I guess when you put a baby in a saddle and they laugh and then you try to take them off and they cry--that is clue #1 of a life ahead of loving horses. Dad would put me in front of him and we would ride for miles. He said sometimes I would fall asleep. My own version of a rocking horse.
Horse lovers run in our family. Dad’s father was a farmer and horse trainer in the Mississippi Delta. Dad said fox hunters from “up north” would send their horses by train for him. It is so funny to hear some of the tales of their training. I ask Dad if they ever lost a horse to colic. He said not that he remembered. But if one had a stomach ache, Papa would tie the horse's head up high, and pour buttermilk and soda down their throats and then tie the horse’s head to its leg and sent the horse off (don’t try this at home.) Dad says he just doesn’t understand what he calls “that scientific training” (ground work) that we do today. “All this slapping a stick on the ground and the horse going round and round, why don’t we just get on the horse and ride it.” He keeps telling me to get off and cut a limb size of my thumb when I have trouble with her. But he says my horse is a dandy and he is proud of her and her gait, so that is music to me.
A few years ago, Dad took a ride with me. It was a dream of mine but we both knew that he probably wouldn't be able to do it again. His parkinson made his balance be off and his back hurt. I am thankful his last ride was a good one.