In case no one has noticed, my husband and I like horse racing.
My husband because he likes horses but enjoys the racing.
Me ? because I used to wish if I could not have a horse, that I could be a horse.
I was raised in a land where I could spend an afternoon lolling around with a horse, riding off by myself when I was about 10 and no one questioning where I was , other than, Oh, she was in the barn with Star last time I looked.
I rode with my Uncle on horses in the desert in Arizona, I rode alone with my grandfather watching with pride when I was maybe 5.
I would sneak out of the house and go over to the neighbours house, going into the paddock and just hanging out with their horses.
One day my mother was searching frantically for me, I was around 10-11 years old , I finally heard her calling ... I was down the road at the neighbours house, riding his horse, bareback, in the paddock.
No one was home.
Little guardian angels rode with me in those days, no doubt in my mind.
My dad would drop me off at the Riding Stables when I was 12- 13 and off I went .. on my own, down the trail, on a full size horse who usually remained calm and would run if I asked it to, I always rode back in time for Dad to pick me up.
Then one day I did not show up , they waited, they wondered, they started to get annoyed, then they worried.
Then the horse showed up, saddle hanging upside down, my little riding boot stuck in the stirrup, scratches all over the side of the horse, bleeding in places.
Needless to say, there was a flurry of activity, men jumped on horses, out to search for the little skinny kid with one cowboy boot.
As they headed down the main path, here came the little skinny kid.
Annoyed as hell.
Never mind everyone was imagining me dead or worse, I couldn't find my boot !
The horse had been one of those stubborn sorts that liked to brush people off against the nearest tree, walking through thorn bushes etc.
Apparently he liked to bite the stable boys who were supposed to be strapping on the saddle and making sure it was tight and did not slide around... with its less than 90 lb rider and only one boot.
The story came to a good end, no one was killed, only slightly scratched and some parents were relieved.
But the love of horses continued ...
This is my horse for the Kentucky Derby.
Meet Hansen. ( yes horses can run with no feet touching the ground )