I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. When I was five Santa brought me a dappled gray Shetland pony named Gypsy.
My father put me on her with just a bridle to cling to. Gypsy took off galloping, tearing across the neighbor’s property lines; I was instantly hooked.
When I outgrew Gypsy my father bought me Nehi a strawberry roan aptly named after the popular 1970’s soda. Many of the girls in our neighborhood had horses, too. We kept them in our backyards with open sheds as stalls.
Given the mild weather, that’s all they needed. Our summers, weekends and time after school were spent riding bareback in the woods, along the bay, and through the orange groves.
Life was good.
Sadly, though, it was not meant to last. Due to a series of unforeseen events, I found myself on my own at the young age of 16. Thrown into the rigorous demands of life, I was not to ride again for 30 years. Read more →