As a little girl I was completely horse obsessed. I remember a teacher in elementary school coming to me (and possibly my parents), concerned that I was only reading horse books. Every single one in the library had been checked out and she had never seen me with anything else. My solution: I tried to appease her by switching to unicorns. I drew plans for my future facility, dreamed of becoming a horse trainer and was generally fixated by all things equine. It was inevitable that horses would eventually enter my life live and in person (or equine, as it were).
I have a distinct memory of my mother, with her big bangs, power shoulders and false nails, driving her car into the facility where she was boarding my pony to unload some supplies. Her car was this tank of a Volvo station wagon, brownish gold and forty feet long. For some reason we had purchased a mineralized salt lick for my pony that was massive. I mean, we could have sustained a herd of horses on this thing for years. It weighed about five thousand pounds and it was my mother’s job to get it from the Volvo to the corral, where it would reside, leaving barely enough room for the pony such was its size.
My mother did not seem in the best of spirits that day, and was also in a bit of a hurry, so she did not give this salt block its due consideration. Perhaps a block and tackle system might have worked, but she decided to wrestle with the thing hand to hand. I stood back and watched because as a child, I did not have the rippling muscles that I am now graced with. Mom grabbed that block, which was deep in the bowels of the Volvo, dragged it forward and attempted to chisel her fingers underneath it.
At this point we hear a snap and my mothers expression changes from one of frustration to almost serene, contemplative…. and then rage. She snatches her hand away from the block and lo, one of her acrylic nails had broken backward and away, taking half of the real nail with it and leaving a bloody patch in its place. And less we forget, there was literal salt in that wound.
That was just one of the many joyous instances that graced my mother’s life because of her daughter. I am sure it would have been easier for her to have had a daughter that was more interested in the domestic sphere or bathing regularly, but it was not to be. Instead she got a dirty little dust ball marching around trying to act tough. And now that I think on it, not much has changed at all in that regard.
But the tables have turned and now my mother is involved in dressage. In fact, I am fortunate enough to give her lessons regularly and have found her to be a very good student with a passion for furthering her abilities. How lucky am I?
So Happy Mother’s Day! This is for all moms out there who have had to pick up their own dusty little girls from the barn, or loan them their exercise pants to act as breeches for their first show. Thank your mom and tell her you love her, she is your dam after all.
If you have a story about what your mom has done for you in the world of horses, please tell it in the comments section!