Wednesday night I dropped Jack off at his riding lesson. He was beaming the next morning because he is now able to trot around the arena without a lunge line, and he went over his first jump. I’m so happy he loves riding and horses. Andie took him home so I could drive out into the hill country of Texas and find Silver Luck farm, the place where Gwinny was born.
Kira happily ate her McDonald’s and watched the Lion King as I drove along the highway. Her distractions allowed me to have a few of my own thoughts. That’s a luxury a mom of five rarely has. A yellow VW beetle with the top down, passed me on my left. All my years as a mom in a minivan I patiently held out hope that someday it would be feasible to drive a small car, and I’m not fancy, I just like a cute beetle. As I watched it drive out of my view, I knew my hopes of driving one of those was as gone as that car as soon as I signed the papers to own Gwinny. Gulp. I’m going to be a woman who drives a pickup some day, and I’m going to learn to haul a trailor so I can take Gwinny to interesting and fun places to ride in the wide open, and hopefully the beach. (Craig take an aspirin and have a seat.) What’s happened to me? I’m becoming so Texan. It slid up behind me and ambushed me. I have two pair of cowboy boots now, and I even consider wearing them with shorts and a skirt. My free time is at the barn and I usually smell like a horse. (and I personally love the way a horse smells)
My friends who knew me when I lived in Scottsdale wouldn’t recognize me today. I still dress up but I am often caught on my way home from the stables doing a few errands wearing my dirty riding clothes and work boots. But I’ve never been happier!
I found Silver Luck Farm, and stepping outside into the fresh air, hearing the whinnys of greeting horses simply felt like a better fit than coming home to an HOA with rules posted on the gate. (ughh) Maybe I’ll even live in the country some day. The first thing I saw was a horse named Tootsie and her one month old foal. I nearly melted. A baby horse following her mama around is darling.
Lauren Smith appeared from the barn and greeted me a welcome to her farm. She has fifteen horses, and one Stallion. This week there were two foals born, and there are two more due any day. She’s a full time accountant, and this is what she does in her free time. She has her hands full. She introduced me to the two day old foals. They were in their stalls with mama searching for milk, and curious about us. I explained my intentions for Gwinny to Lauren and I saw her eyes fill with emotion. She told me Gwinny was the first foal born on her farm and she’s still attached to her. She really didn’t want to sell her, but she is a one woman operation and she has a lot to manage which doesn’t leave much time to devote to Gwinny and develop her potential.
It became clear I wasn’t there to simply purchase Gwin, but to convince Lauren that I was going to be a good mama and selling her was the right thing to do. I promised to let her know when she is showing, and accepted her offer to bring her back to the farm if I have to travel extensively. She offered her stud to Gwinny if ever I was interested in breeding her. (Craig you didn’t read that.) In short it was clear that Lauren wants to remain a part of Gwinny’s life, and I’m quite eager to accommodate this. So a friendship was formed over a mutual love for one pretty horse. I signed the papers, put a pile of cash on her kitchen table, and I hugged her before I drove away. I have a horse!
Ok, call it a mid life crisis fix if you want to, but whatever it is, I’m as happy as I can ever remember. Spending time learning to ride her, and taking care of her is the sort of activity that acts like a reset button when my life gets hectic and I need a pause. I think she is a better investment than a therapist. And when she sees me approach her paddock, and walks toward me to greet me with a horse head hug I’m glowing, I’m quite sure of it. She knows who I am now, and this is the beginning of a life long partnership. Ideally if she lives a long horse life I could have her until I’m seventy. That’s weird. But here’s the secret, when I am seventy all of my children will be independent, and I will still have Gwinny to take care of, and I need to take care of someone or something, it is just a part of who I am. When I raised Lucy from a puppy I was in anguish because I loved her so much and yet her life expectancy was too short for my love. I had long conversations with God about why dogs only live to be twelve. So the day Lucy passes on, I’m going to head straight for the barn and cry into the mane of my horse. And the good thing about riding horses is there’s no age limit. Maybe…having her will keep me ageless. That’s a better thought to have as a conclusion. You can now call me horse crazy.