I was very fortunate as a kid, activity-wise.
I played softball, was a competitive swimmer, dabbled in a bit of Jazz, and then there was my illustrious Equestrian career.
It all started in Grade 6 when my desk mates, Jeanette Johnson and Jennifer Woods became horse crazy.
Jennifer lived on a small farm, and Jeanette was the lucky one with parents who had deep pockets, and big hearts.
Being the third wheel amongst a couple of horse crazy pre-teens was a sight to see, as I was happily dragged along when either of them had a lesson, and after a while it got me thinking.
My mom had grown up around horses (a rich dad who travels on business a lot equals ponies for the better part of your childhood apparently), so I had feeling that it wasn't solely Jeanette and Jennifer's peer pressure that had me adopting such an expensive hobby.
I was hooked instantly.
It's funny some of the intricate details you remember about your childhood (I can easily recite which stall held which school horse at the first barn I attended: CC, Scibbles, Mikey, Beau, Key Largo, Target, Dandy, Merlin, Penny, Zelda, Mrs. Bean, Dreamer)
After years of lessons, and dedicating my weekends to working at the barn - waking up at 5:00am, shovelling horse crap, heaving endless hay bales into the hay loft, and learning to drive a pick up truck at the ripe age of 13 are some of my favourite past times from those years.
Several years, and a few barns later, it happened:
I met my fairy godmother when I was 16.
She was a business associate of my mother's, and she had money to burn (lucky me!)
I'm not sure how it came about (probably a candid conversation between she and my mother), but she propositioned me with an offer I couldn't turn down.
In exchange for doing all the dirty work (researching, training, grooming), she would buy me the horse of my dreams, as long as she could come up to the stable, and feed him carrots to his heart's content.
She was looking for a pet, I was looking for a way to further my love of the sport.
I had the time of my life for the next three years.
Sure, there were some hiccups along the way (him refusing at every jump got old pretty fast), but it was the greatest experience a young girl could ask for.
Soon after I turned 19, I was faced with the hardest decision my young mind had yet to make....it was time to chose a path: college or "professional barn rat".
I know of several women who've chosen the latter, and it makes me think what would have happened had I decided to forgo post-secondary education.
I definitely wouldn't be living where I'm living.
Which leads me to modern day me, and my wanting to dive back into the lifestyle (as a born again equestrienne, not so much the barn rat thing).
HOW THE HELL DOES AN ADULT (with no kids, car, house mind you) AFFORD SUCH AN ACTIVITY?!
Just a quick browse at the two stables in my area, and I'm blown away by the expenses!
I had always had an inkling that it was a money pit (thanks mom and dad!) of a sport, but this is unattainable (unless someone feels like sponsoring a determined, late 20-something that would hock/promote the shit out of whatever you're selling).
This post doesn't really conclude with an epiphany (unless realizing a major overhaul of my finances is necessary - and maybe adding another salary onto what I'm already bringing in), so I present you with....