Bookmark and Share

Dreams Do Come True—Sort Of

By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm Contributor

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spanish Mustang horse

Photo by Audrey Pavia

Rio, my Spanish Mustang, has been my dream come true.

As a lifelong horse lover, I’ve always had the dream of raising my own baby horse. Well, at least since I was 9 years old.

My fantasies were elaborate. I’d have a ranch up in the mountains, surrounded by pine trees. My horses — all spotted Appaloosas — would live in a big paddock shaded by the trees. I wanted Appaloosas because they were the horses of the Native Americans, the mounts of the brave Nez Perce of Idaho, a breed with color and history.

My ranch would look like something you’d see on a postcard. In the fall, the aspen leaves would turn golden-yellow. In the winter, the scene would be blanketed with snow. Come spring, wild flowers would spring up in just the right places. Come summer, the sweet smell of pine bark would fill the air.

I’d breed one of my spotted mares, and she’d give birth to a beautiful foal in early spring. The foal would have spots, too. In fact, he’d be black as obsidian, with a white blanket on his rump, covered with huge black sunspots.

In my dream, I’d raise this baby horse, teaching him how to lead, eventually showing him how to respond to voice commands, and finally breaking him to ride. We’d spend hours trail riding, roaming through the mountains, crossing rushing creeks and stopping to gaze at alpine lakes and the eagles that soar over them.

While it was a wonderful fantasy, that’s not exactly how things turned out. Instead of a spread up in the mountains, I have a half-acre ranchette in a far-reaching suburb of Los Angeles. There are no pine trees, no snowy winters and no alpine lakes. But one aspect of the dream did come true—I am raising my own spotted horse.

While Rio wasn’t bred by me or even born in the state where I live, let alone on my own property (I had him shipped here from a breeder in Texas), he’s beautiful and does have a slew of spots. He’s not an Appaloosa, but he’s something better: a Spanish Mustang, the true horse of the Indians and the source of the Appaloosa’s color. 

The fantasy also differs from reality in the training aspect. Rio was almost 2 years old when I got him, so he was already halter broke and knew how to lead. My friend and trainer Lisa took over his education as soon as he got here, teaching him how to pony (be led by a rider on another horse), how to obey voice commands, and eventually, how to wear a saddle and bridle.

A couple of weeks ago, Lisa began riding Rio. She started him out in a 50-foot round pen and graduated him to carrying her through the barn aisles of a friend’s boarding stable down the street. 

The other day, Lisa texted me that she rode Rio on the trail from the stable back to my house — a whopping two blocks. I missed this monumental moment because I was at work when it happened, but I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement when I got her message.

Rio turned 3 years old in January. Even though his first trail ride wasn’t on a mountain trail with pine trees, bubbling creeks and soaring eagles, it’s still good enough for me. The way I look at it, my fantasy just needed a little readjusting.

Read more of City Stock »

Give us your opinion on Dreams Do Come True—Sort Of.
Submit Comment »
Dreams do have a way of changing along the road of life. In my youth years I wanted nothing more than to be a farmer and follow in the footsteps of my family. My father being the wise man that he was had long since given up on farming and became a well respected truck mechanic but I continued with my dream of someday being a farmer. Dad continued to make sure that I had the full experience of farming by keeping at least 80 to 120 acres to farm. It was not enough to live but Dad continued to teach me what farming would be like up through high school. We even had a small herd of milk cows that provided that aspect of the dream. By the time I reached college age, I had discovered that farming was a lot of continuous work with little return. I think my Dad's plan worked as I decided to study electronics which landed me a great job for 40 years of my career. What about farming? Well, after retirement I started gardening with high tech methods and automation that takes over while I'm away or at home. Dreams some times turn out different than they start out but still it can be quite satisfying.

Have a great dream day.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 5/11/2011 2:59:55 PM

About the Blogger

Audrey Pavia

Audrey Pavia
Keeping farm animals in the city can be a real hoot. Follow freelance writer Audrey Pavia's adventures in Southern California with a yard full of urban livestock, including horses, chickens, a Corgi and an urban barn cat. She somehow manages all these silly critters while working full-time, with no one to help her but her husband, Randy, a born-and-raised New Yorker. And you thought "The Simple Life" was out there?

Related Articles


Top Products
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Would you like to receive Farmer in the City Newsletters?X Close Window
Please provide us with your email address in order to access this valuable sustainable-living content.
Fields marked with an asterisk * are required.
* Are you at least 13 years old?
* First Name:
* Last Name:
* Email:
* City:
* State/Province:
* Enter the code shown:

  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com.
In order to opt-out of our newsletters, you can click on the "unsubscribe" link in the bottom of the newsletter.
  Yes, I would like to get valuable information from UrbanFarmOnline.com partners.