Reliving a childhood dream of riding

A Sunday afternoon visit to Sterrett afforded me the chance to relive a childhood dream.

When I was a child, I was infatuated with horses. I collected horse statues and read equestrian-related fiction. I spent hours reading and studying book after book on horse health, breed and behavior. As a child, I became a little expert.

I had one frustrating problem, however. I was the only one in my family with this passion.

My parents graciously paid for once-a-week riding lessons. I was assigned to ride a curmudgeonly old horse that despised my insistence she trot in circles instead of loll around in the back 40.

And so, as most little-girl dreams are lost in the reality of the real world, as I grew, my dream changed to encompass horsepower and boyfriends rather than dusty days in a barn with a four-legged friend.

I did have the opportunity to see girls living out my long-lost dream at Son Country Farm on Sunday, March 20.

I was on assignment to feature the farm and the owner’s character-reinforcing teaching methods, and soon, I was in awe of the girls’ talents.

I can only imagine the courage these girls possess as they practically lean horizontal with the ground to tightly round a barrel, or access the horse’s speed to cross the finish line after a pole-racing pattern.

I kept telling the girls over and over how jealous I was of their opportunity to ride and ride, to be surrounded by parents and friends who had the same passion. I doubt they’ll ever truly be able to see the gift they’ve been granted.

Instead of becoming a world-class equestrian, I’ve turned my focus to new dreams.

I’ve stowed away my horse books and toys until a new generation comes along and I can pass my buried obsession onto my own children.

But as I’m still young with little intention to pass along the passion just yet, it was just nice to breathe in that dusty, horse-filled barn and enjoy seeing a little piece of what could have been.

Christine Boatwright is a staff writer for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 16 or by e-mail at christine.boatwright@shelbycountyreporter.com.