Image, by his more common name, is my daughter's amazing horse. When said daughter was 13 yrs. old, she got a job at a local ranch doing what many horse crazy 13 yr old girls are all too happy to do....scoopin' poop. After a short period of time she came home with the excited announcement that she had found a young gelding in a distant pasture who looked like he needed a young girl to take care of him, love on him, and train him to be the best horse ever, to which her mother said, absolutely not! As she worked on persuading her father into seeing this entire situation from her vantage point, as little girls are prone to do, she continued going to the horse ranch, falling more and more in love with the orphan colt. Within weeks, Image, as he came to be called, was living in my backyard. Yes, I relented. After hearing evidence that when a girl owns a horse she is likely to postpone having a boyfriend for up to 5 years, I thought maybe this wouldn't be such a bad thing. I fought with all the typical reasons why we shouldn't have a horse in our backyard like flies, poop, hay, and broken fences (which leads to escapes, which leads to phone calls from the CHP that your horse is running down the road and you are 50 miles from home, which leads to pleas to your friends to help round up the escapee until you can get there yourself. Hhmmm.
So, years later Image has now become a huge part of my daughter's life by becoming the love of her life. She adores him and he, her. This adoring relationship hasn't come with out a cost; hours of personal sacrifice and training, yards and yards of manure, and of course, expenses. The cost of owning a horse motivated her to get a job. Another good reason to let her have the horse. She cleaned houses, offices, babysat; whatever she could do to provide herself with the funds to keep her Prince living with us in the back yard. Then came her first vet bill. Image tends to be a little accident prone. Once he got stuck in an old greenhouse and tried to jump through an old window. That vet bill cost her about $1000. Today he had another run in with a barbed wire fence and tore up his back leg...$650. Ouch. Through it all, though, my daughter has diligently pressed through these challenges without losing hope of success. She has made a commitment to her boy and she fully intends to keep it no matter how difficult it may be at times. I know that she would say that the hours and hours of pleasure and love Image has given back to her over the years would far out weigh the slightest inconvenience his mishaps have caused her. And the boyfriend thing? Well, I must say that the statistics weren't that far off. She was about 17 when she fell for her first cowboy! Luckily for Mom and Dad, it was very short lived and didn't last too long! The reasonings that she used to persuade her parents all those years ago have all been realized as our daughter has lived up to her commitment and has proven to me once again that through this experience she has grown into a woman of great strength and moral character. BooBoo, I am so proud of you and humbled to be your mother. You amaze me!