Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Tale of Two Horses

A new friend at work got me hooked up with a friend of hers who owns multiple horses and is always looking for people to ride them. So this fellow here, has been my 'other' time killer hobby for the last few weeks. His name is Taz and he' s quite lovely. He's well behaved on the ground and when I'm on his back and he's been a very generous and patient while I relearn how to ride properly. The last time I rode in an English saddle I was in 5th grade - circa 1979. Yeah, it's been awhile. There are something like 6,987 of unused horseback riding muscles in my legs and back and they all want me to know that for almost 30 years of non use, they plan to make me pay. Ow. Ow. Ow.

My senior year in high school, my friend Lace and I used to go out to one of those 'rent a horse' places in Brandywine, Maryland. We spent so much time there that eventually I/we got talked into buying a horse. We paid $600 for this nice quarter horse - Prince - board was $140.00/month. He was a western pleasure horse and worth ten times what we paid.

You might wonder how a 17 year old could afford a horse - I had this crazy job my senior year in high school. I worked for a title company and researched judgements. I got paid by the search, not by the hour. So, if I buckled down and worked hard I could clear 1000 bucks a week. That is mad cash for a 17 year old and what else would a 17 year old spend mad cash on? Lace and I shared him, and he was well loved and well taken care of.

Riding Taz lately has had me thinking about Prince a lot and laughing, first because who sells a horse to a 17 year old and second, we never told our parents. Lace and I owned a horse for a year, and no one knew. Lace and I had a lot of secrets, and while the horse may have been the biggest in size, there are others that will never make the page of this blog or any other.

I told my mom the truth just a few years ago - she was stunned, and after shaking her head a few times, she laughed - and said she guessed if I was going to keep secrets and hide "big" things from her she was just grateful it was a horse and not a cache of guns or a coke habit.
My mom, she's cool like that.

I keep reminding myself I can't really afford another expensive hobby right now but I am enjoying it so much that I have caught myself trying to do the math in my head, the 'figuring out if I can afford it math'. Fortunately, I suck at math, so until I start putting stuff down on paper (or in an Excel spreadsheet) it's all okay.

The day I sold Prince was heartbreaking. I will never forget the woman who bought him hugging me and telling me that "he would grow old with her" - I have always hoped that is exactly what happened.

This time, if I do buy a horse, I think I'll tell my mom.


kenju said...

I think it is great that you bought a horse and didn't tell your mom. There were a lot of things I didn't tell my mom (lol) but nothing THAT large!

Anonymous said...

Great story! Miss Priss has become a horse fanatic and is bugging us to buy her a horse -- I'm gonna let her read this!

rennratt said...

Your 'secret' brought a smile to my face.

I'm with your mum on the secrets thing.

A horse habit is definitely better than cocaine. ANY DAY.

Tracy Lynn said...

Dude, I was gonna show this to my mom, but she would just say "Why couldn't you hide a horse from me, instead of the guns and the coke?" and frankly, I don't need to revisit THAT argument.

Her Roo-ness said...

THAT alone is worth cookies.
I just love you.

tiff said...

Dude - you hid a horse habit from your Mom. That's whack.

And totally awesome.

Anonymous said...

i did a little research after you told me about your "thing", and if you want a way to make more money using your your blog you can enter this site: link. bye.

db grin said...

Motorcycles are better than horses, because they don't usually decide not to listen if they feel like it, or take you under low branches or try to scrape you off on the side of a barn or stomp on your foot or poop in your yard or bite with their enormous icky teeth or throw you onto your ass because they're just plain mean. Plus which there just aren't any horse bars around, but there are plenty of biker bars.

Great story though.

Wish Tiff a happy birthday today, mmkay?

Anonymous said...

Ah, memories. I tell that story occasionally, too. What a trip! Definitely a good secret. That little beige car of yours, always driving us over the bridge.

My parents still don't know. But they were never as cool as your mom.

xoxo Lace