Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Every one of our posts involve horses. A lot of people ask me how I grew to love horses so much and I can't remember one specific moment when I said "This is my passion" but horses have been a very prominent part of my life since I was a baby.

It started with my mom. She had horses all growing up. Her first horse was named Shortcake and she loved that horse. She used to tell me stories of how her family wasn't able to afford a saddle so the kids had to ride him bareback everywhere. She grew up in Menlo Park, California, about 15 minutes away from Stanford University. Leland Stanford bought up all of the land around Stanford University including a lot of land next to my Grandparent's house but somehow my mom, with her grace and charm, got a key and permission to ride through the hills whenever she wanted. How could anyone say no to her?

When she decided to go to college she immediately fell in love the idea of merging her passion for horses with her education. She went to Rick's College with her two horses, a retired race horse named Terry and a quarter horse name Dutch Treat, and graduated from their Horsemanship and Stable Management program as their honorary "Woman of the Year." (obviously I didn't get her educational drive) After college she taught lessons in the little arena my dad built for her and competed a little bit. She would always tell me how I was never scared of the horses and how I would wander around their feet while she was tacking them up. She would take me with her sometimes when she rode and put me in a carrier or just on the front of the saddle. Eventually she gave up her cowboy ways and teaching for the suburbs and became a massage therapist.

As I grew up we didn't have too many opportunities to go riding living in Orem. Once a year we would go to my mom's best friend, Patti's, ranch in California. I patiently waited every year for that opportunity and cherished every second on their horses. I did take lessons for a couple summers but those were quickly cut short by lack of money and eventually the place where I took lessons from sold their land to a real estate developer.

(yes, that is me on the little shetland)

My dreams of having horses kind of came to a close when I was a teenager. Shopping and fitting in with my friends became more important to me and money and places to take lessons became more and more scarce. My mom would randomly take on horses that needed to be trained so I would go watch her train every time I could. She was a new person on a horse. She was so good with horses. She understood their psyche, their emotions and she genuinely loved them. She was confident but gentle and they might have put up a struggle to begin with but eventually would do anything for her.

Until I met Andrew I didn't realize how much I missed them. He was lucky enough to grow up with horses. He had a horse named Crazy Dog who he grew up with. From what I know he learned most of the important stuff with Crazy Dog that really created that bond. Andrew tells me all the time how they used to go swimming together, round ups and rides until Crazy Dog died. Then Andrew got the General. The General was a special horse to Andrew. It's funny because we always used to joke about how impatient the General was and what a butthead he was, the funny part is, Andrew and the General were the same. They were the same spirit when they were together. Andrew and I joke about how he has other "mistresses" that I have to deal with and the General was numero uno followed by his saddle, his boots, his hat, his motorcycle, etc. You get the idea. Last winter the General was hit by a car and had to be put down. We are still mourning his loss and miss him every time we go to the mountains. It's not the same without him. Andrew's not the same without him.

But we haven't let that stop us. I am just grateful that Andrew loves horses too. Every time we ride we know that the Lord put us together. As much as we like to say it was our own doing there is no way I can deny the Lord's hand in our meeting. It was just too perfect. We like to say that it was our interest in horses that actually brought us together. Andrew didn't even look at me until I mentioned that I rode ;)

Last Saturday we went just past Daniel's Summit by Strawberry and went riding at a little place called Willow Creek. It was an easy ride but a perfect place to work on the horses' foxtrots. Every time we go riding Andrew reminds me of how he wants to have a thousand acre spread with a cattle/calf operation. All I want is a horse and a dog. We had so much fun and I am so grateful for Andrew's parents for providing such a fun and worthwhile hobby for us. We couldn't do it without them! Andrew is my knight in shining armor.

1 comment:

Abby said...

I really love this passage styles. That was so cool to read about your mom and how she grew up with horses. Thanks for putting that up- it was really neat to hear all of the stories.