Girls Who Love Horses

"playing horses" heather ross for Kokka, available spring 2011Its hard to reconcile, sometimes, that horses were once a part of my life, and now they are not. I still have my chaps, my helmet, my breeches, my paddock boots, and a pair of very smelly and increasingly stiff riding gloves in the bottom of my closet. I hold onto them the way my husband holds onto the motorcycle helmet and form fitting leather suit that has not been used for over a decade. My cleaning lady (I'm not rich, just a really bad housekeeper) once found these last remnants of a brazen bachelorhood tucked away into a forgotten corner , and asked where the Mr.'s motorcycle was. "There isn't one anymore, he just can't bear to let go of the accessories", I answered, to which she responded with an expression of pure pity. She looked down into the dusty visor in her hands, shook her head and softly murmured "so sad."

He's not the only one who lives in a suspended state of denial. When I was packing a bag for my appearance on The Martha Stewart Show, I seriously considered including my riding gear. "Martha and I are just going to CLICK, I just KNOW it." I explained to a husband who was already exhausted by the general theme of self promotion that came along with the book tour that I had just begun. "and when she finds out that I RIDE, and that I grew up riding Morgans and draught horses, she's GOING to invite me to Bedford and I NEED to be READY. Because I can't possibly go RIDING with MARTHA STEWART in the WRONG CLOTHES. Now it was my turn for a long, pitiful look. "Oh Sweetie," TC said softly. "get over yourself." For the record, I have not YET been invited to Bedford to go riding. Nor, I should point out, have I put my riding things into deep storage.

But the acute awareness that a stage of life has ended, and the nostalgia and the piles of boxes of things that can't possibly be gotten rid of that begins to grow in it's place is really the third stage, isn't it? Before that part of your youth began or ended you must have first been able to imagine yourself loving a horse or a motorcycle or whatever it was that consumed you, probably for hours, in that fleeting stage of life where any perfect situation is possible and can be played out with the help of carefully arranged plastic figurines on one's bedroom floor. So when I saw this beautiful post over at Soule Mama I immediately knew that even though Kokka was requesting more princesses (yawn) for my new fabric collection that I also needed to do some little drawings of little girls and their plastic horses. I also knew that perhaps I had found a new and loving home for the collection of gear in the bottom of my closet. Of course, Amanda's little girl wont be fitting into anything for a while yet, which means that I can cling to my delusional dreams for just a little while longer.