I was mad about horses. I know almost all teenage girls are but I should have known better. I grew up with a stubborn donkey named Bunny. Bunny would stand patiently—resigned, Eeyore-like. But as soon as I was almost on, she would take off for the nearest low hanging branch and, with Machiavellian intensity, scrape me off. Then, curling her lip, she would bray uproariously!
In spite of her, I read the Black Stallion books and dreamed of meeting My Horse—one who would love only me. Other girls might savor secret fantasies of Prince Charming, I had visions of Black Beauty keeping me warm at night.
Then I got her. Cinderella, a former race horse. She was leggy like a runway model. Her coat was as copper as my hair. We were meant for each other.
Two older friends came to meet her. We slipped into the pasture and stood patting her velvety muzzle. She started to move away. I reached up to My Horse– My Beautiful Horse– and stroked her neck. She began to walk off. I reached out to pat her flank but suddenly she had had enough of the gaggle of girls and with one swift kick laid me flat on the ground.
I lay in the grass, stunned. My friends rushed to me but I ran off crying– not because I was physically hurt but because my dream shattered under the blow from her hoof.
Later, I would ride her bareback into the creek, my legs floating behind me as she swam through the cool water. I would teach her to rear on my command, snorting in the wind with her mane and tail flowing freely. But, also she would puff her belly up big so the saddle would slide loose.
And, I would whine about feeding her and sometimes forget.
I think the hardest part about adulthood is learning–
Caution: Dreams! Keep your hands firmly on Reality.