Monday, September 26, 2011

Girl + Horse = Love


I know I'll never forget the first time my daughter, Addison, saw a horse in real life.

I should probably back up a bit first to explain a little on how much horses have been part of my life and now part of hers. I was lucky enough that my great-grandfather owned and operated a riding stable near my hometown in Michigan. My cousins and I could ride whenever we visited and we learned a lot just by being around the barn and the horses. The riding stable eventually went out of business and my grandparents moved to the farm to take care of my great-grandfather. Lucky for me, there were still horses around.

My sister and I begged and begged, okay hounded, our parents (and grandparents) to let us start showing horses at our local county fair.  They finally got sick enough of us asking and gave in!  Talk about a dream come true! I showed for a few years before I graduated high school and went off to college.  While I never stopped loving horses, they just didn't fit into my life like they used to.

Fast forward a few years.  Well, more than a few.  I'm married now with 3 beautiful children.  I have 2 boys, ages 8 and 5 and a daughter, age 2.  My boys are their father through and through.  They like and tolerate animals but could really have cared less about riding a horse.  They enjoy sports and I am okay with that.  I have a few required (and priceless) photos of the boys sitting on a horse with my grandfather but really, they could have cared less.

A few months before my daughter, Addison, turned 2 she started getting a little obsessive about some horse figurines we had in a farm playset.  That led her to finding any book we had with a horse in it and basically insisting on reading them over and over and over.

I knew we'd be visiting the farm for Easter and I couldn't wait for her to see the horses.  We pulled up the long driveway and as soon as she was out of the van, she was running up the hill to find a horse.  My husband had to hold her back to keep her from climbing right through the barbed wire fence and hanging out with the herd.  She did get to ride and her smile couldn't have been bigger.  We had to literally drag her off Cider, a beautiful Quarter Horse Palomino.

I'm so happy to have had my camera on hand to capture this moment.  I truly believe that once a girl loves horses, she never stops.  I hope to share more stories of Addison and her horse adventures and I'd love to hear your stories too!  Who doesn't love a good horse story?


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