There are some years in my life that don’t really stand out much. Just another year that went by with no life changing event or trauma. After everything I’ve been through, I kind of cherish those years. But 1992 was a year I remember fondly.

Buying a small farm and fixing it up was challenging, but so very rewarding. The day we moved into our little farm was my 32nd birthday, and Mother’s Day. I was born on Mother’s Day, so every few years or so, my birthday falls on that Sunday. When that happens most of my friends are busy celebrating Mother’s Day, and so I usually don’t count on a big to do.

That day was different.

My husband and boys made me my favorite breakfast for our first morning on the farm. Just as we were finishing up, I got a phone call from one of my neighbors. We had become good friends, so when she frantically said her horses had gotten out and needed help, we all jumped into action.

As we pulled into her driveway, her sister came running out and asked me to go check the barn. She said she wanted to be sure the door was open in case the horses came back on their own. In a flash I took off for the barn, excited to help.

What I didn’t know at the time was, it was all a plan to get me inside that barn. When I came running in, there stood the most beautiful Quarter Horse mare with a big blue ribbon on her halter. My friend was holding her with a huge grin on her face, and I stood wide-eyed, as my family came in with even bigger grins.

My city-boy husband had purchased this beautiful little mare for me and in a grand gesture, held the stirrup and said, “Hop on, she’s yours.” I was in tears as I pulled myself up into the saddle. Hell, I’m in tears now writing this.

My first horse, Willow

That was the kindest, most selfless gift he had ever given me. This was the mare I had been riding at my friend’s place and I knew her well. I could hardly believe she was actually mine.

As photos were being snapped, I held my head high on my new horse. But when I walked her out of the barn stall I hit my head so hard on the top bar it almost knocked me off her. It probably should have been on Funniest Home Videos, because it hurt like crazy, but we all laughed just the same.

That was the beginning of the love affair with my mare, Willow.

My years on that farm were not always easy, but that year was a one I hold dear in my heart to this day.

Practicing dressage with Willow

Jumping with Willow

Reader Comments

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Awww…A dream for so many little girls. I loved my Willow. She was such a sweet mare and I know she loved me too. We had a very cool bond.

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