I grew up in rural Southern California with dogs, cats, chickens, goats, ducks, ponies and the occasional bunny rabbit as pets. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was a blue collar worker, who remained at the same job through my childhood until he retired. Back then I had no idea how lucky I was that I was surrounded by a loving family and plenty of outdoor activities to keep me busy. My mom raised goats for their milk, we always had plenty of homemade cheese, ice cream and of course fresh milk. We had fresh eggs from our chickens and my mom also grew some of the fresh vegetables we ate.
My best friend lived down the street, she and I both had ponies, together we rode all over hills of Dehesa and plucked wild cherry tomatoes right off the vines the grew along side the trails. We discovered the flesh of wild Yucca plant is quit yummy with some honey during our all day rides over summer breaks. Of course, I didn’t think my life was so grand…I wanted all the yummy soda and chips and other junk foods that kids at school had, at my house soda was not allowed, nor were chips. Snacks consisted of peanut butter and honey sandwiches or an apple, orange, banana or other kind of fruit or veggie. We could have juice, goats milk or water and that was that. We didn’t have a television, until I was almost ten years old…and, NO, I’m not that old…my mom felt we just didn’t need one, looking back on things…she was so right!
As a teen, I was lucky enough to have parents who understood my passion for horses and had the means to support it, I fell in love with the sport of three day eventing and have been competing from a young age. Both my parents grew up with horses and felt that the responsibility of a horse, helps to build character! When most teens were hanging out after school, or meeting boys…I was rushing home to ride. I remember whining about how I wanted a car, like my friends at school, my mom was quick to inform me that a car was far less expensive then a horse and if I would like a car rather then a horse she could oblige…I opted to keep my horse.
In short, I was a healthy, happy and well adjusted kid, with plenty of love and not a lot of frivolous things. As a young adult I had some bumps in the road, went a little wild with the new found freedom of being on your own for the first time, but in the end got it together and graduated from a four year university with a BA in communications and a minor in sociology. I never lost my LOVE for horses and, since my graduation and found a way to have a horse and to compete.
Today, my husband’s job has us living in a much more urban setting, I no longer live where I can keep my horse at home and it was difficult to find a home where our dogs had something that resembles a back yard. I have however found pleasure in learning and creating ways to live a healthy natural lifestyle even in the city.