I’ve been asking for a pony since I was… oh, you know. Ever since my Dad was watching the movie Shane while I was being born. Little girls inevitably ask for ponies at some point in their lives but if you really want to have a cowgirl for a daughter, watching cowboy movies during their birth is a sure fire ceremonial event to set that into stone. However, my parents didn’t realize that is how things work and little did they know that they’d just brought a little girl into the world hell-bent on getting a pony.
Unfortunately for me, every time I screamed the words “I WANT A PONY!” I was met with adversity and the bottom line was no pony. Instead I was forced to acquire obscene numbers of horse models, rocking horses, horse posters, etc, etc. I saw this in a magazine yesterday and I can’t believe I didn’t have this to ride around my neighborhood with my riding helmet on (which I abandoned my bike helmet for at an early age):
Eventually I stopped asking for a pony and somehow lost sight of my cowgirl dreams as I grew older and embarked on my journey to become an artist… But when I was 16, I met my equine soul mate.
His name is King. I’ve spent every summer since I was 11 at Valley View Ranch, an equestrian summer camp for girls which- up until a few weeks ago- was as close as I thought I’d ever get to having a real pony. This is a picture of us when I was 16. I was in that angsty stage of my life where I dyed half of my hair blue, thought I was a punk and I sure did hate my life. My cowgirl image had gotten a little confused, but as you can see, I was at least still hanging out with horses. And that summer I fell in love with that goofy quarter horse. And every summer I kept going back…
…And we really grew up together. I was 19 in this picture. It was always me and King when I was at the ranch, and we got in fights from time to time but I always still loved him. We just connected on some weird level that I can’t really describe to anyone who has never loved a horse before. He hasn’t always been very well behaved and often times he would cause trouble but we had fun together. And we loved each other.
Last summer was my last summer as a counselor at Valley View, and though I was excited to leave to pursue an art career, it was hard to watch King get loaded into a trailer and say goodbye as he was hauled away, knowing we’d never have another summer together riding trails in the mountains. I’d given up my dreams of having a pony at that point in time in order to pursue my art.
However, Valley View hired me to paint the mural you may have seen in my last post. I went up there this spring to paint it, and the camp director offered to sell him to me, which I had to (sadly) decline because I couldn’t afford to board him anywhere. I drove home crying.
I was a carriage driver in town for a long time and I recently quit (again, to pursue art) but because I am quite honestly addicted to the presence of horses, I had to do something to get my pony fix, and I started riding and helping out at a local riding barn that my friend runs.
One thing led to another and in some sort of lucky charmed miracle act of God that allowed all of this to happen in an affordable way, King is now in their riding program with hope of becoming a roping horse and I have his papers. I KNOW RIGHT?!
This was us a week ago, 15 minutes from my house. We are in love and nothing can keep us apart! AND I FINALLY HAVE A PONY. It was fated. You can’t stop us.