Just like in Westworld, a backstory makes the character more interesting.
Horses are a mental illness, often hereditary, and the most extreme cases usually female. Ask anyone dealing with livestock, and they will confirm that horse people are a special breed of crazy. The insanity began before I could crawl. I had latched onto the halter of my sister’s Saddlebred when it thrust its head into my baby carrier, and I was giggling hysterically, clinging on tightly when the horse lifted me into the air: The first glorious moment of flight.
At 10 months old, my father was tying me into the saddle of an ancient petting zoo pony, that dutifully walked slow circles in our riding ring, babysitting daddy’s little nutcase. Lead line at the age of 2, showing solo by 5, multiple near death experiences by the age of 10; by the time I turned 13 horses had become heroine, and I might as well be prostituting myself to get the next fix, it would have been less work. Working students, you know what I’m talking about.
We’ll fast forward through high school, college (equestrian team of course), and a brief hiatus to advance my career to a level that would fund my habit.
My husband, sweet, naive man did not understand my level of addiction, or that my self-induced cold turkey hiatus from all things equine was for the good of all parties involved (especially our finances). My darling husband had some experience with horses (as in dead broke animals, trail rides, and team roping), but was completely unprepared for what a full blown equestrian relapse looks like. Poor soul actually encouraged the madness by supplying nature’s gateway drug, a pony (child safe of course, for our own expected bundle of joy). He completely missed the euphoric look of an addict, and found his thirty something wife fawning over one of hell’s released demons endearing.
To my uninitiated husband, Beau Pony was harmless, a smaller version of the horses he had ridden in his youth. Darling husband missed the gleam in the little miscreant’s eye that foretold of destroyed property, damaged fences, and feed room raids once he discovered the trick of multiple latch types. And….Beau Pony was only the beginning.
Within a year our herd of one had increased to six and nine by year two; 4 ponies, 2 mustangs, 3 appaloosas, and he even agreed to board a neighbor’s horse. Increasing my life insurance coverage must have crossed my husband’s mind more than a few times when equine assisted dismounts from rescue horses made it clear my survival instincts are easily eclipsed by the challenge. The ER visit for (shockingly) my first cat scan, may have made him rethink his life choices (especially that F@#$*&g pony)! My darling husband has survived the sticker shock of farrier visits, routine vet care, multiple equine emergencies, and the utter havoc 1200 lb animals can wreak on the farm infrastructure. Sadly, the equine mental disorder is not only hereditary, but also contagious. Three years into the adventure, occasionally I am required to act as the voice of reason. So the family is doomed. A clean house, disposable income, and exotic vacations are becoming distant memories. Maybe our son will be spared, but at two years old, his parents are already administering the drug in controlled doses.
Thank you for visiting my page, hopefully you found it mildly entertaining, or at the very least useful as a cautionary tale!