I never wanted for anything as a child. (Or as an adult, but that's another story.) I willingly admit that I was spoiled rotten. How many little girls dream of having their own pony only to be disappointed? Not this little girl. It helped (tremendously) that my dad loved horses. When I was old enough to learn to ride, they gifted me with this wonderful little pony and kept him at a boarding stable near our home in Pleasanton. I lived the dream. This is Buckaroo and he truly was my first love. He was a very gentle and calm Shetland pony and it was from him that I learned to love and adore animals. He was really great and the perfect "beginner horse" for a child. I don't know where he came from but Dad made sure he was exactly what I needed to get started. He didn't come with a saddle because Dad insisted that I learn to ride bareback first. (Safer and a more intuitive teaching technique.)
Dad also made sure I knew how to care for him. I learned to groom, saddle, clean stalls, pick hooves and braid manes and tails. I had the best teacher. Dad was a professional (and a perfectionist) when it came to all of those chores. I remember very vividly wondering how those big, calloused hands could produce the perfect braid each and every time.
This photo is taken in the front lawn of our track home in Pleasanton. I think it was my birthday and as a special treat I was able to bring Buckaroo to the house. I remember asking if I could take him in the backyard and into the pool, but I that request was denied.