I’ve wanted a horse since I could figure out what a horse was. My room was covered in horse stuffed animals, horse blankets, model horses…everything I could get my little hands on. I took riding lessons when I was six for a year until my riding instructor moved away for college. And now I volunteer at one of my favorite places to be at in the world.
I remember writing stories about horses when I was six, when my grandfather was in the hospital. And I look back and read some of the stories I wrote…and they’re pretty weird. I really don’t know how a horse could drive a car made of hay bales.
When I watched Lord of The Rings, I always wanted to own Shadowfax or Bill the Pony. Or when I read Black Beauty, I always wanted Ginger.
Cheyanne, (the horse in the cover picture), was much bigger than six-year-old me, but I lead and rode her around as if she was smaller than my Neville. I remember going to my riding instructor’s house and she had three other horses, all of which liked to lick you until you got tired of it.
What did I want for Christmas? Easy. Horse stuff. Schleich model horses were one of my favorite things to get. Then I got old enough for Breyer. But when I was five, I got one of my all-time favorite stuffed animal horses…Pony.
A few years later, my Dad came home from work and told me about the barn I volunteer at now, saying they needed volunteers. Naturally, me, my Mom and my siblings went over a few weeks later to look around. I got super busy with school and softball that year that we didn’t have time to volunteer.
I always went to the county fair, and the first thing I wanted to do was see the horses. And it’s been a tradition to look at the horses, then make our way down to the poultry. I wanted a horse so bad, but we really didn’t have anywhere to put one without having to clear a lot in the woods.
Last fall, I started volunteering at the barn. I was super nervous the first night I was there, because I had volunteer training. We had to learn to halter a horse, lead a horse in the aisle and how to lead two horses through the same aisle and pass by each other. Eventually, I got comfortable that night and training was done.
A couple weeks later, I learned how to blanket some horses and got to turn them out. Let’s just say, it took me ages to blanket a horse, now I can blanket them and get them outside in a few minutes. That is if the pony is being good…
One Monday night, one of my barn friends was telling me that one of the miniature horses I took in that night was for sale— my Neville. I’d been trying to find a small pony or miniature horse for a couple weeks for my Christmas and as soon as I got home I told my Mom and Dad about Neville possibly being for sale.
The next morning, my mom messaged Mrs. Lin, who owned Neville, and he was in fact, going to be for sale. My mom arranged to meet her one day that week and my mom and my siblings met Neville for the first time. We took Neville on a short walk to the hay barn, where his pony cart was stored for a couple years and then into the arena. We let him off his lead rope and the first thing he did was roll. I walked around and he followed. Mrs. Lin said she’d never seen him do that with anybody before.
We paid almost half of what Neville was priced at that day and I finally owned the horse I’ve waited so long for.
A month and six weeks later, I paid Neville in full and signed my first bill of sale. He was mine! He was actually my horse!
Neville and I plan to have many adventures in our future.
I want to thank my parents, Grammy, Pap, Grandma, Pap Gildroy, my aunt and uncles, my cousins and siblings for helping me. I want to thank my Aunt Vicky for giving me this idea to write about this!
Also, I want to thank the members of the barn for giving me the opportunity to get to know them and the ponies there!