Mine was horses. Surprised?
I wasn't into boys, I was more into geldings. And a few mares I suppose.
Since before I can really remember, horses have always been my thing. There has never been a time in my life where that passion ever diminished. It wasn't one of those activities that I would 'grow out of' once I discovered boys and to this day it still hasn't been replaced by some other hobby!
I've been blessed to call a lot of good horses mine over the years...
But the first, the very first was Big B.
B was white with specks of brown, horseman call that flea-bit grey. He wasn't a fancy horse show horse or anything of the sort. If I remember right he was just a grade horse that my parents bought from some friends of theirs.
What was he though? Safe. My parents were sure that big ol' grey horse was going to take care of their baby girl! So maybe there was that one time that he took off at a dead run for the barn and I had to duck against his neck or risk being plastered against the side of the barn as he flew into his stall... That memory is forever etched in my brain! My poor mom was hysteric, but I survived!
Time passed and my family sold B, but there were lots of other wonderful horses that came through our barn.
Stormy. Joey. Charlie. Sammy. Sonny. Cody. Another Joey. Brandie. Leo. Scotch.
If Big B was my first love, my horse Fred would probably compare to everyone's favorite elementary teacher. The one who taught you so much and who you will always be grateful for.
Fred was the first real barrel racing horse I owned. He was the best! My parents bought him for me when I was in seventh grade and I competed at every county fair, open horse show and rodeo I could find. He was a gorgeous red roan that put up with a silly adolescent girl who was convinced all her tack needed to be purple and his mane must be braided. A little glitter on his hair never hurt either! Poor guy was probably always questioning his manhood.
Fred is gone now. Buried at my family's farm. He was one of the few horses that lived out his life with us. I sobbed like a baby the morning my dad called to tell me he was gone! I look at all the pictures of us over the years and I'm still so thankful that he was mine!
Then there's Six.
As much as I love this horse, he was and still is a bit of a challenge. Always a bit spooky about silly stuff like a dried up corn leaf blowing across the road, but in his day he was a damn fine barrel horse. He also put up with me wanting to ride him in western pleasure classes and teaching him showmanship. To this day, I could probably pull him out of the pasture at my parents and he'd kick some butt in showmanship!
Two years ago, I made the decision to retire him from competition because I couldn't keep him sound. That's horse speak for he was sore and the medicine to make him feel good enough to run at the level we had been at was just too expensive to maintain. Currently, he's happily munching grass at the farm. When I go home to visit, I always make a point to stop and see him. 9 times out of 10 the little stinker will run away from me in the pasture! I love you too, pal!
And now, as you know, I have Louie.
He's certainly got some mighty big horseshoes to fill, but he's well on his way!
I'm linking up today's post over with Carly for Thankful Thursdays.