Friday, May 31, 2013
I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't love horses. When I was eight years old, I had the chance to ride a real horse for the first time. I was working on a television series called "The New Land" about an immigrant family settling on a farm in America. My character fell in love with a plow horse the family couldn't get to pull the plow but would follow me anywhere. One day, Kurt Russell (who portrayed my uncle) sat me up on the horse's back and led us down the dirt path. That was the first time I rode a real horse, and even though it was a long time ago, I can still remember how happy it made me. After that, I worked on other films with horses, and the wranglers always let me ride in between scenes and on my lunch breaks. Movie horses are really special because they are trained to behave on sets. It was a real blessing to have the chance to ride like that. At home, my dad continued my riding training by taking me on trail rides in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. We rode all the time. My favorite horse was a Palomino named Melody, and I can still remember laughing and talking with my dad as we cantered through valleys and looked at wildlife. Some of my happiest moments growing up were spent on horseback. Recently, my dad and I returned to Palm Springs and took my daughters for a trail ride. Life came full circle for me on that ride. It is a memory I will cherish. I hope one day to have a Palomino of my own or a Dappled Gray Warmblood or perhaps a Mustang. Until then, I will have to settle for writing about them. If you have a horse story of your own, please share it! I'd love to hear from you. D.L.