National Velvet & Elizabeth Taylor.
March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
I’ve been in love with horses my entire life,
so watching 1944’s National Velvet, starring twelve year old Elizabeth Taylor, endures as an intense memory for me. I fantasized about owning a horse comparable to the Pie, and I reveled in the spirit of Taylor’s character, Velvet. Chopping off all of her hair, disguising herself as a young male jockey… riding with the boys, as it were. Taylor will obviously be remembered for a tremendous career. I’ll remember her as Velvet, here’s my ode.
I started riding when I was six, began competing around age eleven, received my first horse (Bailey) at thirteen, and my first job was cleaning stalls at age fifteen. During high school I was released out of school early every day to train, and I built my own jumps in the school’s shop with the help of some classmates. My mother and I scrounged to find trailers to transport me to shows, and I was always required to contribute to and help manage the cost of everything. I learned a lot. During my first year of college I played on Tech’s polo team (prior to transferring to State) and I then worked at a local stable riding asshole Arabians. I had to sell my favorite horse, James, after being in college for a couple of years (horses are expensive). Still, I have yet to fall even an ounce out of love with the saddle and I’m never happier than when the thin curve of a mane is in front of me.
my mother, happy, prior to realizing the expense of my love.
First lessons in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Birthday surprise ride on the half-blind pony Pepper.
Feeding in the Netherlands, where I had to take lessons in Dutch.
First shows, riding the saddlebred mare X.
Fudge (Paint me Proud).
Socks (Forever Desirable).
The love of my life, James (Secret Agent Man).
Riding in Ireland.
My favorite show season, ever.