Monday, May 18, 2009

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb (pets part 1)

My mom would tell anyone who would listen that from the time I could form a thought, I thought about horses. Talked about them, drew them, dreamed of them, even my imaginary friends were horses.

I believe her because it's still true.

I was incredibly lucky as a kid - crazy lucky. I grew up on a small Arabian ranch, surrounded by gorgeous horses. These first two are of a brood mare and one of her colts, Shadda. His name ended up being "Shadda the Shit."

My mom also bragged that I was riding a horse before I could even ride a bike. This is probably because I could care less about a bike; it sure wasn't even remotely equine. I rode every chance I could - even in a play. I don't really remember the whole plot, but I was
the prissy character (there was a 'free-spirited girl' in the play who wore all kinds of lace and no shoes) because I could ride side saddle and had the dress.

Kelly was my last show horse and I loved him with all my heart, but my dad sure didn't. Kelly and I had a connection - I begged my daddy to buy him for me the first time I saw him - I walked into the paddock and he promptly bit a tassel off my coat (hey, it was 1984, if your coat didn't have a tassel or two you simply weren't bitchin'). Turns out he was a one-person horse, loving me but hating everyone else, especially if you were in bite or kick range. If you notice in the picture of Misa and Shadda, the horses had pipe corrals behind each stall. Kelly never, ever did this when I was around, but when my dad was out there alone, Kelly would walk along the corral with his teeth on the top of the pipe, making a horrid screeeeeee noise that rattled Daddy's filling right loose and made his nape hairs stand on end. If Kelly was feeling particularly snarly, he'd trot when he did it.

But the love of my life was Calypso. He was my first real, honest-to-God show horse, and the sweetest thing to ever come into my life. Not only was he amazing, but I now had a horse able to compete in the big-boy shows with my best friend, Karen. I know I don't look happy in these pictures, but that's because I was still nervous when I went into the ring.

But Lippy made sure I was safe. I absolutely had the time of my life between those two, Calypso and Karen. I had to give up Lippers to have the flashy Kelly, and I hated to do it. I hmmmmed and hawed and cried like I had never cried before, but my dad held firm - he said Calypso was a 'starter horse' and I had to stop being so dad-gummed selfish and let someone else, someone who could learn a lot from a horse like Lippers, love him. Yes, my dad really said 'dad-gummed.' Usually only when he was really, really irritated.

Look at his face, his eyes.

I miss you Lippers.

For more pet stories, go over to Sprite's Keeper!


Sprite's Keeper said...

Both Kelly and Calypso are beautiful! I used to beg my parents for horseback riding lessons, but we lived pretty far from the nearest stable so the outings were few and far between. I've since ridden only a few more times, but since my area has more farms nearby and riding lessons, if Sprite ever asks, I will take her as much as I can. Wonderful pictures and great Spin! You're linked!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I want to be you in another life. Being raised with Arabian horses. I am so jealous. My horse I finally got at 15, after 10 years of begging, was 1/2 Arab. Specked grey with a silver mane and tail. His name was Blue Huaco.

lmt1073 said...

A girl after my own heart! I love horses... we have 7!!! and one on the way!!!

Have you made any bread yet?

KNab said...

Our beloved Calypso. I have told my husband that if I could reincarnate any horse to give him it would be Lippers. The woman who bought him is named Pat. she had a semi- nutty handful of a show mare who threw me once when I was "warming her up" for Pat to show. You should have seen poor Pat's face when the trainer's daughter came back covered in dirt. Calypso was perfect for her and she adored him. I moved away, but I'm guessing he lived with her until he passed. The good ones don't come around that often. I will always remember Calypso with the same fondness as my Rif.

Kingsmom said...

I fell in love with a horse once. Polo...ahh the memories. Great post.

Tammy said...

Are those the Catalina Mountains in the background? I grew up in Tucson and the scenery looks familiar. :-)