Saturday, April 4, 2009

Memories...in the dusty corners of my mind

MiKael asked us this morning what our story was. It was followed by 50 questions.

FIFTY!

I'm not into self inflicted pain this early in the morning, so I won't bother to answer them all...both for my sake and your's! But a story she asked for, and a story you shall get...

I was born a poor white girl with a rare (okay, not probably that rare) disorder known as Horse Fever. It struck from an early age and one can only imagine if my parents knew what they would be up against when they put me on my first rocking horse.

"Will Work For Pony"

Never one to turn down child labor, my parents were quick to take advantage of the situation and put me straight to work. Of course, it would be a few more years and a great deal more floor mopping before I saw the rewards of my labor.


My new pony was named Prince, and he came to me when I was nine. Look at that sporty little outfit I'm wearing! And the open toed sandals while on horseback!? Oh, yeah...we were a picture of safety back then, weren't we? But what I really want to know is, where did those chicken legs go? Cuz I could sure use a chicken leg (or two) right about now.

Prince was anything but princely...at least I didn't consider him to be at the time. This boy would back up beneath the clothesline when he didn't want to leave the yard, rearing in protest, which of course had me ducking my head down into his neck to avoid strangulation. He'd take off down the road, jumping ditches and leaving me in puddles of melting snow. One day he slammed my leg into an old cottonwood try in an effort to rub me off his back, although he wasn't successful because instead I was pinned to his side and screaming like a banshee.

But on Prince's back I did learn to ride. We lived in town, or at the outskirts back when it was okay to have a horse there. A large park was across the road and we'd ride over the bridge and through the trails, or up the road past Grandpa's house and around the neighborhood. Of course, there was never a saddle involved and it didnt' take long for me to learn the most valuable lesson of all...get your pony sweaty so your butt sticks to him better! A slick dry pony who darts left when you're thinking right is not something you want between your legs, because he won't be between those legs for long and you'll find yourself riding at club dirt.

I rode that sweaty little pony everywhere, including from our home on the outskirts of town to our new house about 7 miles away. We didn't have a truck or trailer, so up I went onto that pony when I was about 10, and with my Dad driving slowly from driveway to driveway to make sure I made it alright, I hi-ho silvered my way around the lake, only taking out a couple of mailboxes along the way.

Eventually I outgrew Prince and sold him to a man who drove a four pony hitch in parades. Prince was to be his wheel horse. I never saw him again, but I think of him often. Mostly when I'm being stepped on, riding a runaway, finding my way back to club dirt, or in any other semi-life threatening situation on horseback.


Ahhh....those were the days!



7 comments:

jane augenstein said...

Good post Tracey! My first horse was actually pretty good to me. He didn't do all the things to try and get me off, I had a saddle at first but it was too heavy for me to lift up on his back so my dad sold it. I rode bareback for years, good experience. Wish I could ride like that now, but back them we all knew no fear!!! Not so now!
Great story and pictures!!
Jane and Gilly

Pony Girl said...

Love the pictures, Prince was a handsome pony, despite his antics! Sounds like you made it through your childhood on him relatively unscathed and that you learned a lot about horses through your "wild west" experiences! It is amazing what we did and went through on horseback as youngsters, and how we survived it! ;)

Dusty Devoe said...

What a great story! I love rading about childhood memories.

Ed said...

Excellent post, i have a niece who is doing the same thing...:-)

Blackfeatherfarm said...

My childhood pony was a stick horse, skinnier than Prince, but well behaved.
All you lucky girls who got to have ponies !!!!

CTG Ponies said...

I didn't start riding until I was 31 and let me tell you, that ground is much harder the older you get! Great post and great pics!

Angie at Free Rein said...

Prince reminds me of Merry Legs from Black Beauty.