Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It's all Andria's fault!

History, Chapter 1:
I thought that today I would give you a little history of how our family became a farmily. It all started when my oldest daughter, Andria, now 25, was turning 2 years old.
All she wanted for her birthday was "My Little Pony". I don't have a scanner so I can't share the picture, but use your imagination... ready? Picture a little blonde, blue-eyed girl in her Rainbow Brite (with white pony of course) nightie, standing next to the end table proudly displaying all her little plastic My Little Pony critters that her friends brought her for her birthday... except for the one clutched tighly to her little chest! It was about that time that she started bringing me any money that she got, for birthday, Christmas, whatever, and telling me to "put it in the bank for my REAL horse". Even the handful of change that great-grandpa took out of his pocket for her when he visited was held reverently in her cupped hands, as she brought it to me to put in the bank for her REAL horse.

Fast forward about 11 years to my bright idea of getting my horse-crazy kid a trail ride for Christmas... which thanks to a co-worker's comment turned into actual riding lessons. Scott the cowboy was too old for Andria, and too young for me, but we both thought he was the hottest thing in boots... OH! Lessons. Yeah. Well, the first lesson the kid didn't even get on a horse, which I thought was a great idea. Start them right, let them learn that owning a horse is 90% work and only 10% fun. Make sure the kid knows what she is getting into BEFORE we bring the creature home... so she groomed, picked feet, saddled and unsaddled, etc. etc., and came home in love even though she didn't get to ride. Second lesson, first ride, Scott said Andria was "a natural", complimented her "seat", and mom just nodded and wondered where it came from... not from her city girl mom OR her city boy dad... Wherever it came from, it was amazing to watch! Before long an hour lesson turned into "can you drop me at the stables for the day, they will let me clean pens and saddle and groom in return for more riding time" BIG SMILES! No matter how hard the work was, the kid truly believed that the 10% of fun was well worth it.

So it was time for mom to step up to the plate, as the REAL horse account was now large enough to actually accommodate a REAL horse! I had no clue whether I (a single parent with 3 kids) could afford horse property, but I promised to take a look and, if that was not an option, to buy a "regular" house within bike-riding distance of horse property so she could still have a horse and board it. It took a while but we got lucky and found a half-acre in a small pocket close enough to work that the drive wouldn't change my whole life. My ever patient daughter understood that a fence had to come before a horse... but finally the day came that she could start shopping, and in June of 1996, Andria and Makana became a team!

There's a lot more story here but I don't want to make one post that long, so we'll come back to it. Suffice it to say that Andria still has just one, my grandhorse Smoke:
and she will tell you that she is NOT to blame for the approximately 30 equines to be found on my property at any given time, but I still hold her responsible for the wonderfully crazy life we now lead! After all, even she would have to admit, SHE STARTED IT!

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