I grew up having a very blessed & fun filled childhood. Born in Sydney, I am the eldest of four and was probably a brat of a kid. I was known among our lot as a hypochondriac; always complaining of feeling sick. Of course reader, I could tell you some interesting if somewhat embarrassing stories, but I won’t.. Oh, alright, I will.
Apparently when I was quite young; under three? Anyway pre school -I was complaining of feeling sick and wanted a bandaid. Insisted on a bandaid. So mum, caring parent that she is, put a bandaid over my mouth. Apparently everyone was pleased with the outcome. Namely silence.
As it turned out, I am coeliac & lactose intolerant so I probably was actually feeling sick.
When I was 9 we moved from Sydney to a small acreage in the beautiful Hunter Valley on the edge of the vineyards. Apart from band aids, I’ve had a fascination with horses since I was around 3. So when we moved, I was desperate to have a horse of my own. As my parents couldn’t afford one I took matters into my own hands and stole one.
Our neighbours lived in Northern Sydney and had a few acres with a small herd of Hereford cattle & two horses. They visited their property every few weekends, so I figured they’d not mind if I accessed their sturdy steeds. Ned & Pinocchio.
Of course I’d ridden a horse precisely once on my own before; when my darling grandparents took me to a riding school outside Campbeltown NSW. They patiently waited in the car for a few hours while I went on a morning trail ride. I was a goner; totally smitten and determined to have a horse of my own.The reality was that I had no idea, but in my head I was an equestrian of some great talent, not to mention fearless. Make that reckless, ok, stupid.
Anyway back to my horse stealing. With straps taken from my roller skates and dog leads in hand I chased and lured with carrots and finally wore down old Ned. I used my bits & bobs to fashion a bridle and climbed on board. Let me tell you a little about Ned; has was in his 20’s with a sunken back and a wither as high as the tree stump I’d needed to get on him; he was about 16hh and had a mouth of steel. In non horse-speak, he was tall, skinny, boney and old; he was incredibly hard to steer and once moving, harder to stop. The homemade, by a 9year old, bridle, probably didn’t help much. With his head held high and much rolling of eyes he allowed me to gee him up and off we went in a clunky trot.
Of course I fell off!
So I then had a sore bottom and a cranky old horse. not to mention that my fab bridle was being taken away at the gallop by poor abused old Ned.
Well I had to catch him, didn’t I? If I hadn’t, the hiding I’d have received for losing the dog leads would have been a bit much for my already sore bottom. It was almost dark and I had to chase two horses around the 100 plus acres to retrieve the bridle, though I must admit to using a bit of poetic licence in calling it a bridle, more like a medieval torture device.
I did eventually get him and the bridle. The poor old thing. Can you imagine being chased by a horrid little girl and tortured with home styled bondage paraphernalia, and then kicked and tugged around before being finally getting rid of her only to end up being chased around again? No?
I escaped a smack and decided next time I’d try Pinocchio as he was fatter and not so tall. I’ll tell you about that next week. Right now, I’m off to cringe at the memories.
Did you have an exiting childhood? Are you a country or a city kid? I’d love to know I’m not the only one who got up to mischief. Come on reader, don’t be shy, share you embarrassing tales, we can keep a secret.