Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A little piece of me

When I was a little girl I had only one true love.


Forget Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake, New Kids on the Block (okay so I was a teenager then, not a little girl...not the point), or anything else.

I was all about horses. Drawing horses, horse figurines, horse books, and riding horses. If it had to do with horses, I wanted to be a part of it.
I was going to grow up and marry a cowboy, and live in the country, riding every single day of my life, raising babies on horseback.

Well, then life happened, and I grew up and married a hunter/football star/baseball star/basketball star and we live in city limits. But the silver lining is that where I live, I'm little bit country ("I'm a little bit rock and roll"-sorry... you can't say that without following up with that), and I'm a little bit city. Our lot backs up to someone else's horse pasture. And I have the best of both worlds.

Tomorrow morning I'll show you what I get to look at out of the back of my house every day. Not today's point however.
The point is that since my boys were born I've done very little riding. And the children that were going to ride before they walked, have only ridden a handful of times.

This summer however we got the chance to go to a really amazing place. My dear friend Ardelle, who is a labor and delivery nurse with me, has started a non-for profit organization at her farm. At Turning Point Stables, her goal is double sided. She began rescuing horses that have been abused and neglected, and allowed some to come live out their last days on a beautiful farm being well cared for. Her hope to is bring children in need of "something" together with horses that need "something".
Whether it's an autistic child, or a troubled teenager, or city kid that has never been to a farm, Ardelle believes that through horsemanship, a lot of life lessons can be learned.

Well, I got the chance to take the boys (and myself) to her beautiful farm and teach them a thing or two about something I know.

Alec was a little nervous at first. I mean that horse looks HUGE when you are that size. (By the way, at the end of the day this was the horse I rode. So gorgeous!)

Ardelle is patient and kind and makes sure that they do all the work.

No free rides. If you want to ride, you need to learn to lead your horse back to the barn. Alec chose a horse named Daisy.
I encourage you to read this quick link about Daisy and her "turning point" at Ardelle's. A true testament of what can happen when a horse is given proper mental and physical nourishment.

Joe on the other hand was pretty fearless.

Sucked up every word of information Ardelle offered him. I got the chance to just step back and watch him learn from her. He was like a sponge that day. He chose a horse named Navarre.
If you were a child/half adult of the 80's you may remember a movie named Ladyhawke-which you would not have forgotten if you saw it.
So remember...Rutger Hauer's character's name was Navarre...

anyway..thus this horse's name. (I think I need to rent that movie again...)

And then came the moment we had all waited for:

Joe independently riding.

And then this one:

Alec on horseback.

And this may not be the best photographic photo,

but just look at that smile.

And here is the whole little point of this tale. This may have been the proudest day I've had as their mother. See I'm a pretty good boy mom. I throw a mean football and baseball. I'm not afraid to hold a frog, or touch a snake. And occasionally, if I've gulped the appropriate amount of pop I can crank out an impressive burp. But I've taught them very little about the things that they currently love. Nick has give them an endless amount of time and energy teaching them about the things he loves. It's because of him that Alec is a baseball-aholic, and that they know about gun safety, and that every night they want to play football in the front yard. See I can support all that, but I didn't teach them that.

But this day....this day I got to shine. To teach them some horsemanship. To teach them subtle things about a horse's character, and how to watch their ears and you'll know whether they are happy are sad, or really ticked off. And when they rode those horses, I was so freakin' proud. I felt like for the first time in their lives I had given them a piece of me, and having them love it, meant more to me than I can express.


Karen said...

You made me giggle with your dog story and your son's first summer crush but you touched my heart with this story of the boys and horses:) I grew up with critters(horses,goats & dogs) I am currently raising my very troubled soon to be 12 yr.old grandson and this might be just what I've been looking for!:) You would think being raised around horses and living in the middle of horse country I would have thought of that!! Guess it's true that sometimes you really CAN'T see the forest for the trees!! I so enjoy coming to your blog everyday. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

My sister was the horsey one of us, but I enjoyed reading your post and I checked out sweet Daisy, too. What a change in that lovely little mare. You deserve to be proud of you and your boys. TYFS. kathynruss