Even when I was a teenager, honestly, but by then, I wanted to ride a horse. The sad fact was that when you lived in the inner western suburbs of Sydney, the only girls who owned horses or even went to horse riding lessons also went to Sydney Girls College. A school that was way out of my family’s paygrade.
I was obsessed with My Little Ponies from a young age. I wanted a magical best friend who could take me to far-off lands and talk to me like we were two 12-year-olds on too much Coke on a sleepover.
But I never got a pony or horse riding lessons. Just more My Little Ponies to fill the small equine-shaped gap in my heart.
In 2017, at age 26, I moved to Mount Gambier. A large country town almost halfway between two major Australian cities — Adelaide and Melbourne. I’d lived all around country South Australia, but I was actually from Sydney originally. So I was a long way from home.
After some time in Mount Gambier, I came to know a colleague whose greatest passion was her horse—and riding them. And competitions. She would show me photos all the time.
Other colleagues would buy ponies for their daughters and grumble about how uninterested their daughters were after a short period of time.
I felt I had come to some backwards world — I had really. Having a horse was affordable on a lower-middle-class budget. This was mind-blowing.
And then, one day, in the middle of a work shift, heading out through the paddocks and fields where so many horses were kept, I had a realization.
“I’m an adult… I can afford horse riding lessons… I can have my pony after all.”
And that was the end of that. Or the start. I found someone to give me lessons, and I started learning to ride.
It was so cathartic to be able to finally live out those little girl dreams and on my terms.
Ironically, it wasn’t my little pony that took me far away so we could be together. I went far away, and when I got there, I found a way that we could have that dream.
This piece was written from the prompt by Ellie Jacobson on Medium.
Write about a gift you dreamed of receiving as a child, but never did. Why did you want it so badly? Describe it. When you were an adult, did you buy it for yourself or your own children?
Thank you for the excellent prompt, Ellie!
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