(RLG) in Mountain View, CA as an accounts specialist and general
dogsbody for marketing, training and our information center.
I read Equine-L and rec.eq every day, and post frequently to Equine-L,
but have never posted to rec.eq. Sometimes I find that my work gets
in the way of my horse activities on the net.
I have been so glad to find that there are a lot of folks out there
like me - city kids who finally realized their dreams as ***s. I
grew up in Chicago without much money, and certainly no riding
opportunities. However, like more than a few of us, I cleaned out the
library of everything horsey, and had a collection of horse figurines.
(I'll date myself by saying that when I was a kid, Breyer didn't
exist!) I was on a horse two or three times as a kid, and of course,
totally inept and kinda scared, but that didn't affect my love for the
Finally, after the usual odyssey of growing up, marriage, kids,
divorce and work I did an exceptionally stupid thing (at age 44!)
while on a visit to the wine country. A fellow there offered to let
me go on a ride with he and a friend on one of his horses, after
seeing me*** around them. I told him that I didn't know how to
ride, but he said not to worry. Well, I got dumped big time, got
knocked cold, broke a couple of ribs and partially collapsed a lung.
After I healed up, I decided that I really HAD to learn to do this -
after all, I had time and some money now.
I started taking lessons, (Western-bigger saddle!) was SO disappointed
that I was absolutely TERRIFIED, but persevered. About a 18 months
later, my partner, (who is definitely NOT a horse person and never
will be, but extremely supportive), expecting to be out of town a lot,
bought me a two month old 1/2 Arab filly that I had fallen in love
with. Her name is KA Billie Li, and she's bay with little white socks
on her rear pastern, a connected star & strip and great big soft eyes.
Her mama was a registered Saddlebred, and her sire is a Bask grandson.
I figured that we could learn together, and by the time she was ready
to break, I would be ready to ride her. Although it worked for me, it
sure wouldn't be the right choice for most folks, especially those who
want their own horse to ride right away. Some of the times we had!
In the meanwhile I finally graduated from lesson horses, and started
riding an older Arabian mare who was a wonderful teacher. I showed
her Western Pleasure, and showed my filly in Amateur halter classes,
while my trainer showed her in the Open Halter. Discovered that I am
not a exhibitor (I kept throwing up and shaking) but I'm a great groom
and support person. My trainer/teacher became one of my dearest
friends, and tho I do ride Billie, I have chosen not to show her
myself. She is eight now, and has a "kid". He just turned three, and
is just getting started carrying a bit and saddle. His sire is LL
Lamolin and his name is Diablo - turned out to be pretty appropriate.
Since Billie was recovering from a bowed tendon last summer, we
weren't able to show, but I'm hoping to get her to at least a couple
of shows this year. I'm also hoping that the gelding's temperament is
going to be a little quieter and more sensible than hers, so if she
doesn't settle as a performance horse this year, the following year it
will be his turn.
My greatest joy has turned out to be just being with them. I have the
privilege of working with some of the other horses in the barn, (they
are all part or pure bred Arabians). I'm perfectly happy grooming,
walking, keeping company and just watching them. I ride but not as
often as I should, and I must admit that I hate all of these hills and
switchbacks, so mostly stay in the arena and only occasionally go out
on the trails. I would like someday to learn more about dressage
work, but as has been discussed here before, a good Western horse
knows a lot about leg yielding and lateral work. And Billie is sure
a well trained Western horse. When she's home. Sometimes at a show
you'd think it was rodeo time.
I'll never be a really confident rider, nor get over being easily
"spooked", but my teacher says that I'm a better rider than I think I
am, and that I just need to ride more, which is encouraging. But from
that first fall, I never looked back, and don't regret one minute or
one dollar I've spent. It's never too late for a dream to come true.