Essay: Horse Love

Apr 19, 2019

When I was about eight years old, I fell in love with horses.  It began with “Black Beauty,” the classic novel about a carriage horse who narrates his life story.  Then I begged my father for riding lessons and found myself climbing into an English saddle on a bay mare named “Miss Muffet.” Horses were a lot higher off the ground than they looked!

While I put Miss Muffet through her paces, she put me through mine, teaching me to post, trot, canter, and hold on with my legs!  Two years later we won a trophy and blue ribbon together. 

Meanwhile, I was also busy collecting horse figurines and horse books, including one called, “The Real Book about Horses.”  The advice it gave was this:  “Don’t fall in love with your horse or you won’t be able to trade it in for a better one.”

I was shocked!  What was the point of having a horse if you didn’t fall in love with it?  My father joked that I thought every horse was beautiful.  I did--and I loved them all.

As it turned out, I never owned a horse.  But I have never hesitated to fall in love, wisely or unwisely.