Do you have a fetish or a strong affinity for something? Of course you do. Mine happens to be horses. My story is called (a play on words) “Horse Tail” and what has happened to that affinity throughout the years. (Jeri, this is for you. I hope my “horse tail” makes you smile.)
My Horse Tail
Do you remember my story called “Answer To A Prayer?” If not let me refresh your memory. It was another “horse tail” story about a time when I prayed for a horse but soon learned it wasn’t meant to be. So I reverted to doing things that kept that strong interest alive. I drew them, collected statues of them and never missed an opportunity to go see them at the local county fair. As time passed, never having an opportunity to ride a horse, I never failed at admiring them from a distance.
I was in the second half of my freshman year of college. One of the courses I selected was an elective, a course that was not in my major study. It was horseback riding. I couldn’t wait. The first day of my riding class started at the stables where we were given a tour of the stables and an explanation of the course and what it entailed. I half-way listened. All I wanted was to ride a horse.
The day finally came; it was time to mount our selected horses and ride around in a ring. Our ride in the ring was strictly supervised. It was fun but not at all what I’d expected. The next class was when we were to go trail riding. My excitement was high. I had visions of riding my horse with its mane flowing and the wind in my hair.
The next day, the class mounted our selected horses, and we started down the trail. My horse was a beautiful bay with a white dash on her forehead. She wasn’t very happy about me being there and tried to bite me. I was completely taken aback. I thought how can this be? The instructor came around to help me get her under control. My horse was having none of it. The next thing I knew I was on the ground. She had thrown me over her head, staring down at me with a look that said I dare you to get back on. Not to be put off, I did just that. What ensued were more attempted bites and another throwdown. It was not the happy event I had envisioned it to be. The simple fact was my horse was not interested in being ridden, and that was that.
The instructor had me change horses. My new ride was an old trouper of a horse, a tired gentle soul that fell asleep shortly after we started down the trail. My first riding experience wasn’t going well. The riding lesson for that day ended soon after. The class never improved over the next few weeks, and I eventually abandoned my interest in learning to ride.
Did my interest in horses wane? It did a bit, but I still loved them for their grace and beauty. As the years passed, I still liked watching horses perform in the ring at the various local fairs. I would marvel at the skill and coordination of horse and rider. I would take endless pictures of them. As more time passed, I was just a distant observer of those beautiful animals. In time, my interest appeared to be slipping away.
My husband and I were in a small town in the wine country doing some research on various wines. I happened upon a gallery of a photographer who also showcased various artists from the local area. That’s when I first laid eyes on some amazing horse sculptures. One particular horse sculpture drew me in. It was a gold Palomino that captured all that I found beautiful in these amazing creatures. I held it, talked, about it and then I left to go home. I repeated this for months.
A devastating earthquake had occurred in that area. I was in that same small town once again. I decided that if that particular horse sculpture had survived, I would buy it and bring it home. I walked into the gallery. The photographer was there, saw me and smiled. He said, “she survived.” I was thrilled.
There had been a smaller horse that had not survived that had been with the horse that first caught my eye. Knowing of my interest, my photographer friend suggested I contact the artist. I did just that, and we met. She had three other horses of various sizes in the same style as my first love. I fell in love with all of them.
She and the others are now in my home, and I love them all. I now own a horse (horses actually); I had always wanted. I’ll never ride them, but I don’t need too.
I’ve often wonder what would have happened if my college riding experience had gone a different way.
Life’s funny, I feel my “Horse Tail” has come full circle, and this is the answer to my long ago childhood prayer for a horse of my very own.
Do you have a fetish or a strong affinity, like my “Horse Tail,” for something from long ago? Where has it led you? Do you have a story of your own?
Life’s journey continues…
If you enjoyed my “Horse Tail,” take a look at Answer To A Prayer, Lessons From A Shetland Pony and Riding Lessons.