kids love horses

Velvet got a bath today. Velvet is Stoney’s summer stand in. Stoney has a back bump from where he tried to dive under the top half of the tack room door, got stuck and then barged through, breaking the door and bruising his back in the process. No saddles for Stoney; not for the summer at least.
Lisa, owner of Velvet, has, very conveniently for me, broken her foot. She’s on crutches for the next month and can’t ride. Lisa is more than happy for Velvet to get out with our crew. Without Velvet, Kidslovehorses would be up a creek.
Velvet is a particularly stunning horse. She’s a brown and white paint National Show Horse. With her arched neck, brown face with soulful doe eyes, flowing white mane and flashy coat pattern, she gets constant comments and compliments. Lisa is particularly proud of Velvet’s appearance and goes to great pains to groom and care for her coat.
As the her temporary caretakers and recipient of Lisa’s generosity, kidslovehorses (which, today, consisted of myself and Oona) is doing it’s very best to keep Velvet at her most gorgeous best. Velvet’s personal horsey beauty regime consists of being walked to the arena and being given a bath at the wash rack. (Velvet likes getting bathed, especially the part where her tail gets massaged.)
For want of space, the wash rack is located almost on top of Purissima Rd. (speed limit 35 mph). If wash your horse, someone, who loves horses, is going to stop. Today’s spectators were a five year-old boy named Gabriel and his father. The boy loved being near the horse, but it was the father who did all the talking. I didn’t pay too much attention at first, but looked up when he said, “I remember how this area was before it got all built up. I grew up around here.” He had indeed. He remembered about the horse pasture on the corner of Page Mill and El Camino (now site of the NYSE) and of the stable with the huge arena off of Bubb Rd. He said, “Remember that guy who always said. ‘are you a beginner or are you an expert?’ Remember him? [I didn’t.] He’d get really pissed off when people brought back the horses too sweaty. I’d always say, ‘I’ll go last’ so I could stay at the end of the day and care for the horses. I didn’t like to just ride them. I liked to care for them also. I liked to be around them all the time.”
(It was at this point I decided it was OK to give him my phone number.)
He said that he and his wife had bought a piece of land near Chowchilla (?). He said, “the kids, they need it, they need to be around nature; around animals and farms. Here, they aren’t getting that at all. It’s terrible. These kids, it’s like they are growing up in cages.” Precisely.
I have a feeling Gabriel will be coming out to our little barn on Quail Lane very soon.

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