Dutchess and me, Christmas Day, 1993...I was 15 years old.
When I was 10 years old, I dreamed of the same thing I still dream of...horses. I've loved horses since I was old enough to know what a horse is. When my passion first started, my family assumed that I would outgrow it, like so many other kids do. They were wrong. The older I got, the more I fell in love with these amazing, majestic creatures.
I would finally become a horse owner at the age of 14. The time I spent with my horse created some of my favorite childhood memories. Through the rough years of high school, I would go home and rush to the barn. As I groomed my little Welsh pony/Fox Trotter mix, I cried and told her all my problems. By the time I was done, she was clean and I had a fresh perspective on life - we both felt better. She was my therapy.
Before I even owned a horse or took riding lessons, I dreamed of making a living riding and training horses. As I got older, I realized I would probably never be able to make a career out of it, but I dreamed of continuing to have it as a hobby. As I grew up and life became busier and more complicated, even the hope of keeping horses in my life as a hobby slipped away. Shortly after I married my husband, I sold my horse, Dutchess, to a little boy who was just starting out on the very dream I was letting go of. I embraced new dreams - marriage, children, and ministry with my husband as he pastored churches.
I know it will never be a career for me, but I'm not letting go of the dream. Although I rarely get a chance to ride now, I treasure every opportunity I do get. As I rush through the days and weeks at the hectic pace demanded of a working mom and college student, I still dream of returning to my childhood love - my lifelong love. Now my dream is to rescue Thoroughbreds whose racing careers never took off, retraining them. I keep promising myself that one day, when the kids are grown and life's crazy pace slows down, my dream will come true again, just as it did all those years ago.