I’m young, single digits and I’m playing with Stretch Armstrong with my uncle (who happens to be six months younger than me) on a grassy hill. My Mom and Grandpa are there, but I’m focused on stretching Stretch as far as he will go. My uncle has hold of his legs and I of his arms. I like playing with Stretch but I worry that I will stretch him too far.
My other memory of that first Trader’s Point horse show is (surprise surprise) from the back of a horse. Mom let me go on a pony ride, and as my squat, furry new best friend moseys around, attached to a miniature hot-walker, I can’t keep the grin off my face. As we round the curve, Mom comes into view. She catches my eye and asks “Are you sure you want to take horseback riding lessons?” I nod so vigorously I lose sight of her and murmur a hushed but frantic “yes”.