Leading the Way

Leading the Way by Marsha Hubler

Book: Leading the Way by Marsha Hubler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marsha Hubler
mountain trails and forest paths.
    Occasionally, during the summer, my mother took me to a riding academy where I rode a horse for one hour at a time. I always rubbed my hands (and hard!) on my mount before we left the ranch. For the rest of the day Itried not to wash my hands so I could smell the horse and remember the great time I had. Of course, I never could sit at the dinner table without Mother first sending me to the faucet to get rid of that “awful stench.”
    To get my own horse, I had to wait until I grew up, married, and bought a home in the country with enough land for a barn and a pasture. Moon Doggie, my very first horse, was a handsome brown and white pinto Welsh Mountain Pony. Many other equines came to live at our place where, in later years, my husband and I also opened our hearts to foster kids who needed a caring home. Most of the kids loved the horses as much as I did.
    Although owning horses and rearing foster kids are now in my past, I fondly remember my favorite steed, who has long since passed from the scene. Rex, part Quarter Horse and part Tennessee Walker, was a 14 1/2 hands-high bay. Rex was the kind of horse every kid dreams about. With a smooth walking gait, he gave me a thrilling ride every time I climbed into the saddle. Yet, he was so gentle, a young child could sit confidently on his back. Rex loved sugar cubes and nuzzled my pockets to find them. When cleaning his hooves, all I had to do was touch the target leg, and he lifted his hoof into my waiting hands. Rex was my special horse, and although he died at the ripe old age of twenty-five many years ago, I still miss him.

    If you have a horse now or just dream about the day when you will, I beg you to do all you can to learn how to treat with tender love and respect one of God’s most beautiful creatures. Horses make wonderful pets, butthey require much more attention than a dog or a cat. For their loyal devotion to you, they only ask that you love them in return with the proper food, a clean barn, and the best of care.
    Although Katie’s story that you just read is fiction, the following pages contain horse facts that any horse lover will enjoy. It is my desire that these pages will help you to either care for your own horse better now or prepare you for that moment when you’ll be able to throw your arms around that one special horse of your dreams that you can call your very own.
    Happy riding!
    Marsha Hubler

Are You Ready to Own Your First Horse?
    T he most exciting moment in any horse lover’s life is to look into the eyes of a horse she can call her very own. No matter how old you are when you buy your first horse, it’s hard to match the thrill of climbing onto his back and taking that first ride on a woodsy trail or dusty road that winds through open fields. A well-trained mount will give you a special friendship and years of pleasure as you learn to work with him and become a confident equestrian team.
    But owning a horse involves much more than hopping on his back, racing him into a lather of sweat, and putting him back in his stall until you’re ready to ride him again.
    If you have your own horse now, you’ve already realized that caring for a horse takes a great amount of time and money. Besides feeding him twice a day, you must also groom him, clean his stall, “pick” his hooves, and have a farrier (a horseshoe maker and applier) and veterinarian make regular visits.
    If you don’t own a horse and you are begging your parents to buy one, please realize that you can’t keep thehorse in your garage and just feed him grass cuttings left over from a mowed lawn. It is a sad fact that too many neglected horses have ended up in rescue shelters after well-meaning families did not know how to properly care for their steeds.
    If you feel that you are ready to have your own horse, please take time to answer the following questions. If you say yes to all of them, then you are well on your way to being the proud owner of

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