I like to look at horses. They are very majestic animals. I like to feel their soft noses and let them eat sugar cubes or apples from my hand. I like to watch them effortlessly pulling a sleigh or buggy and hear them nicker.

But... I don't have many good memories of horses.

I barely remember being set on the back of a horse when I was very young and feeling petrified of the height and power under me.

A few years later, we had just moved to Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas. My mother saw a horse trot by and said, "A horse! Their poop makes good fertilizer! Take your bucket and follow it and scoop up his poop." Even at the age of four, I felt the shame of following a horse and collecting his droppings.

Then, when I was around twelve or so, we visited someone who trained horses. We were invited and encouraged to have a ride. The person before me put the horse through the different gaits with only verbal commands. When it was my turn, I clung to the saddle horn, trembling and sweating, and said, "I hope he doesn't decide to trot." ...and off we went! (It's a good thing I didn't say 'gallop'.)

Once my daddy met an Amish family in Maine, and we tromped down the snow-covered road to visit them. Their father took us back to our car by sleigh. His horses were huge! (I don't know the breed) Their backs were as high as my daddy's head. Their feet were bigger than my waist. My brothers and I sat on the back of the sled, and Phillip fell off when the horses lunged forward. He had to run to catch up and jump back on.

One of my best friends, who lived near the high school, just got a horse and wanted me to come see it. We didn't have time to put a saddle on it before my mother would come, so we rode bareback around the corral. While I was at the store later with my mother, my eyes started watering and itching, and, of course, I rubbed them. They swelled shut. I was so allergic to horses then, that I couldn't even get near the horse pavilion at the fair that summer.

My son, Micah, was born loving horses. He would hitch toy ones to the crib with shoe laces. As he got older, he would be attracted to horses wherever they were. He has a way with them, a gentle firmness. I have great respect and admiration for him, for I can't do more than hold the reins while he brushes them or toss hay to them. (making sure I wash my hands soon after)

I've seen my nephew, Landis, riding alone on a horse ten times his size. It looks like so much fun. When all the saints come back with the Lord in the Millinium, I'll not be allergic anymore and will be able to ride my white horse without fear (or itchy eyes).


LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh, I love horses too. Looking at them. Watching them on the movies. My hay fever simply does not allow me around them for too long. Also, when I was in Jr. High, I got bucked off of a friend's horse, and I got hurt pretty badly. I have a little of that fear left. In Heaven, I'll be right there beside you, and if horses are there, we'll ride together. Who knows for sure?

Laury said...

Thanks for sharing your memories, Vonnie. I don't think I would want to follow along behind one, either:) ewww...

Joanne Sher said...

Lovely memories, even if they were scary here and there. I like horses too, but I can take 'em or leave 'em. Love the image at the end of this too. Thanks for sharing.

Dee Yoder said...

Well, Vonnie, I found out this past year that I have a HUGE horse allergy. (Am not near them-how strange!) So when we go to Holmes County with Chrissy, I will NOT be able to ride with the horse and buggy. ( ; I enjoyed reading about your memories and adventures with horses!

Debbie said...

I always have to smile at all the little girls who check out the horse books at the library.  They can't seem to get enough of them!

I'm going to be in your state this weekend, for a family reunion.  I'm not sure that I am looking forward to it though.  It's been a little over a year since we lost our Charis and I fear that it is going to be really hard to see the nieces that are her age.  I'd appreciate your prayers.


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