If you know my kid or have read this blog for long, you know that she is absolutely, 100% HORSE CRAZY. I swear she came out of the womb this way; one of her very first words was "hee hee" (horse) and it's been all horse, all the time ever since. When she was about 2 she started going to a day-care where there were horses in a field next door. Every day we would stop to visit them and give them carrots. Soon we discovered that the man who owned the horses happened to be the father-in-law of Eric's employer. He gave us permission to take Anna in to the field and put her on the back of the one she called "Vanilla", who was ancient and gentle. She had a couple of horse videos that she would watch over and over....and over. She would tie bits of string and yarn and cords around our long-suffering dog to make her into a horse to lead around. She has never, ever been interested in dolls or fairies or princesses; ALL her imaginary play revolves around horses. She has a bedroom full of toy horses and all she is interested in reading is about horses. She has taken riding lessons since she was 5 or 6 and this summer I was able to lease a horse for her to ride as often as we can get out there. My daughter is turning 10 years old on Monday and she STILL, every single night, puts on her "bridle" (yarn and a necklace) and "gallops" around and around the dining room table on all fours, pretending to be one of the great race-horses she has read about. Every pair of her pants has holes in the knees. Every single day she gets on the internet and finds horses for sale to show me when I get home.
As she inches toward her teenage years, I think about what will keep her mind and spirit occupied so that she doesn't get involved with boys too soon, or drugs god forbid. She is not interested in soccer or softball or jump roping or dance or any of the other extra-curricular activities her friends participate in. Horses are her life. And I just don't ever see that changing.
And so I have made it my life's mission to get this kid a horse within the next few years. With the economy the way it is, there are thousands of horses available for sale right now, at "bargain basement" prices. There are so many beautiful horses in need of a good home, and I just happen to know a kiddo who has a whole lotta love to give. My ex-husband, not surprisingly, can come up with a dozen reasons why we can't get her a horse (he's a half-empty kind of guy). I say that if we put our minds to it, we CAN. Yes, we'll have to find a place to board a horse, and yes that can be expensive. But we happen to live in "horse country"; surrounded by hundreds of miles of fields in every direction. I drive by at least 4 horse ranches on my way to work every day. I believe if we put this "out there" in to the universe, it will happen. One day we'll connect with someone who knows someone who is willing to board for a reasonable price because they know how it feels to be a ten year old girl who can think of nothing but having her own horse. Or perhaps we could barter something in exchange for board; I can paint a barn or muck stalls or fill in on feedings when the owners are out of town.
I want this for her because I know it will have a profound effect on her life. Also, because I was lucky enough to grow up riding horses, I know how free you feel when riding, and the truth is, I love horses almost as much as she does.
Look at this amazing beauty I found on Craigs list today:
Twelve year old half Arabian, half Tennessee Walker. He's participated in 4-H (something I Anna wants desperately to get involved in), lessons, parades, been ridden in rodeos by a rodeo queen, trail riding etc . Anna just happens to want an Arabian "more than anything in the whole world!!"
Sigh. I know the time isn't right, but one day it will be. And I can't wait to see the look on her face.
Am I crazy?