As long as I can remember I have loved horses. Some, like my mother, might call that a genetic defect, but not me! My mother was terrified of horses after being run away with at summer camp. The camp counselor told her to get back on, and the horse promptly ran away with her again.
She was so scared of horses that she could never watch me ride, even in a show. Instead she would hide behind the barn and ask my dad to tell her when I was safely off the horse again.
To her credit, she summoned the courage to let me have a horse when I was 13 years old after years of begging for one. Queen was the perfect kid’s horse. She was a 14.2 hand half-Arabian chestnut mare, gentle and smooth to ride. She also taught me a lot about horses and how smart they are. If I arrived at the barn in a skirt she knew I wasn’t going to ride. When I grabbed a piece of her mane she learned I was going to ask her to canter up the hill. When the boarding stable owner warned me that she could hurt me if I was riding bareback with only a bridle I knew he was wrong. We had a mutually trusting relationship.
A few years later I read the book Kinship With All Life by J. Allen Boone, and it changed my life. He explained how he could communicate with animals, everything from a fly to his German Shepherd Strongheart. Then I understood better how I knew what Queen was thinking and feeling and how she knew what I was thinking and feeling. Fortunately I was open-minded enough at that age to accept the possibility of communicating with animals. Years later I would come to learn how horses help people in so many wonderful ways. And I’m still learning.
Later posts: Learn how Queen and my love of horses led me to owning and running a boarding stable, and later to therapeutic riding.