Dark Horses and Black Beauties
"I do not recall exactly when I met my fate in the look of a horse. Perhaps it was at the Fourth of July celebration we always attended at the home of friends of my parents: They had a horse farm. She was a noted authority on Morgans and , later, Thoroughbreds, and an author of many books about horses, and a woman I came to admire and fear as if they were the same thing when I first started taking lessons there. I was taught by one of her employees (always female) but was always looking for her so that I could watch out of the corner of my eye as she worked with horses or more advanced students. But in the beginning I just remember the annual summertime blast, with what seemed to me, and perhaps was, hundreds of guests, children running everywhere, galvanized water troughs filled with ice and soda and beer, and the Rubber City Retreads playing Dixieland. We would give the Shetland pony beer, and we would ride her; her name was Black Beauty. For a time I loved her."