While other girls were exploring make-up, movies and boys, as a 10-year-old girl, I was meeting weekly with two friends to talk about the ponies that none of us had. We dreamed about the day when our parents would buy us the horses we'd been asking for for years, and in the meantime we collected all the tack, brushes and paraphernalia we could, in preparation.
I don't think I was unique in my horse craziness: most little girls go through a similar stage. My "stage" however has not ended yet. I'm as horse crazy now as I was when I was ten. My daddy never bought me a pony, but I managed to buy my own when I graduated from college. Then I bought another, and another, and even bred one of my mares so I got another (don't worry, I've sold two, out of necessity). My life has changed such that I can no longer go off riding for hours and days at a time, but of all the loves of my life, horses are certainly still one of them.
So, it is natural that I try to pass the love onto my children. Silas is a little small yet, but Eli is ready to cowboy it up. Today my horsing partner in crime, Adrienne, took him for his first trail ride, and he proved a perfect little protege. His only worry was that the horse would "buck off his boots", the new firefighter gum boots that he loves dearly, but he managed to go the whole ride without loosing either boot! He did insist that he ride with Adrienne and not me. I guess I know who is cooler.
After the ride he even insisted on bringing Adrienne's horse, Stone, back to the field, and carried the halter back to the barn to put it away. Check out his tongue!
For the almost three years I've been gone from Calgary the thing I've missed most besides my family is my horses. Being able to just go out and ride whenever I want is a luxury I am glad I can take for granted once again. I love that I can share it with my sweet Eli, too. And, while I know that one day Eli will have his own interests and passions, I'm glad that for now he loves this one with me!