Saturday, April 10, 2010

Oh, Didn't I Tell You??

My father purchased his mare, Darq Lucretia, three and a half years ago.

At the time I was away at university, studying to become a wonderful Sociologist who would go on to do great things with her life. In the meantime, I was working at The SubShack and when I found out about Tia's presence in our lives, I immediately went to all my coworkers and told them how I was going HOME that weekend and I would get to ride a HORSE.

For the first time in years! I would be back in the saddle!

My father informed me that, no, I would not be riding his horse and I was momentarily heartbroken. Because, really, Do you know who I am?

And then my father went out on his first ride with Tia. It took my brother's assistance to hold her while my father got on and then they sped down the driveway in a flurry of feet flying and tail swooshing and I was all like, Dude, I am not getting on that horse.

Because Tia was kind of nutso. Not gonna lie, the girl had some issues. Before we got Zydo, six months after Tia's arrival here at The Ranch, Tia couldn't even go outside by herself because this big old world is just that scary.

I haven't since asked my father to get on his horse because I do not believe in interfering with the training others are putting in to a green horse. I don't believe that he should set back his progress with her in any way to please me, and as a result, our dearest Darq Lucretia has never been backed by yourse truly.

Until now.

Tia has grown as a horse since her arrival here. Sure, she has had her share of flipouts and hysteria. Sure, I used to call her The Dancing Queen. Yep, she is petrified if you carry a plastic bag by her stall and she will very much try to escape through the solid wall should you make a crinkling sound in her doorway. Once every three years, she will even try to kick you. (Or me.)

But she has also become phenomenally sweet. She is the horse people turn to when they come in our barn, not Zydo. She is the one people want to pet and kiss the nose of because she is just so darn lovable, that little grey mare. She is beautiful and curious and just so willing to pick her feet up should you ask.

And so, this past weekend, we were outside with Tia and her baby, and I couldn't help but notice how absolutely calm she has become. Dead quietness.

And I rubbed on her back, leaned up on her, and I thought for a brief moment, What if I were to hop on?

And then I realized, wait.

I can't get on a horse. I need a mounting block and a full ground crew to mount any horse and I demanded that my father come and place me on his horse's back. I love this first photo because of the "Oh, for fuck's sake" expression on my dad. Like, really this chick is 25 years old and she can't get on a damn horse? Really?

And then I was suddenly on our dearest Darq Lucretia's back and while I was kind of nervous, waiting for her to bolt or spin or throw in a buck, I really thought, Hey! What's the worst that can happen?

And then my father led myself and Tia down the driveway and I thought for a brief moment that this was how I started out 24 years ago. I was 18 months old and being led by this same man down this same driveway, past those same maple trees on a horse named Gentleman Jim Dandy. I remember the first time I trotted on Jim, down that driveway. I was five or six, and I was scared. My father told me that there was no time like the present to try it out. Jim and I trotted with great success that day and I bobbled around like a rag doll on top of that enormous horse with a grin on my face that I'm sure you could have seen from the moon.

So, here we are. Twenty five years later? Or three years later?

I'm not sure.

But my father finally let me ride his mare, that delightful grey little thing who is just so sweet you want to pick her up and put her in your pocket. I've always had an affinity for Tia because of who she is: A defiant little creature who states very clearly what her needs are. A lovely little thing who can be a beautiful mover if she wants to be. The one who brought my father home a ribbon the first time he competed with her because when it comes to, she really can do what needs to be done.

And also the one who brought us the next generation of riding:

I've told my mother that the theme song for this year is Taylor Swift's "Fearless". You should go and listen to it right now, really.

You take my hand and drag me head first, fearless.

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