Friday, 4 January 2013

Day 4 - A Ride That Impacted Your Life

Gosh! This is a hard one...

I was 12 years old when my mother took me looking at horses to buy for a friend of a friend who had a son who was at about the same level as me. I was allowed to look after and ride the horse until Christmas, when the horse would then be given to the other kid (or so gullible 12 year old me thought).

After trying quite a few horses, we went to a dealer's yard to try a grey arab x welsh pony called Wombat. When we pulled into the driveway the horse had his head over the gate and I thought he was the most regal, stunning creature I had ever seen in my entire life.

I had fallen in love right then and there. But the ride on him changed my life forever. I had been a nervous rider, having only ever ridden in lessons and the occasional supervised trail ride at walk only. This pony though, I felt 100% comfortable from the second I was boosted onto his back. I walked and trotted around a little round yard for a while, loving his willingness to do what I wanted and to go where I wanted.

Now, this round yard was in a paddock that backed onto a train track. When I heard a train coming I felt my nervousness return - I wanted to jump off but I didn't have the time before the train was almost going past us anyway. I was worried the horse would spook and that I would fall off, but the horse continued as if the train was not even there. Those few seconds changed me as a rider - I wanted this horse, for as much time as possible. He was the one for me for the next few months, anyway.

After the ride I was standing with the horse patting him while my mother and her friend whispered to the dealer. I was happy, as I was about to have a pony of my own for a little while.

My mother's original plan was to tell me on Christmas Day that Wombat was my pony as a surprise, but she didn't have the heart to keep it from me. She told me in the car ride home in between me jabbar jawing "Wombat this... Wombat that... Isn't he the most beautiful horse you have ever seen? Wasn't he brave with the train? Wombat Wombat Wombat!".

Obviously not 12-year-old Lisa.

I was stunned into silence, then I am sure I screamed and cried and yelled all the way home. Then once I was home, I proceeded to call every person I knew to tell them I had a pony of my own - forever.

This, dear readers, is what we like to call in Australia a 'bogan'. Note safe footwear and top notch helmet.

That horse gave me everything. His hooves were the hooves I learned to trim on. He was the rock I needed to survive a broken family when my parents divorced, relentless bullying at school, first, second, third and fourth boyfriends and the first three's associated break ups, you name it. That first ride on him changed my life, and me, into the sound, happy, well rounded, healthy self-esteemed person that I am today. I can never repay him and I often dream of seeing him again in another life.


sally said...

I loved reading your post tonight ....this pony sounds like a complete dream and how lucky you were able to be his rider

OneHindResting said...

Naw... it's Pom! :)

It always makes me cry, but I'm going to share it anyway:
"An old cowboy was riding his trusty horse followed by his faithful dog along an unfamiliar road. The man was enjoying the new scenery, when he suddenly remembered dying, and realized that the dog beside him had been dead for years, as had his horse. Confused, he wondered what was happening, and where the trail was leading them. After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall that looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch topped by a golden letter "H" that glowed in the sunlight. Standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like gold. He rode toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. Parched and tired out by his journey, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?' 'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked. 'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.' As the gate began to open, the cowboy asked, 'Can I bring my partners, too?' 'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The cowboy thought for a moment, then turned back to the road and continued riding, his dog trotting by his side. After another long ride, at the top of another hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a ranch gate that looked as if it had never been closed. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book. 'Excuse me,' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Sure, there's a pump right over there. Help yourself.' 'How about my friends here?' the traveler gestured to the dog and his horse. 'Of course! They look thirsty, too.' said the man. The trio went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with buckets beside it. The traveler filled a cup and the buckets with wonderfully cool water and took a long drink, as did his horse and dog. When they were full, he walked back to the man who was still standing by the tree. 'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked. 'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'That's confusing,' the traveler said. 'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.' 'Oh, you mean the place with the glitzy, gold street and fake pearly gates? That's hell.'

'Doesn't it make you angry when they use your name like that?' 'Not at all. Actually, we're happy they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'"

If my horse isn't there, it's no heaven to me.

Lisa said...

Oh Casey, that's beautiful!!! I feel the same. :)

Lisa said...

The luckiest kid around!

Lisa said...

I just realised that I'm not wearing a helmet in any of these photos, whoops!!

You wouldn't catch me riding without one often these days.

K.K. said...

Love this post!

and I giggled at the part that said "This, dear readers, is what we like to call in Australia a 'bogan'. Note safe footwear and top notch helmet." A friend of mine from Australia is coming to visit me this summer, and when I mentioned us going to a motorcycle rally in South Dakota she said that she was brought up in the heartland of bogan culture and that the rally looked awesome. I really had no idea what she was talking about until I googled it haha!

Adventures of the Super Ponies said...

I love this story. It warms my heart. He was a gorgeous little pony. Everyone should have an equine like that at least once in their life.