Some of the animals I make have deeper meaning than others. Like horses, for example, they fill a sweet spot inside for this very reason....
Though not as bad as it sounds, from ages 5 to 10, my life consisted very much of horse manure. Mom was a horseback rider and only naturally, my older sister, Carla, became one too. I tagged along most days and eventually rode myself, but it was never my specialty. At least three days/week and sometimes the weekends, we would pile in the Oldsmobile and make the 40 minute drive to the barn on Lady’s Island. I sat in the backseat with the cooler of snacks and counted cars to pass the time. It was boring, but I made the best of it. The car tunes were an excellent collection of Herman’s Hermits, Petula Clark and The Supremes; we were truly a golden oldie family. I would sing along in my head to “Crimson and Clover” while playing a handheld version of Wheel of Fortune and eating Dunkaroos; it was a typical Wednesday afternoon.
Upon opening the car door, an overwhelming smell of horse manure, stall shavings and hay bales would knock you off your feet. Ah yes, we had arrived. The series of events rarely changed; get Pistol out of the pasture, walk him to his stall, brush him all over, pick his hooves, soak him in fly spray, saddle him up and head out to the riding ring. Admittingly, I was not much help. Mom and Carla did most of this themselves while I moseyed around the barn, eating sugar cubes and hanging out with Buttercup and Willy, the miniature pony and donkey that served as the stable’s mascots.
Pistol joined the family in 1993. His full name was Pistol Patrick; Mom has a thing for animals and middle names. You could say he was my brother from another mother. This goofy, uncoordinated quarter horse was loveable as can be, but had a crooked trot and tripped on his own two feet at the drop of a hat. It was for this reason I was scared to ride him. If he tripped, he followed it up with a buck. It was our belief that he felt embarrassed for tripping and played it off by bucking his way out of it. We've all been there! Carla was fearless on him though; he respected her more than anyone and they called each other their own.
During her riding lessons, I often wandered off. Climbing to the top of dirt piles, skipping in the pastures alongside horses that were not interested in trotting along, walking through the woods where a small group of us barn kids would gather, or sitting in the car doing homework while listening to Donna Lewis’ I Love You Always Forever. They sound silly and boring I'm sure, but I miss these afternoons at the barn. I miss the smell, the people, the horses, going to shows; it was all I knew for such a long period of time. So what am I getting at here? Nothing besides I love crocheting horses! They are and have always been my favorite animal, and turning them into yarn is probably the coolest thing ever :)