There is no getting around it: I was indoctrinated at a very young age. I was the baby, and I was the last chance mom had for early imprinting of equine addition (EIEA, pronounced EEEAAAAHHHH!!!)
Some people say that it's something you grow into or learn- that it can be cured, that it's a temptation or a lifestyle. While my mother's imprinting certainly aided the illness, I can't help but feel that somehow, in someway, I was born this way.
Ergo, my equine birthday tribute to my equine mother- the best kind of tribute.
Mom, this shirt is wildly awesome, and if you still own it, you should still wear it. I think I have that hat now. Let me know when you want it back. Little did you know then that I would steal the hat right off your head, did you? Also, you look exactly the same. Gorgeous-like. (also, don't be embarrassed, because I am totally about to embarrass me too, and then we're even.)
The horse that started it all. Mom won't mind that she is in this picture because a) her favorite horse is also in it and he looks so fit and muscled that it hurts and b) she is wearing that awesome fish clip that she designed, and that is totally en vogue now.
So, these were the days that set me into motion. I went along to watch mom compete in her 25 mile endurance rides with Princey boy and played with my plastic horses all the while. the ball was rolling...
Which is why I had no qualms with being 11 and getting dressed up like this. I loved this outfit, and was seriously eager to impress the Sanpete County 4H program. It would be self indulgent to show you how many times that 4H outfit changed, but lets just say that mom and I had a ridiculously fun time doing it. (oh the DI sportscoats excursions and experiments with iron-on applique!)
What began as a hot mess ended with that awesome blue blazer and...oh, yeah you're not looking at me anymore? You're looking at that Shining Bay Sweetheart of Glory? me too. Mom was so right about that horse. She was the perfect friend for a young nutzo.
Which led to our next grandiose idea to get a thoroughbred that I could jump and do dressage with (that was kind of awesome.)
And also included a stint on the longtime family horse in her sunset years-you were right about her too mom. What she did that year was absolutely heroic.
And all these years later, we finally got a picture of us and our horses together. It wasn't until I was 25 and attempted this project that I realized that through all those years of my mom being at every lesson, every show, every pony club rally, every triumph and failure- I never took a picture with her. My mom turned her lifelong passion into the coolest thing a mom ever did for her daughter, and I'm finally old enough to appreciate that.
Horses aren't just something we both love, or something for us to talk about. They, like her art, are the medium through which life is perceived and appreciated. Talks about horses have almost always really been talks about life, triumph, failure, relationships, patience, and then once in awhile a story about how you ended up on your arse or how awesome it was when the tiniest donkey rage-attacked the worlds biggest mule.
mom always has the guise of not taking herself too seriously while all the while you feel like you just learned something terribly important from that horse conversation. For all the horse conversations, thanks mommy, and Happy One More Year of Trail Rides.