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Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride

This post is written for the 78th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Pony Pictures! hosted by Jasia of Creative Gene. We were invited to share some pony pictures from our collection. I had two lovely photos I was happy to share. Thanks again Jasia for your work!

Lou @ age 2 on a pony
This is my father-in-law, Lou Mitchell, Jr. probably about 2 years old on a sweet little pony. I love his old fashioned outfit, and the look of this cute, compact little pony, and imagine Lou was happy sitting up there (although I know this is not always the case, from seeing many children change their minds about riding the pony once they get to the head of the pony line.) This was probably taken about 1942, and likely in Pennsylvania where he grew up, but I know little else about it, and neither does he.

Sasha Eden & Prince 1995
The photo above was from before the days of my digital camera. But I was able to precisely date it from the hospital records.

I don’t think I had ever ridden on a pony or horse before the time this photo was taken. If I had, I had no recollection of it. My experience was of feeding them carrots at the farm market or things like that. I always approached horses with a healthy fear, from the handful of times I had been close. They are so big! And they have big teeth and can kick hard with iron shoes! But this was my friend’s old horse, and he was gentle. My sister Eden was visiting me and we had just taken a triumphant hike to the top of a trail not far from our home in Boulder, CO. My husband’s friend Tonya from work offered to let us take a ride on her horse, Prince, who was stabled nearby. Seemed like the perfect way to end the day, and look at that beautiful sky!

Unfortunately, she did not have his saddle, but that was not a big problem – he was just a gentle old horse, and it would just be a short walk around the field. We draped our old blanket from the back of our car across his back, and I sat behind Eden, while Tonya held his bridle. But if you look closely, I think you can see the evil glint in his eye…

Tonya walked us around the field, holding Prince, while we sat on his back, and I remember feeling rather giddy but with my usual horse nerves. I guess Prince smelled my fear. He decided to take off at a run – there was no way Tanya could hold on – and they he bucked and Eden and I went sailing into the air.

I landed with a thud, hitting the back of my head on a rock in the field and promptly blacked out. Lucky for me the rock was nearly flat or I doubt I would be here today. It still managed to give me a good cut and a concussion. Lucky for Eden she landed on me, and was none the worse for wear. Poor Tonya felt terrible, but it was just one of those things we all learned from the hard way. Trip took us to the hospital, and then stayed up, took care of me and woke me through the night. If I ever try to wear pigtails in my hair I worry that people will notice the scar that runs across the part down the back of my head, which is all that remains of our little adventure. That, some pictures, and a healthy fear of horses!

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