Sunday, April 14, 2013

Looks Like Love to Me!

              True Love  Photo by M Barrett Miller

Looks like love to me!
For years we went from home to the barn and from the barn to home.
I could always feel Danielle’s anticipation growing as she headed to her riding lessons.
I well remember that very first lesson she ever had.
I recall giving her lessons as a Christmas gift way long ago.
She did great up on the big old horse that was gently introducing her to what would become a vocation she chased for years.
There was the first time without a lead, the first time trotting, cantering, galloping and god forbid, the first time over a rail.
The first time she was thrown is etched in my memory.
The first broken bones, painful sprains, wins and losses!
Barn horses came and went as she grew and became more skilled.
Most of the kids were hoping to have their own horse so they could show and compete with whom they loved above all else.
Enter a frisky Morgan willing to give his all for her in the park and “A” rated shows.
Later on she outgrew him and his abilities to challenge the hot bloods in the more competitive categories.
He moved on though she never stopped loving his nosy kisses.
A courageous Appaloosa, carried her to many wins and to more than a few championships.
Just before we kicked off for Ireland she rode him in a jump-off against one of her coaches.
It was one of the scariest, and most exhilarating rides, I have ever watched. She gave him his head and he took the course like the champion he truly was.
She and “Little” took the N Y Seltzer championship! 
Later, in the college years, she was unable to compete though she held the dream alive.
After graduation she bought a green horse that had never trotted into a competitive ring.
Within a year he was ready.
In his very first show he placed.
He continued to place until she sold him.
Looking back it seemed like we lived at the barn and that we would always be at some show or another.
I would always be holding some horse while it was groomed, tacked, braided, inspected.
Now, it all seems like a dream.
Time has fogged the particulars leaving a wonderful memory of time spent with Danielle, some great kids, and some mighty fine horses.
All in all not a bad view in the rear view mirror.
Thank you all.
Particular thanks to Phyllis, Bunny, Mike, Cathy, multiple horses, zany Jack Russells, all the supportive parents, for some of the very best years-