Monday, August 10, 2009

Oh, to be nine again!

Her first day of riding camp. Her lunchables packed in her backpack with her water bottle her brother's sweatshirt and probably some gummybears from the package her PapaJohn bought her last night at the play.
From nine in the morning until three in the afternoon she and five or six other young girls washed horses, rode horses, talked about horses, and played with the barn kittens.
Her Aunt Mary and I picked her up with baby Riley in tow. She showed her Auntie Mary the stables, the two miniature horses, Mickey and Mouse and the barn cats.
I showed off baby Riley to the other little girls who cooed and aaaaaahed at a sleeping baby.
We came home to cool off in the pool then supper and a bowl of ice cream while wrapped in a quilt and watching The Teen Awards. Life is good.
She misses her brothers, she was happy her Grannybea slept with her last night during the rainstorm with loud lightening and thunder and even with such a wonderful day a little bit of home sickness occurred.
But, she had a good day and tomorrow looks to be just as wonderful.
I can remember being nine about to go into fourth grade.
I remember the summer before fourth grade. A lot of riding of my bike, Blue Dawn around the neighborhood. I remember tying a small piece of rope to the handle bars and pretending my bike was my horse. I probably washed my bike down when I got done with riding it. Heck I may have even put a bucket of water next to it.
I had a LOT of imagination.
I was sent to Camp for two weeks in the middle of the summer. It was in the Pine Barrens and it was the only time I got to be around horses. We would be helped up on old tired saggy backed horses that simply wanted to stay in the barn. We would trudge horse head to horse butt, down a skinny trail, loop back to the barn and that was our riding lesson. For me it was heaven. I hung around the barn and washed down the horses, I swept out the stalls I did what ever I could to just be there with them.
To be fortunate enough to be able to send my granddaughter to a real riding school. To see her sitting up on a beautiful big horse learning how to control that horse is just heaven for me as it is for her.
My best friend in the fourth grade was a little girl with bright red hair and freckles all over her face. Her name was Margaret but we called her Peggy.
When I enrolled in the school in third grade she was my school partner. That meant for any race, activity, line up we would always be together. She was my best friend.
She lived and breathed horses. She actually owned a horse.
I left that school in the middle of the sixth grade. I lived in a different town and I didn't get to see Peggy again.
When I was in high school I ran into an old classmate who told me that when Peggy was 13 she fell off of one of her beloved horses and died.
When I watch my granddaughter riding, back straight, this little tiny girl up on the back of a powerful horse, I don't feel worry, I feel Peggy's hand in mine, squeezing it and telling me that's it's the right thing. It's a good thing.
It was worth every second with her horses.


  1. I have lots of summer memories that involve both my grandmas. Your grandchildren will undoubtedly have memories of their summers spent with you.
    Life is too short to be worried about "what if..." - good for you to go for it.
    Great post.

  2. Thanks Linda. Some little girls and horses it's a magical thing, isn't it?

  3. This is one of the best stories yet! The next post you wrote enforces this story...I so totally believe in what I call "life Guides" Like gentle pushes from God...or, if you don't listen the first few times WHAM!
    I really enjoyed these 2 posts.
    Thank you, Lisa

  4. What a wonderful post Bea. I, too, loved horses as a child, but living in LOndon it was hard to ride unless you had plenty of cash. I did have some lessons and went on a pony trekking week in Scotland. I loved every second of it. I am so glad you are able to give your Granddaughter the thrill of learning to ride. You cannot worry about her falling off. She will love you even more for it, if that's possible! Such a warm thought of you and she sharing the bed through the storm. Bless.

  5. What is it with horses and little girls? I wonder if it's a cellular memory from a different lifetime with horses? Whatever it is most little girls seems to get a certain gleam in their eye when they talk about them.
    Today is spa day for the horses at the stable. Hayden is taking ribbons and silk flowers to wind in the mane after she gives Snickers a bath. :)Bea

  6. My parents would never buy me a horse. I showed other peoples horses for them, took all the lessons, several falls, but I did learn to get back up in the saddle and try again. The standing joke in our family was that when "I grew up I was buying my own farm and filling it with horses and dogs." I worked all through college - three jobs and saved and saved. The first thing my first husband and I bought was a farm with a ten stall barn. I loved every moment of having horses. I still ride.

  7. Elizabeth, it's wonderful that you still ride. I'm tempted, very tempted to start up again but it's been sooooooooooooo very many years. :)Bea