As long as I can remember, horses have been a part of my life. I do believe I came out of the womb loving them. One of my earliest memories is of me begging my mother to let me ride the ponies at the fair. I also demanded to ride the mechanical horses outside the grocery store every single time we went. Much to my parents dismay, this obsession only got worse as I got older. My parents could never afford to buy me my own horse, but I learned to ride by taking care of my neighbors horses. They traveled a lot, and in exchange for riding, I fed them and mucked stalls while they were gone. I needed the horses just as much as they needed me. As a young adolescent, I could tell them things that I could never tell my parents, and they listened much better than my friends at the time. They were always happy to see me, and I to see them. It was a mutual love.
Many years later, when I was pregnant with my youngest child, I had complications leading to bedrest. As a result, my daughter was born early, therefore she has suffered from various learning and developmental delays. I was once told she may never speak, but speak she did, albeit late. She was 3 ½ when she saw her first horse close up at a therapeutic riding camp I had enrolled her in. Horsey. She said that loud and clear. That was all it took. Horsey, horsey , horsey. From there, she started to put a few words together in sentences. “We go horsey”. “I see horsey”. “Ride horsey”. You get the picture. She needed them as much as ( if not more then) they needed her.
Since then, we have been privileged to own 2 incredibly patient and tolerant horses. She is now 14 and has evolved from riding for pleasure to competing over fences. In that time, she has learned far more than we had ever anticipated from those worrisome early years. I know, with all of my being, that the reason she has come so far is because of the patience and understanding she got from her partners, Brownie and Eros. As a child who has trouble communicating, they have given her confidence to believe in herself even if some of the people around her don’t. Her horses understand her, even if a lot of humans don’t. They have showed by example how to be forgiving, as they have forgiven her many times for mistakes she has made. They have showed her unconditional love, and she returns that love with all of her heart and soul.