Wednesday, June 3, 2015

On Girls & Horses by Irene Latham

me and Rusty
During the magic years of my childhood we lived in a ranch style house on Willie Rd. in Folsom, Louisiana. The pasture in the back was home to a number of ponies: Cinnamon and Sugar, who were mother and daughter; Rusty, who was a Welsh pony my sister and I turned into a biter by feeding him sugar cubes all the time; Honey, who was the palomino Shetland pony I raised from when she was 6 months old; Cherry who was the only bonafide horse I ever owned. I'll never forget how high in the air I felt whenever I rode her!

I adored horses. I read anything and everything, both fiction and nonfiction. The Black Stallion books by Walter Farley, the Chincoteague books by Marguerite Henry. I knew the language, the lingo. I went to horse camp. I picked and groomed and had absolutely no fear. All my writing from those years is horse-centric. I thought I would always have horses in my life.

And then we moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where there was no ranch style house, no pasture. The only horses were the ones who belonged to someone else and lived across the street. I moved on to other dramas, other obsessions.

Yet that horse girl still lives inside me. I still love a good horse book. I still love to watch horses, and do ride occasionally -- though my girlish fervor is now tempered by fear. (I did break my arm after falling off a horse, after all.) Horses still pop up in my writing all the time.

Which is why this summer I am traveling with a couple of my writing buddies to see the annual Pony Swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. And just like that little girl I was, I can't wait!


6 comments:

  1. Watching the wild horses swim is one of the things on my list as well. Irene, thanks for the reminder to enjoy our inner child.

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    1. Oh yay, happy to share tips... and happy to know this is on your list. :)

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  2. There's just nothing like the connection between a human and an animal...

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    1. 'Tis true... I think I learned more about friendship from my horses than any of the human ones I've been blessed with. xo

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  3. I loved reading about your connection with horses, Irene. Have fun at the Pony Swim and soak it all in for more horse adventures!

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  4. I love that the horse girl still lives inside you!

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