My Horse Lover's "Bestest Gift Ever"

by Eliz. Eberly
(California City, CA)

When I was a teen, I was incredibly lucky in that my parents let me 'do the horse thing' pretty much on my own. They let me use pastureland, paddocks, and a great barn for stables, and to pay them back, I gave lessons, worked for free on the rest of the acreage, and sold horses that I'd bought (or bred) and broke by myself.

Well, my little sister started to come up in age to where she wanted a horse of her own, but she wasn't quite as 'gung-ho' as I was, and wasn't having much luck putting together the funds to buy her first animal.

However, she had turned into quite the little helpmate for me- -answering phones, helping with riding lessons, and always being willing to step right up and help with mucking stalls, grooming, feeding, or whatever else needed doing. She said she "owed it to me" because I'd let her ride whatever horse she wanted.

I didn't see it quite that way- -the rest of my family felt comfortable borrowing a mount whenever, without feeling like they owed me. I could also see that, unlike her, the rest of my family wasn't about to die for longing for one of their own.

So what was my gift idea for this horse lover?

On her fourteenth birthday, all she got from me was an envelope with two handmade coupons in it.

The "big" coupon was the one telling her that she could pick a foal- -I had two pregnant mares at the time- -she was to pick the baby of her dreams.
The second coupon was for my teaching her how to "break" a horse, by helping her break hers.

She and her pick "Baby", are still the best of friends, even though she now has several other horses as well. And even ten years later, she still tells me that Baby was the "Bestest Gift Ever"....

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