Ok think back for a moment (waaaay back for those of you who’ve been riding since you were a wee little child)! It’s show day. You make sure your pony is scrubbed clean and shiny. You braid her mane and tail. You already have all of your tack cleaned and conditioned – you did that last night at the tack cleaning party with all your friends! That was fun, eating and drinking and laughing about life, boys, and of course HORSES.
As you finish putting the “twinkle toes” polish on your pony’s tootsies, you run through the jumper course in your head that you walked a million times with your trainer the night before, along with the other girls from your barn. You picture yourself with your pony having a flawless round, all lead changes and cute little tucked knees, you perched on her back and following her like the pair of you are one together. And you picture the blue ribbon (or red, for my Canadian peeps!), hanging from your proud pony’s bridle, you perched atop and posing for a photo, beaming with confidence!
Now, what age did you just picture yourself as? 8? 12 maybe? Yeah no, try 33. Yep…33 years old. That would be me, a 33-year old child. I never got the chance to live it as a little girl; my mother never let me take lessons because she feared I would get hurt. When I turned 26, I decided to take that dream into my own hands and learn to ride. Now at 33, the proud owner of a real live PONY (large pony, but at 14.2 hands definitely still a pony!) , I find myself sometimes caught up in the things that others who’ve had the privilege to ride their entire lives have grown out of, or tired of.
Like winning ribbons. NO, I don’t judge a show on the color of or even the presence of a ribbon alone, of course I don’t. I understand and appreciate the experience, regardless. BUT do I still get excited over ribbons and placings? Sure do! I know others have boxes and boxes of discarded ribbons from their youth, possibly even quilts and pillows made out of them, but for those of us who never got that chance, yes we DO want to collect them and display them proudly!
Like painting horse hooves with something other than conditioner. Yep…twinkle toes, true story, I really did that once. It was red glitter, and not even the farrier could get it off with a rasp weeks later! Needless to say that was the LAST time I did that, but still…it was fun. And I actually even repeated something similar on St. Patrick’s Day this year…with my green nail polish. I figured my pony would want to get into the Irish spirit too!
Like knowing what the height of that massive-feeling jump I just went over was! Yes I know it’s not about the height, it’s about the approach, the form in the air, the spot, the balance, etc etc. But I still want to know if I’ve just reached a new milestone. Yes, the 3-inch difference between 3’0″ and 2’9″ is still VERY exciting to me!
Like wanting photos and videos taken at every show, every lesson, every second of every day! I don’t have a lifetime of pony pics and vids, so I need to make up for it – STAT!!
Some may not understand why I do some of the “silly little girl” things I do, but they make me happy. And as an added bonus, they make some of my barnmates laugh and everyone there knows I love to provide entertainment! 😉 But honestly, for those of you who envisioned a younger age when reading the above, be appreciative. Appreciate and honor the fact that you were lucky enough to grow up in the horse world. And to those of us who didn’t enter until later in life, feel free to love those ribbons, paint those hooves all sorts of ridiculous glittery colors, and as soon as I can figure out how to make double braids with ribbons work as an adult I’ll let ya know!
Already got the mismatched sock thing figured out 😉
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