When your passion is horses, there is no age requirement necessary to the pursuit of that passion. No one knows that better than Lucy who recently celebrated 84 years in addition to a renewed sense of her equine passionate self. Born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Canada, Lucy’s early equine experiences were slightly less than positive. At the all girl’s high school that Lucy attended, riding lessons were a part of her daily routine, though her fear of horses made it her least favorite part. After a bad fall Lucy chose to hang up her riding helmet for what she thought was a permanent departure from both horses and the horse world.
Saturday morning at The Pony Express Ranch, an equine rescue and home to the Equine Assisted Skills for Youth Program, Cheyenne is the first to arrive. Barefoot with riding boots in hand she runs into the tack room with Bella, the ranch pit pup hot on her heels. Next to arrive is Aleyah followed by Alex, Jamie and Ella. Just another day in the life of a pony girl (aka PG), and a good life it is.
Midnight was inducted into the Equus Awards Hall of Fame for his commitment to making the days, and the dreams of young aspiring equestrians everywhere come true. Though small in stature, Midnight is mighty big in his ability to bring a smile to any and all of the children that know him by name at the Howarth Park pony corral.
Jacque wants to work in a therapeutic riding program when she grows up; Isabelle aspires to be a veterinary technician and Laitaita has intentions to study equine massage. And if she can ever get over her fear of both giving and receiving shots, Jamie has great aspirations of pursuing a career as an equine veterinarian. What do these four engaging young people have in common besides raging teenage hormones; cell phones attached to the ear and the need to text anyone and everyone about everything or nothing at all? They have a passion for horses and there is no greater place to satisfy that need than at the Howarth Park pony corral in Santa Rosa.
I remember as a second grader walking the two blocks necessary to get to my school, Village Elementary, in Santa Rosa. Of course this was back in the day when it was perfectly ok for kids to walk alone to school, but I was not alone. As soon as I left my house my youthful imagination and wishful thinking transplanted me off of my well traveled main street and onto the dusty trail that I called home. Here I would become one with my gallant steed as we effortlessly galloped our way to school. I could actually feel the wind in my hair and the gentle sway of my horse as he carried me, oh so proudly to my destination. Upon arriving I would gracefully dismount as all of my fellow classmates looked on in awe and amazement. At the tender age of seven I already had the heart and soul for my equine soul mates. In reality, Annie Oakley I wasn’t, skinny Linney, I was. An appropriate nickname as I was always hungry, hungry for horses that is.