When I was young, I was horse mad! Every Saturday morning I went for riding lessons, regardless of the weather conditions, which were sometimes pretty harsh in western Scotland. I read loads of horsey books, and I particularly enjoyed the 'Jill' series by Ruby Ferguson. I read fiction, non-fiction and learned pretty much everything there was to know about horses.
When we moved to Yorkshire, I kept on riding. A riding accident halted my progress for a few months, but after that, much to my mum's horror, I was back in the saddle again. It was never really quite the same though - GCSEs and the hope of doing A levels, and then further education - everyday life just seemed to get in the way, and eventually I stopped riding. I suppose unless you plan to make it a profession, rather than a hobby, this probably happens to many people.
I still have a massive love of horses, and love to read about everyday life at Shiloh Horse Rescue- it's lucky I'm here in the UK, as several of their beautiful residents have caught my eye. Though none so much as the new arrival 'Chocolate' Moose.
My mum liked horses, but my eldest sister LOVED them - we used to dream about which horse we would have (chosen from The Observer Book of Horses) - hers was always a chestnut Arab and mine was always a 'Moose' . She introduced me to the 'Misty' books by Marguerite Henry. I loved the books, but I must admit, I loved the paintings by Wesley Dennis even more.
My sister died just before we bought the cottage . It was totally unexpected, and it made me wish that I had kept in touch more, understood her better and maybe made allowances for some of her more unpredictable moments as she and I grew older. I think we both left our 'old dreams' behind as we grew up and faced what is called 'everyday life'.
It's only now that I realise that those old dreams are the most important ones of all.
For my sister, Shona