Part 1 How I came to buy a horse
My first introduction to horses (that I can remember) was watching the Spin & Marty segments on the Mickey Mouse Club. That’s the original Mickey Mouse club. In addition to the daily variety show, there were also segments like Spin & Marty with other actors who weren’t technically Mouseketeers. Spin & Marty was about a Summer Camp and the adventures of the youngsters who spent summers there. Tim Considine (on the right) played Spin. Being a young gal, I actually wanted to see Tim, the horses were an added treat.
When I was a teenager, one of my older brothers had a horse for a while. He used to take us to the farm where he kept her and we would get to ride the various ponies and horses there. Riding consisted of getting on, kicking to go and pulling back on the reins yelling “whoa” to stop. Otherwise, the horses went pretty much where they wanted to go.
In 1995 I talked my husband, son and sister into going to a dude ranch for vacation. We went to Colorado and had a wonderful time. I was on a horse every day while the other three preferred to do other activities, like canoeing, hiking, etc. I highly recommend a dude ranch as a family vacation. No television, no phones, just family activities. You are with a small group of individuals so you get to know about each and make some friends.
That was the extent of my contact with horses. Then in 1997 a series of family tragedies struck, the most devastating was losing two of my brothers to lung cancer exactly one year apart. They were only 55 and 58 years old. A few years later I had to deal with my mother’s dementia. It really drove home how short life can be and started me thinking about what I had or hadn’t done in my life. I gave up on playing the piano and tap dancing, but I told my husband I wasn’t going to give up the dream of horses. So I signed up for riding lessons.
The lessons were wonderful. Not just the riding, but being around the horses, grooming them, etc. I took lessons for about six months when I announced to my husband that I was going to buy a horse. After he picked his jaw up off the floor, we discussed it in length. He totally understood my position on life, but not my wanting to own a horse. You see, he is one of those unlucky people who just doesn’t “get it.” He thinks horses are nice to pet and look at, but why would you want to climb up on one? But, he supported my decision, and after researching the various breeds, I decided on a Missouri Fox Trotter. It is a gaited breed. I went that route because I have a bad back and I just couldn’t learn to post. Gaited breeds have a smooth trot and various other gaits that don’t jar you around like a Quarter Horse.
I purchased Heaven Bound’s Carmel Clown “Mel” in 2002. Owning him helped bring me through one of the toughest times in my life and a deep depression. He gave me a reason to get off the couch and go outside into the sunshine. And since I board him, he gave me the opportunity to meet new friends who share my interest and understand what having a horse means.