Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Favourite Memory and Why

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Welcome to the Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge, a year-long challenge set by the good folk at Long and Short Reviews that anyone can participate in. Want to see who else is playing along? Visit here and click on the Miscellaneous Musings link near the top of the page.

This week’s topic is a hard one.

My Favourite Memory and Why

I mean, from all the brilliant memories I have, how am I meant to choose just one? It’s like choosing your favourite book or song. Nigh on impossible.

So this won’t be my favourite memory but it sure is one of them.

The day I got my first horse.

I was ten and I’d been nagging my parents for a horse since I learned to say the word. I wouldn’t be surprised if I hadn’t nagged them before I could speak by stretching out my arms in a ‘gimme’ gesture whenever I sighted anything even remotely equine.

I love horses. Luuuuuuurve. To get one of my own was a dream come true. A cliché, yeah, but having my own horse was my dream. Nothing else mattered more.

My horse’s name was Mysty (note the romantic spelling). She was a two-year-old bay filly whose sire was a well-known stud thoroughbred. Her dam? The stud owner’s daughter’s pony. In other words, Mysty was an “oops”.

A few weeks before, Mum and Dad had taken me down to a property near Drumborg, just across the Victorian border, to meet her and it was love at first sight. She was the most magnificent creature I’d ever seen. Enchanted didn’t even begin to describe my feelings.

Oh, the excitement that she’d be coming home!

Mysty, me and Dad on her first day home

Mysty, me and Dad on her first day home. My first ride!

As you can imagine, when she did arrive I was beside myself. My own horse! And she was beautiful. Beautiful! More beautiful than any other horse that ever existed anywhere. And best of all she was mine. No more begging pats and rides from friends who had horses. No more fretting that I’d never have a horse of my own. No more crying over The Black Stallion books because I would never have a relationship with a horse like Alec shared with the Black.

My own horse. A miracle.

At only two-years-old and just broken, Mysty might have been a miracle but she was also completely inappropriate for a ten-year-old learner rider. But my dad had been brought up around horses and been a jockey in his younger years, and Mum used the justification that Mysty and I would be able to grow up together. Not smart thinking when it comes to horses. Usually, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Cathryn Hein horsing around

Me (left) and a friend, horsing around.

We were lucky though. So very, very lucky. Mysty was exceptionally gentle and sweet natured and whoever broke her in did a brilliant job. What followed was not disaster but years of fun and adventure and friendship, both equine and human from the world she’d opened up.

We did pony club, hunt club, trail riding club, dressage club, show-jumping club. We did horse shows, gymkhanas, and eventing across South Australia and Victoria. I even won champion rider in my age class riding Mysty at the Pony Club State Championships in 1986 (? – could have been ’85, I can’t quite remember). I also whispered all my secrets into her swivelling ears, cried into her silky neck, laughed at her funny behaviours (she once walked through the front door of our house), and dreamed a thousand daydreams while stretched out across her back.

She made my childhood exciting and special and magical. Mysty, my dream horse. A star.

What’s your favourite memory?

PS. If you’re curious about my top 5 horse stories, you can check out my list here.


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26 thoughts on “Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Favourite Memory and Why

  1. AvatarMalvina

    No wonder your stories often feature a horse. What lovely memories. I know I’m a geek, but going to the library – not an everyday excursion – gave me beautiful childhood memories. Also going to the secondhand bookstores with my father, also a keen reader.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Horses were definitely in my blood. Malvina. Still are. I think your library and bookstore memories are lovely. I have fond library memories too. A few years ago the Mt Gambier Library printed a book of its history and they dug up a photo of me winning a prize in some library competition. I’d forgotten all about it. They were chuffed though to point out that I’d gone on to be a writer.
      You must have had a wonderful time talking books with your dad. That’s so nice. And very nice of you to drop by!

  2. AvatarMichelle Douglas

    I wanted a horse with all of my madly beating heart, Cathryn! For years and years and years. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I’ll confess, though, that there’s a part of me that still yearns to have my own horse. Not sure my suburban backyard would be all that suitable, however. 😉

    Love your memory!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I feel the same, Michelle. I’d have a horse in a heartbeat. I still cling to the hope it might yet happen. Maybe a lotto win so we can have a country retreats, complete with horse and goose. I’d let you come ride!!

  3. AvatarJudy Thomas

    I always wanted a horse as well… alas, it was never to be. I’m well past the age I need a horse now, but there’s still a little horse-shaped part of my heart that’s still empty. Great post. Mine is here if you want to come by.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Those of us who are horse-mad never lose the love, Judy. As you say, there’s always a horse-shaped slot in our hearts, no matter how old we get. I’m not giving up hope on getting one again!

  4. AvatarMarianne Arkins

    I literally bought my first pony with a bagful of change ($25 in pennies, dimes and nickels). He was a butthead, and gave me my one and only broken bone, but I loved that jerk. Horses are uniquely special… That’s a great memory.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thanks, Lydia. She was full of fun. She loved coffee with sugar and cheese sandwiches and could make me laugh so hard. I’m pleased to say she also lived to a very old horsey age and was dearly loved. Not bad for an ‘oops’ horse.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Never too late, Mary!! That’s what I keep telling myself about getting another. The odds of it happening are terrible, but we’re all allowed to dream!

  5. AvatarSydney Winward

    I enjoyed your post! I never had a horse of my own, but I often went riding with my friend on a horse named Gallion. In my mind, he was MY horse, as I was one of the only ones to ride him. Oh, how I miss those days of riding! Someday I will be able to go again.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Gallion! That is such a cool name! It’s like stallion but not. I used to covet a friend’s horse too. I was SO jealous and then I got my Mysty and I was SO SMUG!!!

  6. AvatarDixie Jackson

    What great pictures! And what a fantastic memory. So very cool that your day was a jockey. That’s another layer to the memory and some awesome family history. I love hearing about families and their stories. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my place earlier. 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Thanks Dixie, and no problem at all. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s take on this week’s topic. There were some wonderful memories shared.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I think lots of people, especially girls, dream of having a horse. Although some are more obsessed about it than others. Thanks for checking out the post, Tanith.

  7. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    What a lovely memory and great pics too! Horses scare me they’re so big but they are beautiful to look at.
    My favourite memories are the ones of my parents taking us on picnics at different dams nearly every Saturday along with their friends and kids, such happy times! And Sunday after church, lunch and a quick nap visiting friends for coffee and cake, a German tradition! Those memories are from back in the day when I was 8 to about 15.

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