Growing up with a farrier for a father, you would be safe to assume that that also meant growing up with horses. My summer vacations as a child were typically spent in the wilderness, packing into some remote location on horseback. Even as a tiny tot, too young to ride ourselves, we were either in a backpack or sharing a saddle with an adult. Once we were old enough to ride solo, we would "pony up" on our own and down the trail we went. I remember singing songs as a family.
"I'll Take the High Road" and "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" bring a smile to my face still today.
During college, I was away from home, and away from horses. I was doing what most youngsters are doing during those years, and trying to find myself. During this phase, I somehow decided that even though I had loved horses all of my life, I wouldn't need them as an adult.
Fast forward to motherhood.
Isn't it funny how having your own kids opens your eyes to the things that were truly important to you as a child? I found myself wanting to give my children the things that had brought me such joy as a young girl.
I wanted to give them a pony.
It recently dawned on me that times have changed dramatically since I was a kid. While I write that it seems so obvious...but I'm not talking about the obvious. I'm talking about the amount and age at which kids become dedicated to extracurricular activities!
As a child, I was involved in sports and clubs, but I can't say that I started much of anything before Jr. High...nothing serious or consistent anyway. There may have been a few who did, but it was rare.
With our oldest daughter in 1st grade taking Ballet, playing soccer, and enrolled in swim lessons, I started to feel like I was missing out on her life. Here I was doing all of these things for her, yet, all I really felt like was a taxi that drove her around and dropped her off at practices. I missed my baby girl!
This spring we spent a day at a Ranch (see post here) in Prairie City, Oregon, and it all started to sink in.
I saw my girls enjoying pony rides, plying in the dirt, and climbing fences, and I started questioning what was really important. No, I didn't go all extremist and pull her out of all activities, but I decide we need to cut back-for now any way. Because for now, my daughter still thinks I'm cool and likes to spend time with me. For now, I am more important than boys. I know that my days are numbered, and I am choosing to spend them differently. There will come a time when all of those activities will be all-consuming in her mind, but for now, at the age of 7, lets embrace the love for ponies and mama's!
After a few long talks with my husband, we decided we would get a pony.
I found a 10 year old mare on Craigslist, who was previously used for pony rides. After driving to Washington to check her out, we decided she would be a great fit for our family.
Below is a picture of the day we brought Polly home.
That night, as I kissed the girls goodnight, Raegen said,
"Mommy, I guess dreams really do come true!"
The idea is that we will spend more time here, together, with Polly, and less time running around.
I look forward to teaching our girls about the handling, riding, and responsibility that go along with owning a horse. I look forward to the time we'll spend together and the unspoken lessons that come with this journey.
Polly has been part of the family since (late) April of this year, and the stories are already adding up. With summer break now here, I'm sure there are many more to come. Feel free to follow along as I share snippets of our pony experience on this blog. I think I'll call it, "Princess and the Pony". You'll find out why in a future post, but for now, we'll consider an introduction sufficient :-)