Saturday, August 1, 2015

Digging up bones

There is a stack of old horse magazines in my parents' basement. Every time I come home, my mom asks me if she can throw them away. I usually tell her that she can, but I wish she wouldn't. Today, I decided to go through them and maybe throw them away myself.
The vast majority of the pile consisted of Saddlebred magazines from the late 1970's and early to mid 1980's. These were given to me by my father's secretary, Betty Jane, who owned Saddlebreds.
There are also several copies of the American Horse Show Association's Horse Show magazine. These also came from Betty Jane. 
The remainder was made up of horse racing titles and, strangely, one copy of Peruvian Horse World
And--score!--there was also an issue of Sports Illustrated with my hero, Affirmed, on the cover. Rest assured, this one is not destined for the trash can.
I was also surprised to discover a few non-magazine items in the mix. Some things, like this fold up poster from a 1970's kiddie magazine, were obvious discards... 
others, including this page from an eighth grade science project, are going home in my suitcase. 
The best and most surprising find were four old calendars. 
These were notable not for the photos... 
Looks like Trillium
but for what's written inside.  
April 1985
It should come as no surprise that someone who's written more than three thousand blog posts has always used words to memorialize her days. Most of the calendar notes are pretty mundane, mentions of  birthdays and orthodontist appointments and the like.
January 18, 1978
However, I also spent a lot of time recording my horse life. This entry, July 13, 1979, celebrates my first ever riding lesson at Eaton Canyon Riding Club. I was ten and a half.
July 13, 1979
Since I was a big time racing fan, I recorded race results, too. 
March 4, 1979
This page, from May 1981, includes information about both my weekly riding lessons and horse races.
May 1981
Model horse purchases also got a mention, as did heat waves. 
August 1981
Boy, am I glad I didn't let my mom throw these away! I've had so much fun revisiting 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1985. The calendars, and a few select magazines (but not the poster!), have been tucked into my suitcase and will accompany me home to Colorado on Monday.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Back in the saddle

Every time I visit my parents in California...
I hike trails... 
where I used to ride.
I enjoy this...
but today I decided to find myself a horse.
Oh, this is so much better!
Why didn't I think of this before?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The ghosts of Eaton Canyon Riding Club

Every morning I get up early and take one dog for a three mile walk. We go to the park and around the lake. It's a nice suburban walk, but nothing special.

I'm visiting my parents in California this week. They don't have a dog for me to walk, but I'm walking anyway. In truth, I love walking here. The neighborhood is beautiful, and Eaton Canyon is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Some mornings I walk to the falls... 
but more often than not, I find myself at the former site of Eaton Canyon Riding Club. 
It's hard not to feel sad as I contemplate the emptiness. Where there is now a single ring...
there used to be an office and gift shop,
stabling for nearly one hundred horses,
Jennifer on Love N Stuff, 1980
Barton with an unknown rider, 1986
Jennifer and Love N Stuff, 1980
three riding rings, 
Jennifer and Filly, 1982
multiple tack rooms, locker rooms... 
Cinnamon, 1983
and grooming areas,
Anna and Holly, 1980
a pair of wash stalls, 
Pasadena Star News, 1981
and two dinky little turn-outs.
Cinnamon, 1983
The current ring is big, but not that big.
How did all that stuff fit into this tiny acreage? It seems impossible to me. Perhaps ECRC was like the Tardis--bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. That is the only logical explanation.
Before I leave, I take a moment and try to locate a few of the most important landmarks. I think this is the site of Cinnamon's stall in the "C" Barn. Maybe.
It's been twenty seven years since my last ride at ECRC. Seems like forever. Seems like yesterday. The office and barns and rings and wash stalls may be gone, but they loom large in my memory. I will continue to visit their ghosts as long as I am in California.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Almost wordless Wednesday

I'd planned to spend this week hanging out with my kids, making tack and riding horses. Instead, I ended up buying a plane ticket and flying out to see my parents in California. Life is funny like that sometimes. It's been a good trip so far, but definitely not horsey, so today's almost wordless entry is filled with photos from last Saturday's visit to the Arapahoe County Fair and Rodeo. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Love the ones you're with

Five years ago today, I said goodbye to my beautiful Abbie.
We spent sixteen wonderful years together..
If you knew me during that time, you probably heard me refer to her as "perfect" and "the best dog ever." 
She was both those things.
Nowadays, I share my life with Darcy...
and Emma. 
They're good dogs, but neither one of them is perfect.
Darcy is needy, fragile,
incredibly loud...
and more than a little bit weird.
Emma is sneaky and suspicious, fearful of people...
and unpredictably aggressive towards other dogs.
She's also every bit as weird as Darcy.
I love them dearly, but they're definitely not perfect.
And that's okay. I don't need them to be perfect. I like them just the way they are.
They may not be "the best dogs ever," but they're the best dogs for me right now. They make me very happy, and I am  grateful to have them in my life.