Friday, May 7, 2010


If you need to know just one thing about my daughter, it is this: she loves horses. No, I mean really, really loves them and from the time she could talk, it's been aaaaalll about horses. Before she could even say "horse", it was "hee hee". And every time she saw one, whether on TV or in a pasture, she went crazy. She first got to "ride" when she was about 2 and a half, and there has been no turning back. She can tell you the precise different between the "heavy horses" and has spent probably a good half of her lifetime pouring over her roughly 6 gazillion horse encyclopedias. The kid has horse-juice in her veins.

As she got into elementary school and it became clear that she had no interest whatsoever in dance or soccer or softball or skiing, I decided to get her into riding lessons. I figured it would teach her agility, physical strength, teamwork (horses can be even more uncooperative than a soccer teammate, it turns out) and also give her confidence. We have changed instructors and ranches a couple of times and after about 4 years of trotting, loping and cantering around an arena, it was time for a change. Not that she's done learning, by any means, but she's certainly got the basics down and until she decides to take her riding a different direction (such as English jumping or, say, barrel racing) it seems like it's time for her to just spend time, you know, riding.

We live in town with no place to keep a horse, nor do we have the means or interest to own and maintain a horse right now. So I started looking into leasing a horse. It seems like, especially given the economy, there might be people out there who would welcome a few extra bucks a month toward the care and upkeep of a horse in exchange for Anna getting to ride. After doing lots of research and reading up on the legalities, I placed an ad on Craigslist. I got a surprising number of responses, including several who wanted $100 or more a month PLUS half the boarding and feeding PLUS half the veterinary bills. Um, in that case, I want to own half the damn horse. Preferably the front half, thank you.

Anyway, in the end, I found a great little gal who is in the National Guard, has two horses on property about 25 minutes from us;she really just wants someone to ride and exercise them more than she is able to. For $50 a month (LESS than I was paying for Anna to spend two hours a month on horseback for lessons), we get three days a week (including one weekend day) on "Anna's" horse. Plus, anytime I (or a friend of Anna's) want to ride the other one, well, that's an added bonus. Basically two for the price of one. No extra food or vet bills. I can not believe what a good deal this is.


Breezy is an 18 year old "Back-striped Buckskin". She is a GREAT horse, very responsive, has never thrown a rider and she looooves to run. Anna is in HEAVEN.
They live on 5 acres of beautiful Ponderosa pine forest, and a block away is over 80 acres of trails. It's close enough that we went out last night for an evening ride. It is so pretty out there, morning doves cooing and nuthatches calling.

And the girl next door is also 9 years old and also horse crazy. She like to ride Jet, Breezy's friend. The girls hit it off immediately. Anna is so excited to have a friend she can talk horses with.

This was shortly before Jessica and her horse parted ways and Jessica had to be taken to the hospital for a possible broken thumb and cuts to her face. Bummer. She's only been riding for about a month, though, and she was galloping when she shouldn't have been. Lesson learned.

They even have a big goofy Great Dane named "ORANGE". Oh my god I love her. She is a nut and loves to do that "Hey! You! Person! Come chase me!!!" thing.

She is barely smaller than the horses. I might accidentally steal Orange, just as soon as I can squeeze her into my car.
Did we luck out or what??


Dee said...

That is just perfect ! Its close, its affordable, the horse is dependable ( I guess) and best of all, Anna is happy. If Anna ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Pretty horses.

Nichole said...

Oh - I am GREEN with envy! Wonderful!

Jodi said...

SO glad you found this option! I'm so excited for you both. There's nothing better for a girl, than her horse. I miss it so much...

Patty said...

Yes, it certainly looks like you did, my great niece is horse crazy too.

Whosyergurl said...

Like you need another dog. :-)
Sounds like Anna isn't the only one that is happy...Mama. Isn't it a beautiful thing how when our child is happy, we are happy, too?
XO, Cheryl

Linda said...

Anna and Breezy are both beautiful. I hope her friend doesn't become 'horse shy' now that she's had a good spill. It would be great if she and Anna could ride together all summer.

I remember many years of riding every day, ALL DAY, with Jamie Wilmuster. (Age 9 to 13) Just the two of us and our horses. If I didn't have our horse, I'd ride one of theirs. Off across miles and miles of mountain sides. What amazing freedom. Those were very memorable times.

Anna is lucky!

Which also prompts a special thank you to Mom and Dad for giving me the opportunity and freedom to have such an amazing childhood. There are few people I know who can match it.

Dee said...

You are so welcome----I LOVED living on the mountain and it was so great for all of you.