Thursday, July 10, 2008

I've Fallen in Love with a Horse

A horse breed, to be specific. Today I met my first Missouri Fox Trotter horse, a sorrel horse with lots of "chrome", meaning he had a flaxen mane and tail. He was sweet-natured and gentle, obviously enjoyed running up and down the meadow as his rider shot balloons with shotgun and pistol, and skewered iron rings onto his saber, or whacked at polo balls, made nothing of all the people around him, the noise of sabers, shotguns and pistols, and had the most marvelous, smooth motion.

Photo: Foxy's Red Ruby, a mare. See Arkansas Foxtrotters for more about her. This is not an exciting picture, and she is heavier than the horse I saw today, but you get an idea of the general looks.

Where were we? Why, the Ashland Estate Family Festival of Nineteenth Century Kentucky Life. There were two riders showing battle training, and picnicers in crinolines, cows and baby goats, sheared sheep with their proud owners, women demonstrating spinning and weaving, a man with a 1917 generator with big glass fluid-filled batteries running antique saw-blade cutting and sanding machines and a saw, men playing banjos and guitars, and much more. Our boys enjoyed the livestock, and Christopher's eyes gleamed and his dimples shone for half an hour straight over the horses and their riders demonstrating their skills.

Oh, I fell in love with that horse all right, asked about him, and his owner told me his breed, and this evening I looked it up. Sure enough, a popular pleasure horse, with a smooth, diagonal "Fox trot" gait, famous for being gentle and alert, surefooted and thus popular for trail riding, and not overbig. A family horse. The breed comes in all color combinations, too, but I loved the warm reddish color and that golden mane...just breathtaking!

Oh my, someday, just maybe? Perhaps I dream, but dreams are fun, too.

For more about the Missouri Fox Trotter, see their association site.

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