Have you ever wondered where your so-called “Horsiness” comes from?

Well, I am here to tell you that most times it is from our mothers.  I have witnessed this with many of my acquaintances in the horse world and through my own experience.  Our mothers may not be involved with horses, but if you give them the opportunity, they would excel in it.

Leona M. Hanna

My beautiful mother who encouraged my love of the Horse

In my own experience, my Mother has supported my horse bug since I was a toddler.  I loved all of the old western stars like Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger.  Then, as destiny stepped in with our move just three blocks from Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California in the early 60’s, my hearing the starting bells and the roar of the crowd as the horses raced down the track beckoned me to ask my sister to take me to that spectacle.

My mother supported me as I followed my passion when I would ride my bike down the Honeyrun Road to the Butte Creek Canyon below Paradise, California, and spend the weekend working for the privilege of riding horses at my sister’s friend’s little Rancho.  My mother would drive down that winding road to come and pick me up.  I would recount my wonderful experiences as we drove back up to our home in Paradise, California. Through her contacts she arranged for me to work for Beth Young, an English trained Equestrian on the outskirts of town, driving me down until I could buy a suitable bike and make the journey myself.  When I mentioned to her that I would be driving down to Long Beach and then over to fly over to Catalina Island to visit my friend in Avalon, California, she acquiesced and I drove down and ended up working on El Rancho Escondido in the interior of Catalina Island.

My next three summers were consumed with the adventure of working with my passion that had resulted from my exposure to an Arabian Gelding on Ms. Young’s ranch. My mother would watch me fly off after school was out and she would drive down to pick me up. She moved us down to Chico to live near my horses that were boarded next to Bidwell Park.  The next five years as I would follow my passion around the country at various Arabian horse ranches, she would always encourage me.  Then when I had a chance to build my long-desired horse ranch, she moved in with me as I started my business in Beaverton, Oregon until I could get settled.  We found a little property in Aloha, Oregon that we both purchased together and I started to build my dream ranch from scratch. Her support with that endeavor from her apartment in Beaverton was constant.  When I had an opportunity to purchase my stallion Shahwan from Germany, she traveled with me to visit his breeders. To this day, she has maintained that steadfast moral support as I experienced my ups and eventual downtimes.

What is the moral of this story?  My mother demonstrated the innate ability to handle a horse.  She was not trained or had experience with them, but when I would witness the way she would naturally handle and talk to them, I knew she was born with that in her genes. She, for sure has passed on that innate ability to handle a horse to me.  We often joke about how we wear our genes tightly.  To this day, she at the age of 93, enthusiastically supports my endeavors with my “horsiness”.

Many of you probably share a similar experience with your precious mothers who resoundingly and enthusiastically supported you as you followed your passion for God’s creation, the Horse.

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