I showed horses until I was fifteen, and then, one day, it happened. Something my trainer had warned me about. He had said, “You know, Urchin, one day this may not be fun. When that day comes just say to me, ‘this is not fun anymore,’ and I will take care of everything.”
I thought he was ridiculous, but one day it was just not fun anymore. The horse love was there, but not that love of being at the barn. “This is not fun anymore,” I said, and my trainer did take care of everything.
I was lucky. I had started high school and was playing field hockey with my older sister’s friends, so I transformed myself from being part of a duet to being part of a team. It was comfortable and fun. Well, except for the fact that my sister’s friends were both very tall girls with very long pony-tails.
Since they were watching out for me, they used to run with me. We all carried our hockey sticks. I got more bruises from running with these two than I had suffered in five years of falling off horses.
The 5’11 friend regularly hit me in the head with her stick (accidentally, I am sure). I would slow my stride to avoid the stick and then the 5’10” friend with her blonde pony-tail the length of Summer Hill’s tail would swipe me in the face, so I would speed up, and then I would get hit in the head with a stick…you get the idea.
Yes, it was good to be part of a team, even though it was clear that height was always going to be an issue.