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It’s been awhile since I shared some creative writing on this blog, so today I invite you to take a trip down memory lane with. me This vignette strives to create an impression of my horse crazy youth. As always, my goal as a writer and editor is to make every word count.


Horse Crazy

One year, Santa left a stick horse underneath the Christmas tree. Finally, I had a horse to call my own and I called him Bucky. Due to Bucky’s official mustang status (the tag stuck to his ear helped clarify his origins as did the folded page in the Sears Toy Catalog) I felt obliged to pack a plastic pistol. I also donned a bright red kerchief over my mouth as well as a pint-sized cowboy hat on my head. Round and round the block, I rode Bucky until his plastic bridle broke and his head fell off.


Then I just rode the stick, and after that I took to riding bareback on mom’s broom. The neighbors probably thought I was pretending to be a witch, but anyone who knew anything about horses would have noticed the ease of my galloping gait. Not to mention I emitted snorts and whinnies at random intervals while racing around the neighborhood.


Picture of Queen's Cup Steeplechase     Picture of Queen's Cup Steeplechase


When I grew tired of riding sticks, I devised a jumping arena in our huge backyard. Using various colors of yarn, lawn chairs, sticks, coolers, and the swing set, I built numerous jumps in an approximation of the different courses I saw in televised horse shows, horse movies, and horse magazines. In the gravel of the driveway I completed the intricate steps of dressage while I pretended that the sound of shod hooves scrunched beneath my feet.


From the narrow pathway between the side of the house and the fence, I stomped the ground and then shot down the slight slope of the backyard to the first jump where bright blue and white yarn stretched from the fence post to the leg of the swing set. Next came the extra wide winter sled jump followed by the tricky double-jump at the corner of the yard where I gingerly hopped over each side of the twine box that connected to the apple tree and the back fence.


Picture of Queen's Cup Steeplechase


After that, I cantered diagonally to the center of the yard to take on the sideways lounging chair challenge. Beyond that awaited the scary sinkhole water jump. Finally, I flew over the triple cooler jump as the label Schlitz Beer caught the corner of my eye.


After a quick breather, I did it all over again.


Were you horse crazy as a kid? What other games of play appealed to you?



Permission must be granted by JeriWB to use the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase images in this post.