I've been going through old photographs from the last four or five years.
When I found these, it was exciting and desperate all at the same time.
Exciting because I remember the day.
Desperate because I completely forgot to do something I promised to do.
So, true to form, I took care of business.
Once upon a time, like, four years ago,
I went to a horse show my buddy's students were in.
As I was making my way out of the parking lot, I noticed a young lady on a horse, riding bare back.
Clearly, he was an Appoloosa, so I STOPPED THE BUS. Appoloosa's were bred by the Nez Perce Indians.
I love Indians.
We'll go there another day.
I parked my car and walked over the to grassy knoll where the gal was riding. I had a feeling there was a story there. I was right. Her name is Allyson (Ally), and this was her last weekend home before moving away to college. She was taking one last ride on her ol' boy, Apple.
I asked her if I could photograph the precious moments for her.
She said yes.
If I want to remember an animal, I take pictures of the things I don't think I'll think I'll miss.
I understand if you need to read that sentence again.
The way they eat, their legs, their hooves, their halter, their eyes.
The feel of them beneath you.
The color. Oh! The color!! Absorb this one. Breathe it in. The vibrancy, the depth, the way the hair swirls this way and that. Ah....
It's important to remember the contentment you feel with your horse.
Unless a fly is bothering you. Then, you're distracted.
The best pair of old jeans you threw on that day.
Their mane. Their ear on you.
The sound of the grass being crunched by their teeth. The soothing sound of their chewing. It's the best white noise on the planet.
Then, I looked at her, looking at him.
This picture makes me smile.
And hold back tears.
She was leaving her favorite friend to invest in her future.
He was old. She was worried she would miss his last days. This day was very special. Lots of heart pictures were taken.
Apple liked her back. It was obvious. They were buds.
I like this picture.
I like this picture even more.
I love this picture, with a capital L-O-V-E. It's frame-worthy. It's me. It's rugged but all kinds of wonderful.
I asked Ally for her email address and promised her I would send the pictures.
It didn't happen due to circumstances in my life making me forget my promise. Circumstances like a cheating husband, divorce, a move from one state to another, school, two jobs, weight gain, a dysfunctional digestive system, fibrocystic breasts, irregular periods, it was hectic and not just in my life; many were also suffering on The Young & The Restless at this time.
I searched my email from 2009 for Ally's email address. I remembered I sent her one photo later that day telling her there would be more to come and thanked her for putting up with my presence.
I emailed her this week...
I decided to omit the parts about cheating husbands, loaded guns, and irregular menses.Is this still an active email for you? I need to get in touch with you. We met in 2009 at the South Jordan Equestrian Park. I photographed you and your Appaloosa riding there before you left for college. I can't remember if I EVER got the photographs to you and I figured you would like to have them. I will send them to you if I can reach you."
I sent that email at 1:44 in the afternoon. At 2:14, I got a response!
"Hello! What a wonderful surprise! I don't believe I ever got them from you. I would love to have them!!! Thanks for contacting me! Ally
I wish I could have been where ever she is, four years later, to see the look on her face when she saw them. I tried to imagine her emotions. Did she grin? Did she sob? Did her heart pound? I wondered.
And just like that, all was right with the world.
Buy a horse. Buy one today!