(This is one day late, I really meant to have it up yesterday, but life happened. Hopefully you'll forgive me. If not, oh well.)
July 7th, 2006. When I woke up that morning, it was just another day. Another day with the sun streaming through the trees and the birds singing their morning songs. Another day that my mom was going to go cut our neighbor's hair. Another day that I was going to go with her so I could pet the horses.
But then something weird happened.
Dad said he was coming with us.
I shrugged it off, because I was 11 years old and hadn't started to over think everything that was said.
We drove into the people's driveway, and I saw their horse standing outside the barn. I remember saying, "Maybe I get to ride her!!" Little did I know I would be riding her for the next 3 years.
Dad went out to the barn, and Mom and I went up to the house. I remember standing in the entryway as the lady looked at me with a smile on her face and asked if I wanted to take Missy home. My immediate thought was, "Mom is never gonna let me get a horse. Ever." But I looked at Mom, and when I saw the big smile on her face I knew. I was getting a horse that day.
I don't think I ever responded to the lady, but I guess they took the ear-to-ear grin that I was wearing as a yes. And the fact that I drug Mom out to the barn within seconds.
And that was the beginning. The beginning of a partnership that would last almost 3 years.
For lack of time (and because it would bore you), I won't go into everything that Missy taught me. I won't tell you all the stories, or try to relive every moment. But I will tell you a few things.
First off, Missy was the best horse that ever lived. Period.
She taught be the benefit of cinching the saddle up tight.
She taught me how to ride.
And how to fall.
And how to get back on.
She taught me that it is okay to be scared.
She gave me confidence. (I look terrified in this picture...and she looks bored.)
This picture hurts me to look at. She was so incredibly skinny. But I know that it was an important part of my journey to become a horsewoman. She taught me to pay attention to what your horse is saying.
For all of my faults, all of my mess-ups, all of the things I did wrong, I did one thing right.
I loved that horse with everything in me.
The man behind this amazing horse. He has been gone for a couple years now, and at his funeral they showed this picture. I hadn't cried up until then, but when I say Missy and him up on that big screen, I lost it.
I think this was the only time I ever saw her in a dead run. It was a beautiful sight.
Missy and I rode everywhere on our place. She was such a good horse and put up with so much.
She even let me hook up a sled behind her and sit on it while she pulled me through the snow. Talk about awesome.
I think this is the last picture I have of the two of us together.
She taught me patience with little kids.
Missy was an amazing horse. One that I will never forget. The above words and pictures don't even touch on the impact that she had on my life. I could show you every picture ever taken of her, and tell you every story but I don't even think that would show you the kind of horse she was. So let me just say (once again) that she was the best horse that ever lived, and I am a much better person for knowing her.