My mom says I got my start loving horses when I was about two years old. She set me on a spring rockinghorse at a friends house and I screamed when she tried to take me off to go home.
One day, she says, I cried all the way home. When we finally got home and she got me to tell her what was wrong, I said, “I want to horse and I know I can’t have one.”
Finally after years of yearning and dreaming of horses, and reading every book the school library had about them, I bought my first pony. He was a shetland stallion named Trigger. I was 12 years old, had started babysitting for 50 cents an hour, and had the $20 needed to buy him. My dad knew the guy down the road who owned him, and set the deal up for me. I was able to keep him in the barn and corral he had been living in, for free, until I sold him. I paid for his food and trimmed his feet myself. The little barn and corral was about a block away from my house. Sheriff Lily owned the land and after I sold my pony, he donated the land to the city. It is now Lily Park.
Looking back, I am grateful for the opportunity my parents gave me to have something I wanted so dearly, and to let me pay for it and have the responsibility. I don’t remember much of the twice daily trek to feed and care for my pony, but I do remember laying on the bales of hay in the barn while Trigger munched away on the hay I had given him, listening to the hundreds of little raindrops on the roof of the small, one stall barn. I was in heaven.