It was 1996. "I had to come for your wedding! You are the only person from our third-grade class who grew up to do what you said you would do!" True or not, 39 years as a solo traveler were coming to an end. How did I get here? As a grad school student who took a summer job as a ranch lodge cook looking to ride horses in Wyoming in my down time. "You said you would marry a cowboy and you are!" Probably did say that. The first magazine I bought as a little kid at the Kentucky State Fair was a Western Horseman. The first horse I tried to train as a kid was Sony. The first horse I rode at riding school was a paint mare. The horse I got when I was thirteen was a beautiful sorrel gelding I named Star because Santa brought him for Christmas. Before it occurred to me to dream about boys, all I dreamt of were horses. The dream - to ride horses without fences. Australia? The American West? Where didn't matter. Horses and wide open spaces did.
Just shows the power of dreams that a kid in Kentucky, the thoroughbred capital of the world, can dream her way in a few decades to a new life filled with horses in Wyoming, USA.