The Outside of a Horse

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Most people are surprised to hear that I head from the suburbs to the city to ride a horse.. Just off a busy city avenue in Buffalo, tucked among white stucco apartment buildings sits The Buffalo Equestrian Center, a turn of the century polo arena which has become a lesson barn. Faded black and white photos of riders with their horses decorate the wood paneled entry which leads to a lounge with fireplaces flanking both sides—tired yet timeless.

Truthfully, I spend little time in the lounge except to warm up on a cold day. I move quickly to the barn. The original stone floor is hard and cold, but it is strong beneath the horses hooves. Hay spills from the eleven stalls on each side of the dark long aisle. Thirteen bays, three grays, three chestnuts, one black and one palomino pony that bites—these are the tenants of the pine stalls. Besides the deep grooves in the stall doors where horses have gnawed, I believe little of the environment has changed since 1922. The earthy smell of horses, hay and peppermint treats still drifts through the barn; a calico barn cat still naps in the corner; a sparrow flits back and forth between the rafters. Except for the distant beep of a car horn, the city is forgotten.

At the barn I work, I...

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