Nevada and Nugget

This post by Jennifer Flaten

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For the blogging A-Z Challenge I have N

Living out in the country with the nearest friend over a half mile away I relied on my imagination quite a bit.

Since, I was a horse crazy kid and when I say horse crazy, I mean horse CRAZY. I spent a lot of time thinking about horses, playing horse or reading about horses.

I checked every ‘Caring for your Horse’ book the library had out and I had a collection of horse figurines–complete with miniature stable to house them–that would make any horse lover envious. One of my favorite books involved the story of a little girl who brings home a horse (much to her parents dismay), but they build it a little stable and she eventually wins a hunter/jumper competition with it. I so wanted to be that little girl.

My mother’s coworker actually had a horse, so he would give her his old American Quarter Horse magazines. She would arrive for a visit with a stack of magazines and I would proceed to spend hours, upon hours poring over the magazine.

All the horses were arranged in stately poses, and I would study their stats. I loved seeing their AQHA names, who wouldn’t want to own a horse named King Firefly’s Winter Obsession.

I spent more hours then I care to admit drawing horses. To this day, I can draw a damn fine horse (side view only)

One of my favorite things to do was to imagine my glorious stable full of beautiful horses. I think at one point I had over 100 horses in my stable, which was a stand of trees at the bottom of our driveway.

There was one particular tree was bent in the perfect position to be a stable door. I spent a huge amount of time in my “stables” tending to my horses and galloping around my yard exercising my horses. If I wasn’t doing that, I was managing my list of names and breeds. While I had 100, horses in my stable I only had about 25 actual horse names and breeds on my list (okay, so maybe my imagination wasn’t that vivid).

While I enjoyed playing imaginary horses, the thing I that sent me over the moon was visiting my friend Lisa. See, Lisa had a horse.


A gorgeous appaloosa named Nevada. I would go over to Lisa’s house to play, but if she wasn’t home I wouldn’t care, I would simply wander down to Nevada’s paddock and spend time gazing at all the magnificent horseflesh.

One day another horse took up residence in Nevada’s paddock. It was Nugget a young appaloosa colt that Lisa’s mom was going to break.

In an ironic twist, I never-ever rode either of those horses. Even though I was over the moon about horses, I never once asked to ride Nevada…nor did Lisa’s mom ever offer me an opportunity to ride the horses. I don’t think Lisa ever rode one of the horses.

Appaloosa’s remain one of my favorite horses, and if I am ever lucky enough to own a horse I am going to name him or her Nevada.

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8 thoughts on “Nevada and Nugget

  1. I did ride some, a neighbor had a horse. Read all the black stallion books and a few others. I think most young girls have a fascination with the magnificient animal we call a horse, with reason. They are the best. May you get your horse some day. Doris


  2. Sweet story. And quite an imagination. And sad that your friend’s mother never offered to let you ride one of the horses. Now I keep the number of details about the horses my characters ride in my fantasy genre novels because I really don’t know a lot about them. I was a city kid. When I needed to verify accuracy, I’d have a horse person on the Online Writers Workshop for SF, Fantasy and Horror tell me what I had right and wrong. I did quite a bit of rewriting.


  3. I had the same obsession when I was a kid. Although we lived in town I spent most of my time at the library reading all I could about horses. I loved the book by Zane Gray “Wildfire” and many other authors who had horses in their books. Of course I sent sly little hints to my parents often that I’d really like a horse. It fell on deaf ears. We moved to the country and I really begged for a horse. We had forty acres and plenty of room. All we got were some darned banty chickens! Probably good, because we only lived at the farm a couple of years before my dad got transferred again and back to living i town. Aha! But here’s where the story got really good. My best friend, the preacher’s daughter and her family lived in the country and had nine horses. Since I spent so much time at her house I learned to ride well. The family had a pinto gelding that became my “special” horse, and whenever we went riding he was mine. After I got married my close friend and her husband owned a riding stable about four miles from my house. Again, I had the opportunity to ride often and was even offered the opportunity to bring some of the horses to our place (a ten acre plot in the country) and house them for the summer. My husband said no and I was devastated. I got over it, I just continued to ride as much as I could. Oh, did I tell you my mother was a horsewoman? She won several awards at county fairs and the like. I still want a horse, but since we live in a small house in town (and after two back surgeries) it’s not an option. Sad thing is, my husband has the same passion for horses, and had I married him first I’d have had more than one since he was a farmer. Drat! Loved your post Jennifer. It brought back such fond memories for me.


  4. Your post reminds me of myself, my oldest daughter and my granddaughter. A girlfriend and I in highschool used to have sleep overs and spend our time reading or drawing pics of horses. I did have an old mare I rode that I loved but who wouldn’t leave the farmyard unless I led her away, then rode her back at a gallop which she was willing to do if she was headed toward the barn. Her only aim was to get back to her stall. I had other horses after married and could finally talk my husband into as we farmed or had an acreage, and got bucked off once too. Just missed a rock with my head by inches. But love those horses still.


  5. When I read your title I have to admit Horses didn’t come to mind. I think lots of little girls are fascinated with horses. They are big and strong, yet can be gentle as well. Thanks for sharing


  6. Loved your post, Jennifer! My dad had horses during my growing up years. I was afraid of them, their size, power, etc., but I would occasionally ride (er, walk) one. He was sad when he sold his last horse — my father really enjoyed living in the country and having horses, both as a kid himself and later as an adult. Next summer, he and mom will be taking a trip through Wyoming and Idaho for their 55th anniversary, and one of his desires is to go horseback riding at one of the locations at which they plan to stay — he’ll be about 80 years old then!


  7. I never had the opportunity to do more than have a few pony treks when I was growing up but my daughters were ‘horse mad’ for a few years. They had riding lessons till it became impossible to fit them in with all of their other studies and leisure pursuits. They weren’t Appaloosas but were Clydesdale/ Arab crosses so they were quite large horses. My favourite horses are the Gypsy Vanners.


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