|Yum! Grasshoppers and Horses are a sweet combo!|
Grasshopper cookies make me think ... horses.
Growing up, I rode other people's horses through leasing agreements -- Copy Cat, Goose, Mini Dude, and my favorite, Bandit. After Bandit was shipped back to her owners in Atlanta, I suddenly found myself 15, horseless and seriously heartbroken.
That's when mom spilled the beans -- I was getting my own horse! On May 22, 1980, as a belated birthday gift, my mother gave me a beautiful, gray mare named Irish. How perfect was that -- my birthday falls on St. Patrick's Day?! It was kismet. She was rotten when I brought her to Coventry Farms, but over the first year, we learned a lot about and grew to trust each other. We were a great team.
|My beautiful, gray mare, Irish. Her show|
name was Shades of Gray, so named
after a song by The Monkees.
I rode competitively and loved it! Not just the riding part, but the hanging out with Mom at horse shows part, too. She would rise before dawn (and let me tell you, my mother is not a morning person!) to braid my horse's mane and tail, fighting arthritic hands. And every horse show, she would pack our favorite cookies -- Keebler's Grasshoppers, thin, wafery, mint-chocolate goodness.
Thank you, Mom, for all those wonderful weekends of braided manes, shiny riding boots, nervously holding on to my horse by the reins, anxiously watching me jump fences when surely you wanted nothing more than to hide your eyes! (I realize this now that I'm a mom.)
It all happened 30 years ago, but often feels like yesterday. Whenever I see, smell or eat Grasshopper cookies, I think about my horse shows, remember Irish, and feel very grateful not only for the outlay of money it took to support my habit, but especially for the investment of time, love, and enthusiasm my mother gave during a crucial part of my life. My days at the barn are the best, best days of my adolescence.
|First show at Killearn Stables, Walk Trot, first place. |
Eventually won champion for the day. The pony is Copy Cat.
|Mini Dude looking perky circa 1977 at the Springtime |
Tallahassee Horse Show at the Leon County Fairgrounds.
|Goose! Crazy-looking, dappled, Appaloosa |
mare. Sweet girl. We won championship
that day in our short-stirrup classes.
|My Lady Bandit hanging out having |
fun on the weekend.
|Bandit looking AWESOME after a show |
at Brookwood in Thomasville. It was
an off day, but still a lot of fun.