The Horse Bug

Most people I meet don’t know anymore that before I was the crazy bird lady I was the crazy horse lady.  All my life before college I was the little girl who had gotten bit by the horse bug and was crazy for more.  A pony was the first thing on my Christmas list each year, I read every Saddle Club, Thoroughbred, and Phantom Stallion book I could get my hands on.  I had a massive collection of Grand Champion horse figurines, and if you would have asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I would have answered ‘Anything as long as I could have my horses’.  When I was 13 years old, my parents bought me my first horse, Sugar B.  He was the most gorgeous 6-year-old quarter horse gelding I had ever seen, and to this day I think he was the most handsome horse I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.  

Me and Sugar B

Lance and I riding!

Me and Sugar at a horse show

I’m pretty sure Sugar was the thing that kept me such a straight arrow for all those years.  If a dad wants to keep his little girl his little girl longer, there’s no better treatment than a horse.  He kept me busy so I had no time to get involved in less healthy things, he kept me focused on something other than friend drama and cattiness, and he was a strong boy deterrent.  Even when I started dating Lance, he knew that the horse ranked higher than him.    I got him right when I went into my awful teen angst years and he remained my companion all the way until I was accepted and leaving for college.  I wanted so badly to keep him while I was in college, but unfortunately my parents told me they were going to stop paying board on him and I was going to have to pay for school, pay for everything involving the horse, and pay for my other animals as well.  I’m not super woman here.  So, grudgingly, I sold him.  I regret the decision I made every day.  The people who I sold him to seemed to genuinely love him, so I lowered my price for them and allowed them to take my partner of 7 years away from me.  Less than two months later they had resold him and I have no clue where he is anymore.  I only hope he’s well taken care of.  

After I sold Sugar, I really didn’t want anything to do with horses.  I couldn’t own my own, I couldn’t ride whenever I wanted, and I felt so depressed.  I threw myself into my birds and my future career as a vet so that someday I can have horses again.  Sometimes I think that I am so obsessive over my homework because it is secretly my horse obsession manifesting itself in a different light.  However, after the initial sting started to soften, I started wanting to ride again.  And how lucky am I that one of my best friends has a horse?

Ella and I have been friends since high school and I was totally pumped when she transferred to Chatham from Seton Hill because it was right down the road from me!  She knew me before I had a horse, after I got a horse, and after I sold my horse, so we’ve been through a lot of horse-ness together.  And because riding is never fun a lone, every time she is planning on going riding, she invites me and I get to go get a little fill of horses.

I, being the shorter one, always ride Sassy, a cute little rocky mountain horse.  I adore Sassy.  She is so sweet and so good.  Shes always very willing and when we race, she always puts her heart into it and keeps up with the long-legged Ella and Belle.  

Me and Sassy

Sassy crossing a river. Me, smiling like I won the lottery.

This last time that we went to ride, it was drizzling a little.  So, being the creative college students we are, we just opted for no saddles and jumped on bareback and hit the trails.  Of course, a massive downpour started, but we didn’t really care.  Neither of us had seen a horse since October, so we were intending on getting our full fill.  I felt like a kid at Christmas, or one of those girls out of the Saddle Club.  We scaled hills, raced each other, and rode for at least two hours with no saddle.  We crossed some creeks and crossed some roads and barreled through some woods to make a new trail with no saddles.  However, after we both felt it, and I have a huge brush burn on my butt from the horses spine rubbing my wet jeans against my skin over and over again.  Ouch!

Ella and Belle

I think my favorite thing about Sassy is she is nothing like Sugar.  She’s short while he was tall.  She’s gaited while he wasn’t.  She’s a girl and he was a boy.  She is very relaxed after running while he would stay hot.  She’s more pushy in the field while he was very passive.  They don’t really have anything in common except that they were both horses.  I like that I don’t have to see him every time I am enjoying a ride on her.  It makes riding much easier.  

Me and Sassy

Someday, I’ll have horses again.  It might take a long time, but someday I will.  And I know if I ever have children, I won’t be selling their horses when they go away to college.