Anyone who knew Jessie before we got married knows that horses were his all-consuming passion. He trained horses semi-professionally, and he regularly participated in competitive team penning (which he is very good at). If you told him then that less than 8 years later he would live in a big city, own no horses, and sometimes go for stretches of more than a year without even sitting on a horse, he would have laughed in your face.
Things weren't supposed to work out that way, but like most young people who are in love, we didn't really look very far down the road in regards to some things. When we got married he still owned the best horse he'd ever had, and I had bought a horse of my own in the hopes of becoming a better rider and sharing in his hobby. We were renting a little house in a smallish town that was on 14 acres of land, and our landlord assured us that it would be absolutely fine to keep our horses there. We had not been there a week before a tersely smiling county employee showed up on our porch and told us that although the land across the road was zoned agricultural, ours was not. We had 24 hours to move the horses.
Well, life happened fast, and after a series of temporary horse-housing solutions over the next 18 months, a pregnancy, a baby, a job change, a move to the suburbs, and another pregnancy, our options and priorities shifted so much that we felt we needed to sell Jessie's horse (My horse was old, and he had developed a health problem that had required his euthanization some months before). That was a tough day. Jessie had adopted a very pragmatic attitude towards the whole situation, but I knew he really hated to see his buddy go.
Someday I hope we can have horses again, or at least be involved with horses regularly in some way, but for now it is just a joy to see him combining his old passion with his newer, greater passion whenever he has the opportunity. And our kids love it, from the tallest to the smallest.
I feel much more comfortable riding now than I used to when we were dating. I wasn't afraid of falling off, just of looking stupid in front of Jessie. The comfort now is that after being married to me for six years, he's pretty much seen the full extent of my stupidity, and I can't hardly look stupider at this point.
Theia asked to ride every day, and when she did, she couldn't stop laughing. She was also very interested in relating to the horses in their pasture. Always the bossy big sister, she made it her personal mission to reprimand Buddy every time he put his hoof on the gate.
Eliza didn't want to go fast at first, but after she realized how much more fun it was than trotting, she was all about it.
Ingrid is another giggler. I could hear her gales of laughter from across the field.