All my family live in Canada, most in BC but there are others sprinkled across Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario as well. I'm one of those people who feel the need to be in contact on a regular basis, with both friends and family (my mother excluded). I'm much better at it than anyone else I know, which is often disappointing. But, it's not about what I get back, it's about what I give. Since riding has become a passion of mine I've been sending pictures and updates and the universal response I've gotten back is "Who knew?". I don't know why this irks me a little. I realize that I wasn't a horse-crazy pre-teen with a poster of Black Beauty above my bed, but I don't think it's so far out of the realm of possibility that I would enjoy horses and riding.
In fact, I come by it quite naturally. I've always been a huge animal lover and always been athletic. My crazy grandparents had horses on their farm in Manitoba and I’m quite sure my paternal grandparents had horses on their sheep farm in Northern Ireland. Here’s a photograph of my aunt Anne at about age 10 standing on the back of Prince, with the mare Jessie in the background. Today she raises Arabians and her daughter also raises and trains horses.
My teacher called this morning to postpone today’s lesson to Wednesday. I’m bummed. I was so looking forward to entering that idyllic place where all my cares vanish as the gates open and I catch my first glimpse of a flick of a tail or hear a whinny in the wind.
According to this site, horses make six basic sounds: snort, squeal, nicker (three different kinds), neigh, roar and blow. Go to the site and listen to all the sounds, they’re fantastic, especially the Ranch Cat and the Turkey.
One thing I’ve already done some research on is going on a vacation that involves riding. I found one in Tuscany called the Centro Ippico della Berardenga (the Riding Center of the Berardenga). Make sure you check out the pictures on their site. For $150 a day you can stay in a renovated farmhouse, take lessons in the morning, a trail ride in the afternoon and spend the evening wandering through the narrow medieval streets of Siena, enjoying a glass of Chianti at its birthplace, the Castello di Brolio (pictured below).
*sigh* A girl can dream, can’t she?