Before the alpacas, there were horses. I was very fortunate to grow up on a farm where horses were right out the front door. I spent weekends in the barn, mucking stalls, playing "jail" in the feed room, swinging on the pasture gates, riding and having fun. Before sports took over our lives, we spent most of our free time with the horses. My parents had a few horses before we came along, but I remember growing up with Gemini (a sweet guy), Jamie Mac, and ponies Oklahoma and Coco.
Today I want to share a story of friendship and a horse named Jamie Mac.
I don't remember when exactly, but my parents took in a beautiful mare named Jamie Mac. A previous race horse that never broken her maiden, then lived the life of a cross-country jumper. She had a nagging injury that prevented her from the big jumps but she was still ridable and a sweet girl.
The previous owner was looking for a good home for her. She wanted the best for her and my parent's took her in. My mom mostly rode her and I always wanted my turn on her. But Jamie was strong and I didn't know if I was strong enough to ride her.
I'll never forget the time that I was on her and we hit an open field off of Bailey's Corner Road. (now there are houses everywhere but at the time, it was mostly fields) She saw the open field and TOOK OFF!!!!!!! I had never held on so tightly before in my life! My mom yelling from behind to just hold on. She was so fast. I was terrified! I don't have a very good memory but I sure do remember that.
Fast forward a few years and soccer became a huge part of our family life. We all played and weekends were now spent at the soccer fields instead of the barns. The decision was made to donate the two horses to Chariot Riders, a local therapeutic riding academy. While at Chariot Riders, the horses are used to improve the physical, mental, cognitive and social aspects of handicap children and adults. It is a special place and the horses have helped so many people.
Now...the friendship part of the story.
My son Dalton is 14. When he was 4, I signed him up for preschool. For his birthday, we invited some boys from class to his party. I mailed the invitations to the kids and that was that.
We go to the party, and one of the moms came up to me and asked me if I ever had a horse named Jamie Mac. Uhhhhh, yes! I did! How did you know? She replied, I saw your return address on the birthday invitation and I knew that I gave my horse to someone on that road many years ago.
That mom was Rita. We formed an instant friendship and 10 years later, she is one of my closest friends. She is now living in Germany with her son and we are in constant contact through the internet. Thank goodness for the internet and Facebook!!! We message each other often for support or to share funny stories. She makes me laugh and totally gets me. We always say, we're the same garbage floating together in the ocean.
So, why am I posting this today? Well, this morning as I drank my coffee and scrolled through Facebook I saw the news that Jamie Mac, the beautiful horse that touched many lives and helped created a friendship passed away at the age of 33. She lived a very long good life. It brought back so many good memories for me. The time of our lives that we rode horses was a good one. I miss hopping up on a horse and going for a ride. I miss seeing my friend, Rita. We used to call each other up spur of the moment on a weekend and meet up for a hike at a local park. Horse people are a different breed and somehow we all are all held together in our own weird way :)
(from left to right, Leanne on Gemini, my mom on Jamie, Andee on Oklahoma, and Lizzie on Coco)