Now that I am an adult, I look back at the time my dad gave me my first horse. I was in the fourth grade. Ballet and gymnastics had been my passion. As a preschooler, I would mimic the 1940-50’s female movie stars by dancing and singing in front of the TV. That changed. All my time and energy went into horsemanship. When I was an adult, before dad died, I wrote him a letter telling him how much that one gesture meant to me. I never begged for a horse nor expected it, but oh the life skills and lessons I learned.

I trained, cared for and competed in barrel racing from that time until I was a Junior in Clearwater High School. Dad was a Real Estate Broker, specializing in ranches and large acreage. I am sure that is how it all came about. The cowboys named my sweet natured, spirited, seven year old buckskin mare “Baby”. We lived on five acres on the outskirts of Clearwater before Belcher Road and Drew Street became highly developed. There were still open fields nearby with plenty room for practicing figure eights, change of leads, or straight barrel racing, quarter rollbacks and full spins in preparation for the cloverleaf barrels.  the Cow Horse technique with a hackamore references what I described.

Life Skills Learned

When I fell off or was afraid to try something new or unknown with animals or nature, my parents would not allow me to feel fear and say, “Lucy, of course you can do it” so matter-of-fact that I would not hesitate. If I could carry that positive attitude to other life skills maybe my “Five Spoke Wheel” would be in balance.

My Baby Loves Western Movies

In my preteens all of my girlfriends were reading “Seventeen” magazine. I was reading “Western Horseman”  and dreaming of living on a ranch with cowboys, or on the rodeo circuit. It seemed that all the articles, pictures in the magazine and the movies, were always out West. The old Western movies added mystique and adventure. If  Roy Rogers rode his horse down a twenty foot mountain slope, or jumped over a steep gully, I had to do it too. If he allowed “Trigger” to swim him across a roaring river, I would try it. I would imagine the outlaws were after me. So many times Baby became my Western Adventure wonder-horse. One of my favorite things was allowing her to pull me through the cool waters of a beautiful lake, as I held on tightly to her tail. I know she enjoyed it too… All of these imaginary adventures, stretched me to my limits…

Let’s Pretend

To this day, David will say to me when we are doing some sort of an outdoor challenge, “Let’s pretend”.  We make up a scenario like; the only way to get back to save our daughter, is to paddle non-stop, in a short space of time. Maybe on a bicycle trip; I might say- “The world will end if we don’t pedal fast enough to make it back by a quickly approaching deadline”. Each of us created an increased sense of urgency in the other, as we added new imaginary obstacles to our fantasies. We always beat the deadline. The world has been saved again!

As I posted previously, in the “The Unspoken Law”, meeting David must have been Divine intervention. Marrying three months from the time we met, we had no clue how in harmony we were. Amazing.

I still like to say “Let’s Pretend”. How about you? What do you do to make it easier to complete your most difficult physical challenges?

Warm wishes – “Spokes-model” Lucy