I am going to go forward with Linda’s post, for today.
My mother has always been my inspiration. Most everything I am, is because she shared her own love for life, with me.
As a young girl, she spent more time on horseback, or running through the woods, than she did applying makeup, and dressing up. The first time she met my dad, he was standing with one of her friends. Mom didn’t know he was there, and she was being her normal, creative, carefree self. When she came out of the trees, the scream of Tarzan could be heard, strong and clear. Not surprisingly, this is how their story began.
From the moment, I heard my mother belting this well known cry -I knew this was the kind of woman -I wanted to be.
When I was a teenager, the Air Force moved daddy to Rome, New York. I loved that town. It was one of my favorite places to live. The weather was always perfect, in the summer -and I love snow!
Mama started riding with some of the friends she made there. She had a knack for finding cantankerous horses, and teaching them to trust her. While riding with one of her friends, she came across a farm, that made homemade butter.
I’d never had homemade butter, and I am always excited by foods, clothing, pottery -anything, someone created with their own hands. During one of her visits, to pick up butter, she discovered they owned a horse.
Vigilight was a gorgeous chestnut, 15’2 hand, Morgan/QH gelding. Sadly, he hadn’t stepped outside his 11 x 11 foot stall, in four years. No one could handle him. He’d already attacked several of the staff, while being feed. One was taken to the hospital, after Vigil had bitten a chunk out of his arm.
Was it pity, or was mama drawn to this gelding? For whatever reasoning -she braved the unthinkable.
His first days, stepping upon the earthen dirt, rocks and grass -were difficult. His hooves were too long, and tender. Each step, was painful, as he limped his way wherever she led. Within a couple of months, mama was taking short rides, around the farm. It wasn’t long, before Vigil became part of our family.
He was rotten. Fortunately, he loved my mother and I -so the teeth remained confined to the hay and oats, we fed him. Well, he wasn’t as pleasant with the other horses. He was always the king of the pasture, no matter where he stayed.
During a parade, I was lucky enough to ride Vigil, while mom worked with another horse. Vigil pranced, as he showed off for all the people ‘oohing’ and ‘awing’ over him. I heard one mother tell her children, “Stay back. That horse is a stallion.”
Silly horse -he hadn’t a clue; he wasn’t carrying a set of balls. Sometimes, I would have him lose in the barn area. He loved to play, and romp around. When it was time to go back to his stall, he would refuse. Many times, he charged at me -but I held my ground. Not because I was foolish -I knew this horse. He wouldn’t hurt me. Seconds before he reached me, he would dash away in another direction.
One day, I was sent into the pasture, to bring the horses in. I walked out with nothing but a lead rope. Instead of wrapping the rope around Vigil’s neck, and walking back -I decided I’d just climb on, and plod along with them -with ease.
Vigil stood quietly, as my short little legs did their best in helping me onto his back. Once I was seated in place, a handful of mane in my fist, Vigil took off at a dead run -15 other horses in hot pursuit.
I was sure I was a goner! If you ever watch horses run for the barn, you’ll know they fly to the end, and then skid to a halt. What was going to happen to me -then? Would I end up tangled in the gate? Or, would I be under the hooves of the anxious, pounding around me?
Did I mention, Vigil loved me? If I didn’t, believe it! About 10 yards from the gate, Vigil gradually slowed, until he reached the exit, and stopped. He stood patiently, as I climbed down.
Needless to say, I lead him on foot, the rest of the way.