Just another horse crazy girl …

shadow selfie

I’ve loved horses as long as I can remember.

My first official riding lesson was at a stable in North London, England, when I was 10 years old. The stolid liver chestnut school pony’s name was Welshman. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

As a young girl I spent countless hours pouring through equestrian equipment catalogues, writing and re-writing lists of horse and pony breeds, colours, markings, names … you name it. I participated in Pony Weeks (a horse to call my own for a whole week!).

I learned to feed, blanket, muck, fetch, groom, clean tack, and stay out of the way of biters and kickers.

Of course, I begged my mother for a horse, but as we were a one-parent/one-income family the dream of a cream-coloured pony in my garden shed stayed just that … a dream.

I devoured horse books — read Walter Farley’s The Black StallionΒ and others from the series countless times. (Oh, how I wanted to be Alec Ramsey and happen upon a horse like ‘The Black.’ — The movie version of 1979 is magical.) The Misty of Chincoteague books by Marguerite Henry were another favourite. And ThelwellΒ made me see the funny side of the equine obsession. Still does.

Copies of these old books still live in my equestrian collection.

We lived two-hours by bus away from the stable, so going to ride was an entire day’s excursion. But, of course, I didn’t mind. I wanted to hang out with the horses, maybe even help with the stable chores so I could catch a ride around the stable block on the ancient, sway-back, toothless grey Arabian, Sultan.

Time on the back of any horse was pure heaven.

I can still recite the names of most of the horses from that first stable of my childhood, including my favourites: Black Jack – a biter who seemed to like me for some reason so didn’t bother me too much; Major – a big dapple grey with a Roman nose; Maybe – a deep, red chestnut mare I absolutely fell in love with because she made me feel so special when I rode her (called by this name because the owner used to say “Maybe she’ll be ready by May and maybe she won’t!”); Lucky – another pretty chestnut mare; Freckles – a strawberry roan mare I had a lot of fun jumping with; and, Cloud – the beautiful cream colour pony of my dreams who, when he came up for sale, I begged and begged and begged my mom to buy. I’ve already told you how that ended.

Thirty-five years on I finally did acquire my first horse. Shakespeare, though not cream-coloured, was everything I could have dreamed, and more. He was my muse; he got the creative juices flowing, and in the process healed my heart and changed my life. I had him for 12 years. He died in November 2017 of torsion colic. A terrible loss because I loved him so.

In 2014, my equestrian life took a therapeutic turn when I became certified as a practitioner of Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL), and then a year later achieved Advanced status. It is remarkable how horses have the ability to help us heal our emotional lives. My focus has been on understanding the nature of sacred space and cultivating that on my farm so that people can thrive with their horses in an environment that is based in heart energy.

In 2015, another horse, Sophia Loren, trotted into my life. Shakespeare had sustained a career-ending injury and I still wanted to ride. To my great joy she has given me my wings. Together we are taking flight at fourth level/Prix St. Georges dressage, and enjoying every minute of it.

1 - EQUUS FIlm Festival - WINNIE WINNER copy

Now my life with horses has taken an even more creative turn with my fine art photography and a WINNIE Award for Best Equestrian Photo Journal from EQUUS Film Festival 2018 for my project Unsung Heroines of the Horse Industry.

Where will it end?

I hope it never does …

Welcome to my horse crazy world!

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy πŸ™‚


Β©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2019 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

57 thoughts on “Just another horse crazy girl …

    • Wow, Michele! Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I’m really thrilled that you would acknowledge me in this way. It’s very inspiring … πŸ˜‰ … And congrats to you on your own nomination. Well deserved … Be well, Dorothy πŸ™‚

  1. Some of my earliest memories are about my love for horses. I pictured myself riding through a field and imagined what it would feel like, how the wind would blow through both our manes. Until one day, when I was 8, I climbed a farmer’s fence, introduced myself to a paint, grabbed her mane, pulled myself up and galloped with her across the field…..never had a lesson and now prefer to ride western…

    • I was looking through my bank of comments and realized I had a few to which I had not yet responded. But gee, Diana … I don’t know how I missed your comment from LAST YEAR!!! I’m embarrassed by my negligence. … Thank you for leaving it and sharing your first experience on horseback. You sound like quite the dare devil. I would never have done anything quite so bold. πŸ˜‰ … Be well, Dorothy πŸ™‚

  2. So glad you made your dream of owning a horse come true. Mine is still just a dream all these many years later. Arabians and Tennessee Walkers were my favoritesβ€”proud and stately. But if the right pinto came along…… Many thanks for following my blog. Now I will have to post some horse pics.

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m with you on Arabians … very beautiful. … I look forward to seeing your horse pics. … I hope your dream of horse ownership comes true. It was the best thing that ever happened to me on so many levels … Be well and thanks for following … Dorothy πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for the response on my post! Some of my best mentors are horse people and I’m starting to sense a connection. So glad you are keeping your passion alive.

    • One of the keys to working well with horses is self-awareness. Horses always know whether or not you’re being authentic. When we follow our hearts; when we are in the moment we are authentic. My horse has taught me this.

  4. I started riding when I was three or four, but you portray the feeling exactly: being hooked. I do a lot of competitive riding, and of course I do it because I want to win, but a part of me always just wants to ride. If that’s your horse up there, he/she is one big gorgeous! What breed?



    • Shakespeare is a 12-year-old German-bred Hanoverian gelding by Shakespeare in Love. He’s my pride and joy. He’d make a wonderful competitive horse in dressage and that’s what he was bred and trained for, but so far he’s my therapy horse. I think he’s happy. I know I am. πŸ˜‰ … Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Have fun with the ponies … Be well, Dorothy πŸ™‚

      • I don’t think it matters how many followers you have. πŸ™‚ That’s awesome though! I think it matters that people like your blog. πŸ™‚

  5. I absolutely love horses, I always wanted one but never got one — my dream is to win the lottery or come into money somehow, enough to open up a sanctuary for rescued horses and ponies.

    • A worthy dream. There are so many horses needing rescue right now. The economy has made it difficult for many horse owners to keep them, and many of these lovely animals are ending up at slaughterhouses or are abandoned altogether. Really sad. … I hope you win that lottery and team up with a really good horse person who can help you run your sanctuary.;-) … Thanks for stopping by. Nurture what you love … Dorothy πŸ™‚

  6. Awesome, another horse person! πŸ˜€ I used to have an ex-racer by the name of Good Night Moon, but he passed a couple years back. Your Shakespeare is a gorgeous boy! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! He thinks so. Relies on his looks to get me to be easy on him. Would love to spend the rest of his working life as a pasture ornament. Stuck it to me today by rolling in the mud in his brand new blanket. 😦 Gave me the doe-eyed “you love me” look all through grooming which, of course, I do. He knows he’s got me wound around his steel-shod hoof. [sigh]. … Horses are special. I’m glad you had the chance to experience their peculiar magic. πŸ™‚ There’s nothing quite like it. … Thanks for stopping by. Nurture what you love … Dorothy πŸ™‚

  7. I, too, read “The Black Stallion” books over and over and over again. I loved horses. I wanted to BE a horse. Now? I take pictures of them. Along with lots and lots of mules and cowboys. Love your blog! It’s refreshing and lovely.

  8. Great introduction Dorothy πŸ™‚

    I’ve only ridden a couple of times. I was fortunate enough to take a holiday vacation right near some stables and we got to go riding every day for 2 weeks πŸ™‚ I think I was about 12. I thought about how much I enjoyed it for years afterward, though never had the opportunity during that time.. πŸ™‚

    Lovely story about how you have remained focused and eventually fulfilled the dream you had when you were a little girl πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


  9. Hi Dorothy! Thanks for visiting Equinoxio. Reading your story made me remember my first mare, a black pony named Honeysuckle, with a mouth so soft, one had to use a rubber-coated bit! πŸ™‚
    Have a nice week-end!

  10. Hi Dorothy, what a beautiful blog you have. I love horses and although I haven’t had much to do with them, I think they are the most beautiful animals on this earth. I look forward to seeing more of your blog πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. … Horses are special for so many reasons and I am delighted that you will stop by every now and then to get your fill of their mystery. Be well and nurture what you love … Dorothy πŸ™‚

  11. This blog brings good memories. I started riding at age 6 and in England while my parents took a vacation, up to the age 14. Then sadly stopped. They even had me prepping up other horses for older riders for they little amateur competition. You know having a horse is quite expensive so I remember after school and in the summer vacation all day in the stables, cleaning them, cleaning the horses assigned to me, and riding specially two horse. One eventually became mine, cross country jump was what I liked most, and did competition in…..England also. But here in Spain it was jump and “doma”-donΒ΄t know the translation of this one, you know when you were that black tall hat and you make the horse lift a leg, or go trotting in a certain way…that kin of thing. It did help me a lot to then manage the horses for jumping.

    The most gratifying, was taking a horse, still remember his name Kirklan, taking him from an untrained and see the progression over the months between me and him, how he became a pretty good trained horse for both categories jumping and the other one. Still remember that I had a trainer, since it seemed they saw me as quite a good prospect for the future, and then it stopped at age 14. Good memories though and great post.

    • Thank you. Perhaps you will have another opportunity to be with the horses some time. Sounds like you have a true affinity for them and they for you. Time spent in the presence of a horse is never wasted. πŸ˜‰ … Be well, Dorothy

  12. I count myself lucky to have had horses in my ‘tween’ years so I understand the passion for them in others. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I hope your summer is filled with glorious opportunities to enjoy riding.

  13. Hi Dorothy, thank you for visiting and following The Boring Lens, congratulations for you blogs, looking forward to new posts and beautiful photos, all the best, ciao!

    • Thanks for visiting my blog and intrducing me to yours. One of the things I love about blogging is meeting like-souls along the journey of life. We have so much to learn from one another. There’s strength in numbers. … Welcome to the herd. πŸ™‚

      • Thank you ❀ That is definitely one of the things I enjoy most about blogging as well, the bringing together of likeminded souls. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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