I’m not alone, I mean, at least I think everyone has their share of these. I used to ride horses. Correction: I actually used to own a horse (a Cleveland Bay named Karat), which is probably around where the similarity ends for most urbanised kids, and before you mention it, I know, my privilege is showing.
I don’t know exactly how I got into riding, I think we had the option to go riding with school and it evolved from there. It’s kind of weird that I even enjoyed the sport in the first place because I’m allergic to horses, not severely, but in a way that definitely limited my enjoyment of the sport at times, and really allergic to hay.
I’m so allergic to hay that when I was in the fourth grade, and was hospitalised for a week or two due to a severe asthma attack, my allergy prevented me from attending the end of the year field trip to the apple orchard (yet another thing I was allergic to, but at least I grew out of that one). In the past, I always blamed that missed experience on the overbearing nature of my parents, but it was probably for the best.
Back to the horse. I really got serious about riding in middle school, and my mother’s friend owned a farm out in Almonte that we visited with some frequency. One of her friend’s daughters had some extreme form of juvenile arthritis and ended up passing on at a really young age and I ended up getting her horse as a result.
What exactly went down, I didn’t even know the whole story until well after the fact, but I’m assuming my parents bought the horse from her because that shit’s expensive and it was probably a also painful reminder of her deceased daughter. Eventually, I gave up riding (and a subset of friends) full-time in high school because I got serious about basketball.
I always felt kind of weirded out by the whole situation, and especially so in retrospect, but I wouldn’t mind getting back into riding (says the unemployed girl with very little income coming in). The story always manages to come up every couple of years for some reason or another, and I cringe when I think about how badly I must have acted at the time.