Once upon a time there lived a teen aged girl who loved horses. She loved horses so much that she talked her parents into getting her one even though they lived in the suburbs and it would have to be boarded. Not to mention that the expense should have been beyond their budget. Although, not promised a horse, she bought a halter. Somehow the girl sensed that her family would somehow find the money to get a horse and pay for its board. Soon, they were looking at horses. The financial situation is now of some concern and still a mystery and the source of some guilt for the girl.At the time, the girl just wanted a horse; cost was not a problem for her. She did not yet drive, therefore the parents must have facilitated contact with horses and soon the girl fell in love with a pony named “Merrylegs.” One day, her parents took her to try out the pony. That particular pony was not purchased but soon a reliable stable horse aptly named “Socks” was added to the family.
He was a gelding, called Socks because he had four white forelegs. He had a black mane and his body was sort of black, although he seemed to fade to a brownish color in the sun. He had a swatch of white mixed with brown on one shoulder. He was about 14 hands tall. Just so you know, each hand is four inches and horses are measured from their withers. A horse must be 14 hands high to be considered a horse and not a pony. Therefore Socks was 14 hands tall. Ahem.
One day, the girl learned that she could ride quicker and put the horse away faster if she just rode bareback. It was just about as comfortable as with the saddle, it was cooler and did not require heaving the heavy saddle or girth tightening. She did not like lifting the heavy saddle and Socks did not like girth tightening. After that discovery, the girl almost always rode bareback. The horse had a thick mane to hang on to as well so there really was not much need for a saddle.
Having a horse meant feeding, cleaning the stall, grooming and of course riding. What is kind of a secret is that the horse (or large pony, truth be known,) was teaching the teenage girl all about life. He was steady, healthy and wise. He had common sense. Horse sense. He loved the stable and would head that way if given his way anytime he could. He balked at rickety bridges. Steered clear of loud noises and did not buck unless provoked.
Rain or shine, cool or hot, the girl loved to ride. Going horseback riding along was not a problem with this horse as he was wiser than the teen aged girl!
In time she got a job, started to date and the horse kind of took a back seat to all of those activities. At least there was a younger sister who took over and loved to ride. Socks was ultimately sold. By that time, the teenage girl had grown up and gotten married. It was years before the girl realized that the horse had taught her responsibility and self discipline. Maybe that is why her wise parents somehow found a way to afford such a luxury.
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