I’ve recently had an opportunity to write some short horse stories for possible publication.
It hashed up a lot of memories during my teenage years. Great memories filled with laughter and fun in a time where we didn’t have internet (really, it wasn’t that long ago) and horses were my life. I’ve got to thinking about them so much, that I went for a visit down memory lane… so in my case up the attic stairs.
Last night, the kids and I poured over pages of photos of my horses and ribbons and you should have seen their eyes when I pulled out my humongous belt buckle and riding helmet. I know I have a western hat up there somewhere, too. But for the most part I wore a helmet as per 4-H regulations for gaming at horse shows.
Which led me to one of the short stories I’m currently working on. The story is inspired by my first horse, Champagne Lady.
And there I am at thirteen, getting Champagne ready for a ride. And if you ever need to know how special this horse is, let me tell you my young nephews (like four and five) would walk right under her and she never flinched. I could do anything with the horse, except make her trot or canter. Champagne would walk on, but if you asked her to do anything more than walk you soon found yourself eating the grass. I swear there were times I saw that mare laughing at all who tried.
My dad was the only one she could not toss.
And on the day that we traded her for a horse that I could ride, it broke my heart.
I never really knew what happened to her after she left our place. I once heard she’d landed in the hands of a horse trader who couldn’t ride her either. I just hope that where ever she ended up at, it was with someone who had the patience and understanding to train her and give her a good home.
They say that you never forget your first, and Champagne is one those horses that is unforgettable.