Pondering The Past, Wondering If It Ever Even Happened


Things to read from the outside world. This Is Not A Facade. Have you ever wanted to ditch your life and try something new? One of the younger generation in my family has decided to up sails and out oars for a Workaway stint at the Feather Leaf Inn in St. Croix. The blog has it all, from beautiful beaches to screaming crickets.


There is a story I tell.

When I was young, my parents and I were on a trail ride.

I know this sounds très Summer in the Hamptons. The horses belonged to another branch of the family, seen only on the occasional holiday.

Father was on Prince, the tallest horse, so of course he was the best rider.

My mother rode Rocky. She had ridden in college, so she was an expert.

I was on Bucky, who I could never get to trot, no matter how much I drummed my heels on his sides.

Therefore, I was astonished when my father turned Prince around and made him to run all the way back to the barn. They didn’t even stop for the door. Just ran right in.

I was so impressed.

It was years before I realized what was going on.


So that’s the story. I’ve told it more than once. When I wrote the post about how long I have been riding, I was reminded of it. Surely I have told the story on the blog? Search box says no. Okay then, a non-fiction post for a Saturday. I’ll find of something to say about it. [How Long Ago?]

Well, what I found to say is that I am less and less sure it actually happened. As I think it through in committing the details to print, I’m noticing inconsistencies. No photos. This was in the dark ages before we documented our lives with smart phones.

My father is no longer around to confirm or deny his involvement. I would, as my grandfather used to say, put a small sum of money on the fact that the instigating event occurred. Prince did gallop back to the barn. My father was wont to tell tales on himself, particularly if it made a good story.

So, the central premise holds. My father got run away with. I was impressed that he could get a horse to go faster than a trot. I misunderstood the situation for years. Years!

My mother doesn’t remember ever riding at the farm. I’m almost positive that she at least sat on a horse in my presence at that place. Why the different memories? I’m the horse person in my immediate family. The event would hold far more significance for me than for her. She did ride in college, that part is true. [Speaking of Ribbons]

Prince. A tall, flashy sorrel with a flax mane and tail. Memory has probably fancied him up a bit and given a Fabio hairstyle to a decent family horse. I’m sure he wasn’t a mean horse. He probably wasn’t even a bad horse. They wouldn’t have put my father up if they thought there would be trouble. From what I know about horses now, I’m fairly sure a stern glance would have kept Prince on the straight and narrow. That didn’t happen. Prince took one look at my father, assessed the situation, and said ‘I’m outta here, kthxbye.’

Rocky. Up until a few years ago, I could have told you that Rocky was an … Appaloosa? … a paint? Now, I can’t believe I don’t remember which one, just that he was brightly colored. I want to say he was a black and white paint, but I could be conflating him with the black and white saddle shoes my mother rode in.

Bucky. I’m sure of the details about Bucky. He was short and tubby and brown. The image in my head might be of Bucky, might be from a rare, hard-copy picture of me on another early ride, or might be a compilation of all the Buckys I have know since. Sam had a bit of Bucky in him. Most schoolies do.

Me. Given my age during the requisite time period, I’m starting to doubt that I knew enough to be riding independently. Did I really steer Bucky around the fields tagging along behind my parents? As I sit here typing this, I can *feel* it, but do I believe it? My mother was not at a level were she could have ponied me.

A bit of family history. When I was born, my father was in law school. He went from there to junior associate at a big-time law firm. Not much time for the fam. My parents split when I was young. I have few memories of joint activities.

Could I have heard my father’s tale, deposited my mother on a horse, and embroidered the story of a family trail ride where none existed?

Seems likely.


3 thoughts on “Pondering The Past, Wondering If It Ever Even Happened

  1. Could be. As you say, horses are not a big part of my life except through you. I do remember the tale of your father making a beeline to the barn. You were so impressed, the story goes.

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