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Memories with Mom

What is YOUR favorite horse story shared with your mom?

By Horsetrader readers - May 6th, 2010 - Feature Article, Norco

Keeping the pony dry…
Venice Liston, Riverside, Ca
I’m the mother — but I thought I’d share our story. I was 29 and my daughter, Elishia, was 7 when we first got into horses – and we got her first pony. He was a Shetland Pinto, about 11.1 hand (good thing my daughter is very small … she’s still 5-feet-4 at age 26 today!) We named him Oreo since he was black and white. We were new to horses, and this was our first small ranch. It was a stormy, rainy night after we had rain all day. We only had partial covers, so Oreo was soaking wet. I felt so badly because my daughter Elishia felt so sad for her pony. So, thinking I was doing a good thing for Oreo and my daughter, I brought Little Oreo into my living-room, in front of the fireplace. My daughter was so excited, she got her blowdryer and we proceeded to blow dry him. Well, we got him all dry and fluffy. He looked happy. Then my husband came into the living room and said, “Well now that you got him all dry, when are you taking him back outside to his stall?” Oh, Oh. We didn’t think that far. We just thought we were doing a good thing for Oreo, and I thought I was doing a good thing for my daughter. But poor Oreo, all nice and warm and dry in our living room, had to go outside back to his stall with the partial cover to get all wet again. I think we made it worse. We will never forget that. Now, after owning horses for about 21 years, we know better. Now I have a 3-acre ranch with about 18 horses — some mine, some boarders — and all have full covers.I have made sure of it. Not a one will get wet in the rain. Ever. In fact, I think the horses I’ve raised are very spoiled and they do not even know what rain is. (Don’t know if this is good or bad.) But at least I know, and my daugher knows, forever on my ranch no horse will stand in the rain again!

When is a pony sent from heaven?…
Michelle Fleck, Fallbrook, CA
Like many little girls growing up, I always wanted a horse. When I was five years old, my mom gave me an “imaginary” pony named BINGO. She told me he was a small, black-and-white pony with blue eyes. She promised that if I took care of him every day for the next year, then on my sixth birthday she would sign me up for riding lessons. Sure enough, I took care of Bingo (the imaginary pony) for a year. My mom always reminded me that I had to feed him, clean his stall and exercise him. She was mindful to tell me that it took a lot of money to care for a pony. Clearly, she was teaching me a lesson. On my sixth birthday, I got my first riding lesson. By my ninth birthday, I had my very first horse. My mom became the ultimate Horse Show Mom — dusting my boots off before I went into the arena and writing endless numbers of checks. At the age of 40, I found myself living out my childhood dream of living on a small farm with my horses. Sadly, that same year, my mom passed away from lymphoma. On the one-year anniversary of my mother’s passing, I got a phone call from a friend. She had rescued a 2-year-old, black-and-white pony (with blue eyes of course). She was looking for a home for the pony where it could recover and be rehabilitated. She wanted to know if the pony could come to my farm. “Of course,” I told her. “My mom sent me that pony from Heaven.” Her barn name is Flower but to me she will always be HEAVEN SENT.

One of the best horse moms I know…
Shannon Malally, Claremont, CA
My mom is one of the best horse moms I know. She goes to all my shows, all my lessons, and goes to the barn with me almost every day. She knows horses inside and out, but she hasn’t ridden one in quite a while. Last year in March, my friend Bill offered her to ride his lazy Quarter Horse, Marty, and she actually said yes. So I saddled up my horse, Marshmallow, and she got on Marty. We took to the trail. It was great to ride with my mom, and it was one of the best moments in my life. That short trail ride is my favorite horestory shared with my mom.

Some memories are the first ride…
Jana Dale, Chino Hills, CA
Back in the mid 1970’s when our family first got into horses, our entire family took riding lessons. As a part of our lesson plan, our instructor took us out on a day-long trail ride. Mom was timid and worried that her horse might bolt or buck her off. She thought that if she maintained a text book “equitation form” that she would be better equipped to withstand any such incident. So, for a five-hour trail ride from the City of Industry to Whittier Narrows (and back), mom kept her back ramrod straight, her elbow held tight to her side, and her heels down. This, coupled with her fear, made for an interesting trail ride. The rest of us were relaxed, chatting, and enjoying the scenery — poor mom was unable to do this! When we finally made it back home to our stables, we were all still excited from the ride, hurrying to untack the horses and relax. Mom stayed mounted, which seemed rather odd, knowing how apprehensive she was. Dad asked her, “Bev, do you plan on dismounting any time soon?” Mom replied that she couldn’t, as her muscles had tightened up to the point where they were frozen. Getting mom off was rather interesting. Dad basically had to lead her mare next to a pick-up truck, and then “lifted” her out of the saddle and place her gently onto the truck bed. Good thing the mare was broke to death, and stood quietly. This was mom’s first — and LAST — trail ride!

And for others, the last ride…
Su Bacon, Monrovia, CA
In 1994, my parents moved in with me. Living in Norco came as a pleasant surprise to them but especially to my mother. She was no longer retired but now in charge of carrot and apple distribution. She took her job very seriously, making sure that the carrots were washed and the apples skinned and cut in individual slices. My horses quickly adapted to the changes. Sadly, we lost mom later that year. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of her and miss her so. My herd also misses their wonderful little servant, that cared for them so and left a hard trail to follow.

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