When I was seven and under my mother's feet while she was trying to clean the house, she handed me to my older sister, Doris, and told her to take me with her to the stables. Doris is the only one in our family that liked horses and went riding every week.
Doris and I biked to the stables and she had no idea what to do with me while she rode in her lesson. The barn owner told her to toss me up onto Cigree's back and I'd be fine. Cigree was an old, retired circus horse. Up I went and was given a brush and spent a very happy hour brushing down that old grey mare.
We went back every week and I petted all the horses, but would end up in Cigree's stall with a brush and a box to stand on, brushing her out. That mare was the best babysitter. Later, I was led around on her in the paddock. I was hooked.