As a little girl, I never fell under the spell of horses – over the years, I’ve never been tempted to fling myself up on one and take off. I was told they could smell fear, no matter what. And horses generated trepidation in me anytime I got close enough to assess their size.
But, when my friend, Helen, invited a few of us to meet her horse, Schnapps, I readily accepted. Her deep love and connection to her horse came through all the stories of how she came to own him. She bought him several years ago, riding him faithfully until a few too many aches and pains restricted her, and him. His care and comfort are, however, still her delight.
Schnapps is 33 years old – that’s 85 in horse years! He had been a racehorse but age and its attending limitations put him in the pasture. His family connections were impressive my friend discovered, when she found a tattoo in his mouth. With a little research, Helen learned her horse was related to Secretariat.
Even I understood that’s a notable connection.
So, I hustled myself out to the stables where he and other horses abide – some thirty miles north of our humble abode. That is I programmed the GPS, and prayed I wouldn’t get too lost – and I only missed one turn. Note: going thirty miles somewhere in Maryland is a big deal – it is no big deal in Dallas.
All this fraternization was in the midst of a day camp for little girls who were learning how to care for the horses that they had just ridden. Their duties reminded me why I was not cut out to be a cowgirl.