Posted below is the first chapter of a short story I'm writing about my old horse Hobo. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you thing. Thanks.
For as long as I can remember, I was addicted to horses. I was only 3 or
4 years old standing on the front lawn of our new house when I remember
the lost of our first horse. Dolly was standing there in front of me
beautiful, shiny black with a white star with her new owner riding her
instead of me. I don’t remember that we owned her. I don’t remember
ever riding her. I only remember that she had been sold and that we
wouldn’t be seeing her again. I remember the loss of a horse from my
From that day forward, I made it my mission to bring another
horse back into my life. I begged and pleaded for another horse and
when that didn’t work I demanded one. Every special occasion I saw as an
opportunity to express my desire to own a horse. Every holiday or event
associated with a figurehead was used in my attempt to gain a horse. My
family heard things like “Mom do you thing Father Time can get me a
horse for new Years?” or “Maybe Cupid will get me a horse for
Valentine’s Day”. I called out St. Patrick, and The Easter Bunny and
Santa of course but I also called on Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin and
even good Old Uncle Sam.
I got horse toys, horse books, and other
horse related items, but I still didn’t get what I really wanted. I
never got my own real, live breathing horse I don’t know of a day that
went by when the word horse didn’t enter my daily life. If there ever
was a day what I didn’t speak, thing or dream about a horse it was a
rare day indeed.
Every time I asked for a horse Mom and Dad would
tell me that we couldn’t keep a horse because we lived in town. So I
changed my daily question from “When can we get another horse?” to “When
are we going to move to the country so we can get another horse?”
took years of harassing and questioning but finally they relented and
we moved to the country. Now we could get a horse as soon as we built a
barn and put up fencing. Therefore, as you can guess, I went to
badgering my parents about when we would build the barn and put up that
fence. I helped my dad build the barn with scrap wooden siding he pulled
off some old house that was torn down.
The barn was finally
finished and the fence complete so we drove over to Texas to pick up our
new horse. Ginger was a pretty bay with a crooked strip down her face
and two white socks. She was never just mine though; she was always
“our” horse, the whole family’s horse. Ginger was given to us by a
family friend. His kids and grand kids had outgrown her and she needed a
new family to love. Ginger was special and she could sense a person’s
balance and riding abilities. She would only go as fast as she thought a
person was able to handle. No amount of kicking coaxing or prodding
would get her out of the pace she was sure was right for that person.
She taught me a lot about riding and horses in general, but still she
wasn’t all mine. There was still a horse out there that would be for me
Ginger saw me through some tough times like my parent’s
divorce and my mom’s short but abusive second marriage. She was a good
horse friend and someone to talk to about all the problems of a typical
teenager’s life, but she never completely captured my entire heart.
passed and a few more horses were added to our family but it wasn’t
until I was in High School that I completely lost my heart to any horse.
When he stepped off that rickety old stock trailer in the summer after
my sophomore year it all changed because my heart was claimed. He was
here, the horse that was supposed to be mine!
My mom’s new boyfriend
Bill had just bought him at the local horse auction for $60.00. He was
still a baby, recently weaned and we guessed him to be about six months
old. He was a beautiful bay dun with 4 perfectly matched black legs and a
perfect oval star on his forehead. In those days, the differences
between Dun and Buckskin weren’t widely known so I thought of him as
buckskin for many years. He had a reddish shine mixed in with the yellow
of his coat and his baby coat almost looked pink in certain lights.
said that my younger sister and I could name him but we couldn’t agree
on a name. We finally decided to pull a name from a hat. I don’t
remember the name we pulled from the hat, but it wasn’t the right name. I
had read the book “ Mustang Wild Spirit of the West” by Marguerite
Henry and Robert Lougheed, and I knew I wanted a horse just like Wild
Horse Annie’s Hobo; A buckskin with black points. Now he was here in my
back yard. I knew his name would be Hobo even as I wrote out a list of
names and put them in the hat. Even if I pulled another name from the
hat I knew it wouldn’t stick. He just HAD to be named Hobo and he just
had to be mine!
After the farce of drawing names from the hat and
after a fight with my sister, we finally settled on his rightful name
Hobo. I didn’t know it then, but this was the horse with a bond strong
enough to haunt my dreams 23 in the future.