Not Just a Fence

not-just-a-fence

Some people see this wire fence just as it is.  Old, rusty, and in some parts stretched and mended.  Some people may even judge it and see it as unsightly, unsafe, and question why we chose to put it up.

But it doesn’t matter what anyone else sees, because I see it as years of memories and a symbol of how I got where I am today.  (And my husband is just happy because he sees it for what it cost us….nothing).

In all my years of having horses (almost 30 years now…!!), this old fence is the only thing I have known.  My first pony, my second pony, my third pony….you get the idea……and every horse after has lived inside this fence.  When I look at this fence, or go out to mend a section where the metal has snapped, I think about all the years of riding horses with my sister and my parents back home.  All the good rides, bad rides, and hard work it took to make it all possible.

And while by now it’s pretty obvious this fence was not new when my husband and I put it up, what you should also know is that this fence was not new when my parents put it up 30 years ago.

This fence is OLD!

I’m not really sure how old, but we’ll just start with where my parents got it from.  Sometime in the late 80s, in Holland, Ohio–where my parents are both from– this very fence stood along the highway near what is now a shopping area.  As the population grew, the city was required to replace it with chain link fence.  My dad, the handy and resourceful man he is, stopped and asked what was going to happen with all of that old fencing and posts?  Apparently the discarded fencing was destined for a second life on my parents’ property, because they were given the go ahead to take it.

So now at this point my parents have all the fencing they need for about half of their five acre property. My parents had horses growing up, but took a short break when they got married and had two little redheads running around.  A couple years in, though, and that fence became home to the first of many ponies and horses that would run its boundaries for years to come.

I can’t remember the fence ever being shiny and rust-free, but what I do remember is every single pony, and {almost} every horse, that knew it as “home.”  Candy, Peanut, Ringo, Star, Rally, Bay, Woody, Rocket, Sis, MareBare, another Star, Norman, Riata, Abby.  I think my mom’s childhood horse, Dynamite, even called it home for a bit.  (And then add to the list the horses my parents had when I was a real little munchkin that I don’t remember.)  Some of these names bring back wonderful memories, and others are more along the lines of What were we thinking??

I remember the barrel pattern set up in the big back pasture with tires set around each barrel to help my sister and I practice correctly.  I remember the “side pasture,” as we called it that was shaped into a long and skinny rectangle.  Perfect for practicing poles!

I remember trying to squeeze in between the fence and the tree line with the golf cart and four wheeler….and not always clearing both sides….

I remember watching the fence get closer and closer as the horse we were trying to break was running right towards it, and thinking about how much I did NOT want to get caught in it.  And bailing off the horse and dislocating my shoulder.

I remember riding my mare in the back pasture while her little colt ran circles around us and then ran the fence line as fast as possible.  That mare still calls the same fence home, but at my farm now.

I see years of hard work and a glimpse of my childhood home every time I watch my horses happily eat grass.  I see my dad loading rolls of fence on his trailer all those years ago to take to my parents’ new home when they were just starting out.  I see my mom and dad stretching it and driving in posts to make their dreams possible.  And then I think about all those years later, and my parents pulling those posts out and rolling all their hard work back up to yet again load onto a trailer.  All so their little girl can make her dreams possible.

So it’s not just a fence.  It’s a story of a family.

{A story that may or may not have made me tear up as I wrote this}

 

 

 

 

 

 

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