Has a picture ever brought back memories so strongly it made your heart hurt? That happened to me the other day. A facebook friend posted a picture of her horse on his 22nd birthday and it brought the memories of my childhood flooding back. I remember when she got that horse and he was only 3 years old. Seeing his picture as an old, retired horse made me realize how fast life flashes before your eyes. I can still remember my first ride at 11 years old like it was yesterday.
The smell of the barn and a freshly bathed horse on a hot summer day. Racing my pony against my Grandpa Jack in the fields of his ranch. Showing my horse, Dewey, in Asheville, North Carolina and being so nervous I thought I would puke. Riding for the University of Florida Equestrian Team with my sorority sister Jen. The terrible day 12 years ago this month when my grandparents called me to tell me I needed to come home from college and see Dewey- that he wasn’t going to make it. My college boyfriend drove me to their farm in Bradenton where I held my sweet Dewey’s head once last time and fed him carrots from my palm. I still regret not being there when the veterinarian gave him that final shot.
Horses made up my entire youth and I owe so much of my happiness to them. My love of horses taught me many life lessons at an early age. I can’t wait to see Mini, Cody, Murphy & Dewey someday over the Rainbow Bridge. People often ask me if I miss riding. I do, but at this point in my life being a parent to my two small children and wife is my first priority. I have a feeling horses will be back in our lives someday.