Monday, July 9, 2012

At Fifteen

When I was fifteen years old, my dream came true.

One of them, anyway... I had several. One of my dreams was to be a published writer. I am getting very close (November 13, 2012, you mock me so! Come closer!) to that dream becoming a reality.

But this dream was the dream of a horse of my own. You know that Virginia Woolf quote... "Women, then, have not had a dog's chance of writing poetry. That is why I have laid so much stress on money and a room of one's own." Well, it was like that for me. Only for me, it was a horse of my own that I lusted for so deeply.

All my life I had wanted a horse. Not that I was the only little girl who ever lived who wanted a horse. I know. Lots of girls want horses, and most of them never get one. But don't fret too much... I've not had all my wishes granted. More on that later.

For now, the horse. By a trick of the housing market, my parents, who owned a home inspection company, found themselves in the enviable position of sudden wealth. Or very good credit, which looks just the same as wealth from a distance, or from a child's perspective. And so there was, for a brief time, money for a horse.

Not just a horse, actually. My older sister got one, too, and my little baby sister got a very nasty pony named Buddy who bit a lot and tried his best to throw his rider.

I got a mare. Her name was Reignbeaux--pronounced Rainbow. She was a retired racehorse-turned-dressage Thoroughbred. She was fourteen years old and had a busted udder from nursing. It swung underneath her belly when she trotted but was otherwise largely unnoticeable.

The woman from whom we bought her placed the lead line in my hand after my parents placed a cashier's cheque in hers and told me, "You're going to have to start walking faster, now that you've got a Thoroughbred to lead."

I led my mare to the mouth of the trailer and she willingly clambered inside. We drove to the stable where she would be kept--actually it was the backyard of my riding teacher; she had four stalls and a little tiny arena in her backyard, along with a constant circle of slow-moving flies.

That was one of the happiest days of my life.

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