This is a question that has been circulating among some of the blogs I read. So, I've been thinking about that question over the past few days.
1. When I was a little girl, I collected Breyer horses. I sat on the floor of my bedroom, with my legs tucked under me, and built pastures for them out of my brother's Lincoln Logs. I'm still collecting horses and Brett's fixing the fences.
2. I devoured books when I was younger. I read every horse novel in the Glendora Public Library. I can still see the aisle with shelves of books high above my head. I particularly loved the Golden Boy series by Montgomery. I read, and I dreamed of living on a horse ranch. The ranch in my mind looked an awful lot like something from an old Western movie, with the women in gingham dresses and pies cooling in the window. I think the movie Oklahoma! figured into that picture too. I don't exactly have that ranch; but its close enough for me.
3. If I couldn't have a horse (and when I was a kid, I was sure I wouldn't ever have one), then I wanted a dog. A big dog. I didn't want a lap dog, a purse dog, a yapping couch dog. I wanted a big dog to take on hikes in the mountains. It took me awhile, but I finally got my dogs.
4. Of course, the road to now, and fulfilled dreams, was not direct. It involved marrying the wrong person first (no horses, no dogs, discussion closed). The first thing I did after my divorce was sign up for riding lessons at a barn close to work. I regretted tossing all the horse supplies I had accumulated in my youth for "someday when I have a horse." I got rid of them when I married the father of my children. The one who didn't want a dog, and said me wanting a horse was a selfish and inappropriate thing. Why did I marry him??? Million dollar question (maybe so I could have two beautiful children that I wouldn't trade for the world).
5. Dressage wasn't a dream of mine. Not exactly. I didn't know what dressage was. As far as I knew, there were only two horseback riding disciplines: trail riding and jumping. When I was eleven, I spent my afternoons after school up the street at a boarding stable. The owner of the stable let me ride a Shetland pony he had for his grandchildren. I wasn't allowed to use the saddle so I rode Petey bareback in the arena. My favorite thing was to put Petey in a canter, let go of the reins, and sing "I'm a Little Teapot" while doing the hand motions. I can still remember how that felt; the balance, the swing and the joy. I've always preferred arena work to trail riding -- although I did a lot of trail riding in high school and college (on horses belonging to other people).
6. Lastly, I hoped to find romance, true love and a soulmate. I've got all those things in Brett.
Did I fulfill my hopes and dreams? You bet.