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A Horse of My Own
Alison, Age 12, Atwater, CA

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you yearned for it for three years? To feel the joy as you receive it and to keep feeling that same joy every morning when you think about how you now own it?

I have wanted my own horse for over three years. I wanted my own horse to care for, to ride on long trail rides with my mom and her horse. It was something that meant a lot to me. When I was eight years old my parents decided to look for a horse for me, we looked at a mare named Nugget before we looked at the horse I have now, Jiggs. He is awesome; I cannot think of a better horse to fulfill my dream.

I remember that morning vividly. I was so excited that I finally grabbed a lawn chair and sat on the front lawn. Finally, my mom asked me if I wanted to ride my bike down to the end of the street and see if they were coming. No sooner had I gotten there then Vern and Jan, Jiggs’ former owners, came rumbling to a stop with the trailer and my horse behind them. They then drove past our street altogether! I rode back to our house to tell my mom. Once I had told her, I biked back to the end of the street only to be met by Vern and Jan coming down our street. I turned around and headed for home. As they got to our house, Vern unloaded Jiggs. He then gave us a page on Jiggs for future reference on things like feed, colic, bot flies, and any other stuff that we might encounter later on. We put Jiggs in the pasture and let him get accustomed to his new home. I spent my whole day sitting on the lawn chair or walking around the pasture with Jiggs while he grazed. I never left him.

After four years, I have learned a lot and continue to learn every day about Jiggs and horses in general. For instance I learned that a horse’s digestive tract is over 100 feet long. I also learned about his habits and behaviors of most horses. When not being ridden by me, he tends to test the adults who ride him by acting like he might buck or crow hop. He rides differently for other people than for me. I really enjoy Jiggs and love every minute I spend with him. He takes care of me in his own little way; he knows when I am not okay. One time I twisted my foot in the stirrup and he stopped while I got situated. Other than these first hand experiences, I continue to learn through 4-H and books. I will never stop learning and enjoy every minute I learn.

So now I have a 1100 LB. horse to feed, plus my mom’s. If I didn’t have Jiggs, I would still be riding horses that didn’t belong to me and then I wouldn’t have the opportunity to pen, sort, or show without Jiggs. Also I wouldn’t have the greatest friend ever.

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