Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylors Impact On Myself & Little Red

As a kid I can remember watching National Velvet for the first time. 

I can remember falling in love with The Pie along with Velvet.
As a young girl who loved horses this was THE perfect movie. Hands down.

I remember after watching this movie changing my pony's name to Pie. Hey I was like 6. As a kid I had my show horse which I had to be all prim and proper with but my pony (who in actuality was a small horse), the pony was mine to do as I wish.

Needless to say Little Red a.k.a The Pie did not share my love. In fact I think he pretty much hated me.

Not that I can really blame him.

After watching National Velvet I decided that in order to be The Pie he must learn to jump.

I was 6 (maybe 7) and had no clue how to go about training a horse to jump.

That did not stop me from dragging out the two cinder blocks and a pvc pipe I found in the barn. I carefully set them up out in the field. I can remember the satisfaction I felt as I stood back and admired my newly made knee high jump.

The newly named Pie was out in the other field and he let me catch him easily........ the last time in which he would do so.

Of course I was 6 so I'm sure one of the guys that worked with my parents helped me saddle him up. I remember though taking my little English stirrups up when no one was in sight. I mean if we were going to do this we were going to do it right and I knew my knees needed to bent a little more for me to be like Velvet.

My mom would die at how I'm making it sound like I was unsupervised. They were at the barn, they checked on me often ---- probably even stood inside and watched out the window the entire time........ but I do know I was smart enough to wait till they were out of sight to aim Pie at the jump for the first  time. Otherwise I would remember this story with my mothers panic scream in the background.

I circled like I had seen Velvet do. Increasing my speed slightly as I came out of the circle and headed for the jump.

I was leaned forward.

This was it.

I was ready.

In my mind we were racing across the English Countryside jumping hedges.

In reality Little Red grabbed the bit and dodged my home-made jump.

Clearly having not seen the movie he did not realize he was to play the role of The Pie. 

I got him back under control and tried again. This time I rode in hands tight on the reins driving him straight.

I raised up ready for lift off and ****SCREECH*****.

Little Red slammed on the breaks and it took all I had to not go flying off.

With gritted teeth I turn him away from the jump.

I was never one to give up though and when it came to stubborn it was now a battle between me and Little Red.

I rode him around the field a minute as I tried to come up with a plan B.

Plan B turned out to be a riding crop.

I pushed Little Red into a canter and headed for the jump again.

This time I was ready. We were going to jump the hedge.

We approached the jump. I held him on course. When we were almost on it I dug my heals in and smacked him on the butt with the crop.

Weather he was admitting defeat or jumping from the crop Little Red at least made an attempt to jump.

He knocked the pvc pipe off. But that didn't keep me from smiling.

Now we were on the right track.

I dismounted and set the jump back up.

I spent probably the next hour transforming Little Red into The Pie.

I like to say I taught him to jump. Mom likes to say I ran poor Little Reds knees into that pipe so many times he learned to jump.

Needless to say after that day the newly named Pie never would let me catch him in less time than an hour and it would take three people to catch him.

Can't say I blame him though.

Rest in peace Elizabeth Taylor. Thank you for teaching a young girl to dream big.


I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them.
Elizabeth Taylor

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