Pony Power

September 26 2005, 9:39 PM
There are many things you may not know about me. Much of which should rightly stay that way; I'm well aware of the "too much information" rule. However, a few interesting if useless tidbits:
  • I have a titanium wrist. No, it does not set off the airport metal detectors.
  • I have had a lifelong aversion to the color orange. Go figure.
  • I was horse crazy as a kid, and got my first pony when I was in first grade.
That last one is the entire reason that I am now spending rather sizeable chunks of time driving to and from various barns around the metro area in order to ride each week. I have a horsey itch that needs to be scratched, and if it takes driving around to the boonies on a regular basis, so be it. My friends think I'm crazy -- after all, it's an expensive hobby, it's incredibly time consuming, and I'm generally known as a downtown kind of gal. They just don't understand. Like many little girls that grew up loving horses, my fascination with the lovely creatures was sidelined for many years by the annoying interruption of boys, college, and career. But that pony passion never truly went away. In the past few years it's begun to rear its beautiful head once again. I'm back in the saddle, so to speak, and I'm pretty sure that this time it's for good. I've tried several different instructors over the years, and lately I've been bouncing around three different locations. Sometimes I head up to Brighton to visit Flying Star Stables, where Kim Benson and her amazing Swedish warmblood mare, Gertie (who is far more advanced a horse than I am a rider) are showing me the finer points of dressage. It's a fairly serious barn, for adult students only, and for people who take competition to heart. Down at Running Brook stable in Elizabeth, Carol Jones is rather the opposite. She has a darling British accent, along with a darling British attitude toward kids, dogs, ponies, and horses all having fun together. She takes on adults and children with a well educated yet happy-go-lucky approach, and she's helping me learn 3 day eventing (cross country, jumping, and dressage) on Nightstar, her Appendix gelding who's been there, done it all. And up in Boulder, I'm falling back on my old Western riding roots with Bella, a gorgeous flaxen-maned chestnut Arabian mare who I would keep in my backyard if only I could. It's enough to keep me busy, and yet it's not enough to keep me satisfied. Like the desperate little six-year-old that I once was, I want my own pony, dammit. (Insert pouty face and bratty little foot stomp here.) It's getting worse every year. I'm seriously going to have to buy a horse someday soon. I've even begun to cruise DreamHorse.com for prospects. I may have to board my horse (think the Wash Park neighborhood association might make an exception to the zoning rules? No?) but don't be surprised when you run into me with my boots and breeches on, heading back from one of my outings with a brilliant smile plastered across my entire face. I guess I never did grow out of it. I'm still officially horse crazy.