Friday, April 24, 2009

Memory Lane

Mom was going through some old pictures and gave me these photos of me with some of my "best friends" while growing up. Lady was a real handful. She was a little barn happy and had a tendency to flip the bit up in her mouth, severely limiting my control while she took off for the barn -- me helplessly along for the ride.

Most of the time, though, we got along fine and she and I had a great time riding through trails and running through the fields.

One time, Lady got a bit part in an advertising campaign. She was the "cover horse" for some labels for wine bottles. The "brand" was something like "White Stallion." They say Lassie was a male dog, so I guess it was okay.

Jefferson was my first 4-H calf. I used to wash him with Prell shampoo. It made the white part of his coat really bright. My brother thought we should get Prell to sponsor us or put us in commercials.
Jefferson got spooked in the show ring and drug me from one end of the arena to the other, causing the judge to comment that he was the "most athletic calf in the class." We didn't get showmanship that year, but he was the Reserve Champion of the Herford class!

My first pony was named Pansy. Pansy was technically my brother's pony -- a birthday present. Pansy didn't like boys much, she loved to buck them off into the multifloral rose bushes. But she was always gentle when I got on her -- maybe just because I was smaller and lighter and a girl. We didn't find any pictures of her.

Trigger -- my second pony -- was the light of my life. He was more like a minature horse than a pony. We went everywhere together -- even into town when we could sneak away.

I had a saddle, but preferred to ride bareback most of the time. That led to some unexpected dismounts from time to time. He loved to walk under the apple tree, which had a branch just high enough for him to go under, but of course, no room for me. He sometimes left me hanging... literally!

I used to set up jumps in the yard -- rake handles and such on the top of 5-gallon buckets, etc. We were pretty good at jumping, though sometimes he would stop just short of a jump and I would go flying over the jump on my own. Then he would look down at me like I was crazy.

Despite some sudden dismounts, Trigger wasn't mean. He would always stop the minute I fell, being careful not to step on me. We could mount him vaulting onto him from behind. Sometimes in the winter, Dad would ride him pulling us behind on a snow disc. Someone would probably report you for child abuse doing that these days, but man it was fun!

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