Forever My Baby
With this post comes a great deal of sadness as I write out these words. I realize all of this may come as a surprise to many since not very many people knew I had a horse. Or that I had him for 15 wonderful years (half my lifetime)…
Zcinny, my 21-year-old pure chestnut Arabian gelding went to a new home this month. It was such a difficult decision to make, but one I knew may one day come. I wanted him to get the attention and love he deserves. With working full-time, traveling often, and trying to stay on top of a growing business, I did not have the time and sometimes energy to continuously give him. As you can imagine, it is also quite expensive to keep a horse in Los Angeles. Being a freelancer has taught me that it pays to be mindful of finances.
15 years of amazing memories with this guy cannot be put into words, but I’ll try. From the moment I first saw him galloping through the pasture in Minnesota with his bright chestnut coat. To riding him for the first time and him being so stubborn I vowed never again. But after a few more rides I kissed him on the nose, something I rarely did to any animal, and knew there was some special connection there.
I asked for a horse instead of a car. I promised I’d ride him to school if I could. I remember sitting in the office as my dad wrote a check. The best gift a 15-year-old girl could ask for. Every day after school I was out at that barn, even when the temperatures would reach below freezing. I would walk out to the pasture to get him and he would look like a big furball with icicles hanging off his whiskers. (Don’t worry, he was perfectly warm with all that fur and a big winter blanket.)
We would go on 9-mile trail rides without a saddle because I couldn’t find one to fit his petite Arab frame. The adrenaline was intense when we jumped over those picnic tables or any other solid object we could find. He was also so patient with me as I learned what it meant to be a good equestrian.
We got kicked out of our first show because I couldn’t control him. He wouldn’t stand still at the halt and when the judge called for a “canter” he took off in a gallop. Three years later we went back to that same show with that same judge to win the blue ribbon.
One minute that horse would see “something in the bushes” and take off bucking. The next day he’d have an 8-year-old on this back learning to trot for the first time. You’d never guess the spunk this horse has until he feels like it. God forbid it’s a windy day and he hasn’t been ridden in a while!
I could go on and on with a million memories of my sweet baby boy. But I wanted to give you all a glimpse into my a part of my private world and what it’s like to be a horsey mama. I encourage each you to let your kids learn to ride horses. It is one of the most exhilarating experiences being on top of such a powerful, yet gentle animal. They teach you so much about yourself and take you out of your comfort zone time and time again.
Thank you for all the memories, Zcinnamon Beau. I’ll forever be your mama and will always bring you carrots when I come to visit. (If I forget, grandma never does.)
Maybe one day you’ll be mine again and my kids can ride you. Thank you for always being my support animal on my good days and my bad, putting up with me learning how to ride, testing my limits of fear, heights, and speed. You’re a special horse. Always have been and always will be.
Photos by Azusa Takano
*Zcinny is wearing a bit less bridle with a browband decorated by yours truly.
My Look: Dress via Shopbop and Booties by Vince Camuto (last season)
Here is another post with Zcinny from 4 years ago.