You think I am a little weird? – So what.

Remember my little New Year’s adventure story from last weekend?  Here’s the background story.

I hadn’t been on a horse since I was 15, or so. You know, when I was younger, of course I had the whole phase where I loved horses (I still do, mind you!), as all girls do! In class, I drew horses in my text books, my binders and on my pencil case. I begged my parents for riding lessons. I “played horse” during recess with my girlfriends and we each had our “own horse ranch” – sketched out on paper – and we would “sell” and “buy” horses from each other – also drawn on paper – or paid each other “paper” money to have one of our horses mate with a horse from someone else. We meant real business.
When I was 11, I could finally convince my parents to let me spend two weeks of the summer on a horse ranch. It was a magical time. And here comes the weird part: Up until today, I am still carrying around in my wallet the picture of the pony that I was taking care of during that summer. I was head over heels in love.

His name was “Herman” (terrible name for such a cutie, I know) and he was the smallest pony on the ranch (well, I used to be on the short side, too, when I was younger, but grew up to be almost 5’8′). We just got along splendidly.
He was a Shetland Pony, 95 cm (37.4 in) high at the withers and was black with a beautiful thick and long mane, which would blow in the wind when we went on horseback rides. His signature feature was a bright blue headcollar. My favorite spot was the space between his nostrils – it was so wonderfully warm and soft.

Naturally, due to his short legs, he was always last on our group rides and, being the little pighead that he was, he always started trotting in order to try and keep up with the bigger ponies/horses. He caught me quite off guard the first few times he did it, but then I knew what to expect and it was great fun :)

Every kid on the ranch had to take care of “their” horse full-time while we were there. We had to get up in the morning to clean the stable, we had to feed it, brush it, the whole shebang, but I LOVED it. I practically spent the whole day around Herman. I was kicking and screaming when I had to leave at the end of the summer and when I  came home, I was longing for a pony of my own more than ever before.

The next few summers, I was dreaming of going back to that ranch, but – don’t ask me why – I never did.
I don’t remember if my parents didn’t want to pay for it or if I lost interest and therefore the persistence to ask for it, but one thing was as clear as a day, I couldn’t forget Herman and subconsciously always wanted to go back. I kept telling  myself that one day I would see him again.

I spent years wondering how Herman was doing and if he was happy ( WHAT? You’re still here… kudos to you for making it all the way down here. I know, it’s sappy and heart-rending… ). I had always, always thought of going back to visit, until I found out a few years ago that he had passed away. It made me sad that I had never kept the promise to myself that I would go back and visit him one more time. So this photo is all I have left… a wonderful childhood memory.


  1. Ooh, we totally share a horse-y love!

    I was OBSESSED with horses growing up. I honestly don’t know when I stopped being obsessed with horses, but eventually (and thankfully I suppose) it happened.

    I mean, I still think they’re endlessly beautiful, and still have fantasies of living my life out on a ranch underneath open sky, but I think logic finally kicked in and I realized how difficult (and expensive!) it is to raise one horse, let alone an entire ranch filled with them.

    I did have a horse book my aunt gave me one year for Christmas that detailed all of the different kinds of horse breeds and their histories, wherein I turned to each and every page and named each and every horse. I still have the book. And all of their names.
    .-= Kerri Anne´s last blog ..A Year Complete =-.

  2. I was so hoping you would include a picture. I rode when I was very young, but never caught the horse bug. I have always been a doggy girl!
    .-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Dogs The Bad & The Good! =-.

  3. What a sweet story!

    Honestly, I have never been into horses. Maybe that was an East German thing because I don’t know a lot of people from back in the day who actually had a hobby like horseback riding or playing in instrument. It just wasn’t the thing to do during that time.
    .-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Losing it: Week 2 =-.

  4. I must admit I was never into horses (I must’ve been the exception to all kids), though I did ride a pony at the zoo every now and then when I was little. But that’s a wonderful memory. Did you ever ride again after that until this month?
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Milestone #1, I’m almost there! =-.

  5. okay, this is definitely a cute story. and reminds me of my summers (yes, several actually) on a horse farm like that. in schleswig holstein. *sigh* best times. and herman looks really cute. i can practically see you bounce around on him ;)
    .-= kim´s last blog ..happy new year =-.

  6. Hermann is FANTASTIC. SO CUTE! I was really lucky…I started riding lessons at 5 and then got a horse at 10…Lilo. I should blog about her some day. But god, I miss riding. When I went to Iceland I got to go on a trekking ride on Icelandic ponies! You should do that some day. It will remind you of the little guy and it’s so much fun….Ok…WHERE in California did you go. Can you email me? Cause i Want to go there and go riding on the beach. :)
    .-= Fab´s last blog ..Who loves shoes? ;) =-.

  7. Ah, great story!
    As you know, I always was – and still am – into horses very much. :-)

    I begged my parents until I was allowed to go to a farm for 10 days when I was 9 and that was when I really started riding. And since that time I am riding. There was never a time I stopped.

    First just once a week, then it went on to twice a week until it was about 3 to 4 times a week – helping in the stables, saddle horses for others, drive with the big riders to shows and play the groom,…Therefore I have been allowed to ride the horses. So it was at this time quite a cheap hobby for me.

    Even when we went to South Africa in 2005 the first thing I did was looking for a stable and a horse to ride. ;-)
    I came back from SA in 2006 and started working, that was the time I started looking for an own horse as I finally earned my own money. On the 6th of June 2006 I bought my girl. :-)
    .-= Steffi´s last blog ..My 8 Things =-.

  8. Wonderful memories! And isn’t Herman the cutest? I think his name was fitting! Thank you for sharing!
    .-= Antje´s last blog ..Protected: UPDATE 1 =-.

  9. WANT.

    Make mine a unicorn, please.
    .-= LiLu´s last blog ..B Tells You What To Do With Your Life, Part I =-.

  10. What a great story. Too sad you never saw “Herman” again.
    I loved and love horses and I was one of the lucky girls who had her own horse whenI was younger. But as soon as I got my first boyfriend I lost interest and because I didn’t take care of my responsibility my mom sold my horse.
    I still feel bad because I was so selfish …. and I hope my horse had a wonderful time with his new owner!
    Thanks for sharing ;)

  11. I adore stories of this type. little insights to the experiences and nuances that make you YOU.

    <3 I'm sorry you didn't get to visit your horse again, but he now lives on here <3
    .-= Spatzi´s last blog ..Ladybug Sprinkles =-.

  12. I adore stories of this type. little insights to the experiences and nuances that make you YOU.

    <3 I'm sorry you didn't get to visit your horse again, but he now lives on here <3

  13. That pony just LOOKS like a Herman :) I’ve always been a horse nut – I’ve owned my own horses since I was 14 and did the whole crazy competition thing growing up. My parents always thought (hoped?) I’d outgrow it but now I’m studying equine science and plan to make a career out of it. Horses = awesome :)

  14. What a sweet story!! I love that you kept the picture with you for all this time and what cutie Herman is!
    .-= Terra´s last blog ..Unmotivated, hybernation & winter overload =-.

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