My daddy, being the ultimate cowboy, in my mind anyway, would be sad that I hadn't shared his love of horses with them and my older grandsons. They always ask about my life with horses.
Caroline: "Nonni, what happened to your horses? Did they DIE?"
Bella: "Why can't you get another horse?"
|Bayley at the top of Spy Glass Hill at Enid on her first trail outing.|
Thirteen years ago my youngest daughter/rider went to Ole Miss. I returned to college as well. We sold our last show horse. I hoarded tack that my daddy had left me until most of it turned green and rotted. I always said I might weaken and get another horse if the right little bay mare came along.
Well, she did. A friend let us know that she would like to find a home for her little bay mare. She hadn't been ridden in EIGHT years. She is absolutely beautiful, but very fat.
Last Friday I took Bella out to my friend's house and made some silly excuse to be there. When we drove up, Bella said, "Look Nonni, she has a horse."
I told her I didn't think my friend would mind if we looked at her. We went up to the fence, and I rattled a little feed, and Bayley came right up. After walking her around and checking out her ground manners, I asked Bella if she wanted to get on.
"No saddle?" she said.
"No saddle," I said. "I just have a feeling it will be okay." What was I thinking?
I hoisted the kid up and told her to grab a handful of mane and off we went walking in slow circles. She smiled from ear to ear.
"Do you like her?"
"Do you want to get her?"
"Nonni??!!" "Can we?" We did.
My other granddaughter is so excited that she is coming early tomorrow on a school holiday. My oldest child, my son, her daddy is coming to help fence or whatever is necessary. They are all just giddy. You'd think I brought Secretariat to Barr. They can't wait.
Free horses require a lot of work. There is 13 years of good junk in all four stalls, the hay storage area and the tack room of my barn. This barn used to hold four horses, or three horses and a pony.....it was full, with clean shavings, blankets on horses, lights on them to keep them warm in winter. It smelled wonderful.
Tonight I'm tired and my back hurts, but that's okay. Sometimes things in life are just so good they are worth a little pain. I can open my back door and see little Bayley sniffing the night air, her ears are perked up as she listens to different night sounds. Cash the Dog in Black is in exile because he wouldn't quit barking at her.
Tomorrow we will saddle up, see what she can do, get her feet trimmed, maybe work on her mane a little, and let Caroline brush her good all over. We will just take our time with her. No hurry. Check back in six months and I'll let you know how she's doing and how much weight she has lost. She is going to be stunning!
I needed this last horse. I think maybe she needed us too.