I have just experienced the most magical summer since my childhood. It was the first summer I haven’t spent working since I was fourteen years old. We made a permanent move to Cle Elum, I retired from a fulfilling seventeen year dance teaching career, and of course, I adopted Inez. Whenever someone would ask, “How is your summer?” I would only reply, “I have a baby wild horse in my yard.” Enough said.
Being able to look out my window and see her, walk out and groom or scratch her favorite spots, work with her throughout the day and sleep next to her paddock at night has helped to create a magical bond between us. I have learned more about horse behavior and habits in this last seven weeks than in the rest of my life. People probably find it odd that I have slept in a hammock beside her all this time. Waking up to find her curled up next to the fence at my feet and being greeted with her low throaty knicker is enough reward to keep me there. Winter is coming and I am still pondering whether I can find a way to sleep out there in the rain, wind and snow. Thank goodness for a supportive husband.
When I closed my dance studio this spring, the generous families sent me off with a dream fund. Money to make my next dream a reality. That money paid for Inez’ paddock, adoption fee and basic first supplies. What a gift! This summer several of the families convened at my homestead for a reunion camp out. Several students and I met at Dragonwood Equine Facility where I board my gelding Endeavor for a trail ride. Some of the students had never ridden a horse and the others had varying levels of experience. Everyone had a great time.
After the ride, everyone headed to my place to set up tents and to meet Inez. I think of Inez as an embassador of the wild Yakima horses. Her job is to inspire, educate and share the story of the orphan foals. As my guests ask questions about how she became an orphan, where her parents are and how I came to adopt her, I share the heartbreaking story. Why? Because these children, they have the opportunity, the drive, the fire and passion to change the world.
So on a day we are expecting the first rain since her arrival, I feel the summer drawing to an end. In one week, I will go back to work as a teacher at the Discovery Lab. My time with Inez will bookend my school day. It makes me dream of finding a way to combine my passion for teaching children and my passion for horses. Maybe someday.