Then I felt the saddle slip. I learned from that experience, you always tighten the girth, wait a bit for the horse to relax and then tighten it more. Anyway the saddle slipped and ended up under Rebel. Fortunately, I was able to kick my feet free from the stirrups and landed on the ground still holding onto his reins so he didn't end up in some other county. He jumped about trying to get rid of that thing, but somehow I was able to unbuckle the saddle and not get kicked or stepped on.

So at the end of my first ride on my very own horse, I walked home with a saddle on my back now leading a docile horse. It wasn't exactly the way I had envisioned that first ride. Eventually, we sold Rebel because he was a rebel, but over the years there were other horses and ponies. Once we had five at one time, including one we boarded for a friend. My kids joined 4H, and I became proficient at saddling and caring for horses. I learned to pull a horse trailer to take them to shows and for riding lessons, and I even took riding lessons.

                    
Eventually when I moved, I had to sell my last two horses because I didn't have the money to put new fencing around the pasture of the small farm I'd bought. The house needed too many repairs and the barn needed a new roof. But my love of horses hasn't gone away. However, I've down sized the dream. Now I have two totally useless small ponies - sisters Puffy and Phoebe - that I rationalize keeping as being compost makers for my gardens.

What dream did you have when you were young?  Did it ever come true?
                                                                                                    

12 comments:

KB Inglee said...

There is no such thing as a useless pony. They give you pleasure. It may not be traditional but it's a very important job.

Gloria Alden said...

I agree. I'm echoing my son, who lives next door and can't figure out why I keep them. Of course, he and my daughter-in-law bought two minature donkeys several years ago, and he spent a lot of money adding on to his barn and enclosing a large pasture in fencing for those two little critters. :-)

E. B. Davis said...

I like horses, but then I worry that no one likes mules anymore. They aren't as pretty as horses, but they were useful. I agree with KB. No such thing as a useless pony, mule or horse. They're wonderful!

My dream young or old--to be a successful novelist--has yet to come true. Yet.

sell my house said...

Its a great job what they do.It is not a major problem that its not traditional.Congratulation and go ahead.sell my house

Sue said...

This is your daughter, Susan. I remember Mary and I's first ponies. There was Blaze, a gray one and Midget, a roan one. They were ornery but we loved them. Then I had a fast horse(I cant remember his name). I entered races with him in 4H. Until one day, his rein broke and he took off. I was riding bareback, so it scared me. I just wrapped my arms around his neck and held on until he got back to the stable. But horses weren't my thing. My love was with goats. I am scared of horses.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, what a lovely post!

I agree with KB and EB. Those ponies aren't useless, at all.

EB, I'm with you on the mules. They were very necessary because they could do heavy work that most horses couldn't do. Now, with all of our machines, they're dying out. I give thanks for the Amish and some strict Mennonites, who still keep teams of mules to work their farms.

I had two childhood dreams. One was to be a successful novelist. The other was to be a star of Broadway musicals. I hope I'm on my way to one of them with this first book coming out later this month. The other I gave up years ago when I gave up singing professionally. I always loved performing and making a contact with the audience, but that life of constant travel and performing in smoky places to drunks was a life I had enough sense, even at a young age, to see was no life for me. And that's the life you have to live on your way to becoming a musical star.

Warren Bull said...

Great blog. I'm still working on becoming an astronaut/cowboy/firefighter/police officer/professional athlete. When I write I can be any of those and more.

Gloria Alden said...

E.B. when I took a trail ride down Bryce Canyon many years ago, I rode a mule. I think they're often used on trails like that. Actually, all my early dreams came true. In first grade I wanted to be a mother and a teacher in addition to having lots of horses.
The writing dream came later while I was in college.

Linda, everytime I go to a play put on at a community theater, I think how much fun it would be to do that. And then when I think of the incredible amount of time that is involved in putting on a production, even if I only had a walk on part dusting a table, I decide not to try out.

Warren, you are so right about that. People used to tell me because of my love of gardening, I should start a nursery, etc., but I'd rather just write about it and do any gardening in my own back yard.

Patg said...

Hi Gloria, sweet post, but you know me and farm stuff. :) I don't get it.
My in-laws boarded horses on their farm when the decided to 'chuck' the rat race for the simple life. All I remember is one of the horses biting my mother in law on a breast and the pain she was in.
Ugh. We lasted 6 months, they lasted a little over a year.
Patg

Gloria Alden said...

Thank goodness my experiences with horses were mostly good. Yes, I got tossed a few times, but I never got hurt. Well, I did get stepped on twice and had a broken toe both times, but that wasn't enough to turn me off.

Kaye George said...

I love the ponies! I always wanted a horse as a child, but never learned to ride well enough to want one now. My daughter, however, is an accomplished rider and used to do hunter/jumper. Something about little girls and horses!

Gloria Alden said...

They are sweet hearts, Kaye, and each has her own personality. The younger one, Phoebe, is the more dominant one, and Puffy is more laid back. But both hate being separated, although they don't mind having separate stalls at night.