Pony or no pony? This has been my internal battle for two months. A friend listed the sale of her pony on Facebook this past spring. An offer I needed to refuse. Questions slammed my insecurities with their talon-like claws. How would the other horses deal with a pony? Would they love him or hurt him? Horror stories swarmed my thoughts like wasps after a hot sweaty body (which has been mine lately before, during and after horse training sessions and I’m really tired of the hot, itchy welts). I could see images of adult horses, my Paint gelding to be exact, biting and tossing them to the ground. Separation being the only solution in order to save the little guys life.
Yet the image of three grinning little cowboys and cowgirls while riding that pony would not leave my mind alone. Nag. Nag. Nag. In addition to those bright smiles and dancing eyes, I would be super NaNa (the Salish baby word for paternal grandmother, Kaknah the full word). But would I want to deal with this pony? I never had one before. My nerves tingled.
I had been watching the owner’s four-year-old daughter ride this pony on Facebook for a year. Safety was never the issue. And what fun we would have decorating his mane and tail: ribbons, horse glitter, bows. I sat looking at the image of this pony named Cowboy on my computer screen. Should I push that personal message button to alert our friend that the pony was sold? I took my finger away from the computer. I sat a moment and finally logged out of Facebook and went on with my day. Each day after became easier knowing I had made the right decision, or so I thought. The grand-kids were comfortable riding our saddle horses with grownups. Yes, I had made the right choice.
But then I would see little Hannah, a character in my book Heart of Passion, riding her little pony with her miniature saddle. I also saw quite clearly in my mind Skyla, my three-year-old granddaughter, riding this Facebook pony as I lead her around the ranch just as my character Hannah did. I close my eyes and can hear her giggles. I can see Carter, my three-year-old grandson’s hazel eyes light up like the 4th of July as he rides this brown pony with the white on his face. I can hear Carter whoop like his uncle, hollering, “I’m a cowboy!” The smiling faces and squealing voices keep whispering to me, circling me like a summer breeze, tripping me up and causing my attention to reel back to the pony I see on my computer screen. I can see Alexis, my eight-year-old granddaughter, squealing with delight as she runs around the barrels and in between the poles.
No! It’s not the right time. I open my eyes, not wanting to fiddle with a fifth horse. I already have a yearling to train and start in a year. Do I need another mouth to feed? What am I thinking?
And then it happened. My husband and I travel across Washington State to meet our new baby grandson, Cameron. All Carter can talk about is coming to grandma’s house and riding Buck. I can see baby Cameron with his little boots in a few years on that darn little pony. Oh, but how much fun will these little buckaroo’s have riding the little brown ball of fire. I hear Facebook calling out to me. Check on that pony with the wild, tan mane. Push that send button. Come on now, you can do it.
I glance at my husband. His black eyes sparkle back at me. I believe he realizes the truth and is about to tell me to open my computer. Contact the owner. I have to confess my thoughts about the pony he knows nothing about. “Can’t you see their faces when they meet the pony?” I ask him in my mind. He can’t refuse that. The sparkle in my husband’s eye is the reflection of the baby. Not the pony. How can it be? He doesn’t know yet. I feel like I’m keeping a secret that is busting to be branded. He should know how much we need this pony. I don’t know his age. Does it matter? I hear the giggles. I see the smiles.
Later, I confess about the pony, in front of my son and daughter-in-law. I am confident they will back me up. And they do. I grin and can’t seem to stop. My husband just sits there pondering the question, “Can I log on? Will you allow me to make some dreams come true?” I ask him, “Can you see their faces the first time they meet this pony? This dream? Can you hear them laugh? Can you deny them such happiness?”
Finally my husband nods and says, “Contact her now. I can see their faces and hear them laugh. No, I can’t deny them such happiness. Push that send button.”
My granddaughters are having the time of their life, even the year old, Rilyn who pats and giggles. Cater will meet him soon and I know his emerald eye are going to light up like the 4th of July.