I’ve always loved horses.
It’s in my blood. Granddad Cline raised horses for the United States Calvary when my Daddy was a boy. They ranched in Saguache, Colorado, where Granddad was one of the first Forest Rangers in the Rio Grande National Forest. His photo hangs in the Saguache County Museum, cheek by jowl with that infamous Colorado man-eater Albert Packer.
Dad and his two brothers (they were Babe, Boots and Baldy) wrangled and broke horses from the time they were big enough to crawl aboard and hang on. Both of the girls (Margaret and Hester) helped with the work too. But Grandma insisted they remain proper young ladies as well, so the really rough stuff was left to the boys. Although those girls could tell some hair-raising stories of their own.
So… lil ole me (left), always and forever Daddy’s girl learned to love horses before she could reach the stirrups. Dad entitled this shot “I had a pony, but he got away.”
He thought it was hilarious. Mom…not so much.
This little love, pictured below at the stables in Estes Park, Colorado, stomped down hard on my toes while trying to get out of my strangle hold. I have one flat toe to this day. Mom said he broke it. Dad said I was tough and would get over it. I said it was worth it ’cause I got to ride the pony!
If you look closely, you’ll see the Stanley Hotel in the background. Ever read “The Shining”? That’s the place.
We lived seven miles south of Estes Park until I was in first grade. Dad worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Mom ran a Dude Ranch, and I learned to be a horse woman. By all accounts I was five going on thirty-five. An only child living among adults…I never did learn to play well with others. On another note…should you read my story “Bootsey’s Picnic” you’ll notice a marked resembelance between the herione and lil ole e.
By the time this was taken (on my Uncle Baldy’s ranch near Gunnison, Colorado) we were living far from the Rocky Mountains, and life had changed dramatically. My two true loves remained… horses and Daddy.
So here I am, fifty something, and still in love with horses. So much, in fact, that my web design business grew up in Equine Design. Don’t do that anymore, but still love ’em.