Before there was Ax, there was a pony. Well, an Angel, really. This is the first part of my fairytale.
Cue the flashback to 2005.
I had been riding for a few years at a lesson barn when a client of my mom told her about a six-year-old, bay Morgan mare she had for sale. I don’t remember everything about trying her out except that I fell off during an attempt to pick up a canter. Yes, I fell off my first pony before she was even mine.
Despite the fall, I was convinced she would be my pony and apparently my mom agreed. A few weeks later, Smithfields’ Irish Angel was on her way to the barn I took lessons at for a one month lease. I didn’t need that whole month to fall in love. By the time those 30 days were over, Angel was mine.
Well, she was technically my mom’s since there was a lot of training to do with her before she was really mine. Fast forward a few years and she was finally sane enough for my horse-crazy teenager antics—or maybe she wasn’t, but she had no choice. Once I began riding Angel more often, my mom found a horse of her own, Blue. Then I could finally consider her to be mine.
As far as showing goes, I skipped the walk-trot years and jumped right into the thick of it. Literally, jumped—my first show consisted of Angel spooking at just about everything in the ring. A few years later, she was a pro. Between 4-H, high school equestrian teams, open, and breed shows, Angel and I were a tough team to beat. In our six years of showing together, she carried me to multiple ribbons, trophies, and titles.
Out of the show ring, she really was my angel. She was my best friend and my annoying little sister all at the same time, and I loved her for it. She took my flying through the fields when I needed to run away and was my mane to cry into when I needed to let go. I spent most of my middle and high school years going to the barn at the end of the day.
Going to college was tough because it meant leaving Angel at home. I was growing too tall to show her anymore without looking like a giant, and I couldn’t afford to board her at school. My last show with her was at The Big E during my sophomore year. She was an angel, per usual, and proved to me that she deserved her show retirement.
Now, I still hop on every now and then whenever I go home and it brings me back to when I was little, running away in the fields. Even though my mom rides her more than I do now, she will forever be my pony.