Child like wonder is available at any age.

Three photos from over the years, all showing the same thing: child-like wonder.

Stacy rearing Misty- Stacy 11, Misty 21

In the photo with my pony, I’m 11 years old and she was 21.
🎄The Christmas present I wanted so desperately, and was the most unsure I would receive, was that English saddle. I had seen two horse events on TV, the Kentucky Derby and the Olympics. I needed that saddle.

When I pause, and think back to sitting on the floor with my brother, sizing up the presents under the tree, it doesn’t take long, and I find myself transported back to that moment. Hope, dreams, anticipation…nervousness…
🎁I remember the swell of hope when I saw the box…
I can remember the wide-eyed wonder, and the smell of new leather when I opened it.
The photo was taken shortly afterward by a photographer who was driving through our town and saw us out riding in a snowy field.
I think the grin on my face is the same one I had when I opened the box.


When you look at the next photo, you probably see two minis, dressed up like reindeer. When I look at the photo, I can feel the fridge cold. I remember how much I enjoyed teaching them to drive, and I remember how much I laughed when teaching them to drive as a team.

😢But if I think a minute longer, tears begin to well up in my eyes because I also remember why I got them.

My seven-year-old stallion, Vaquero, died the year before, and I struggled to go to the barn. To see the empty stall. To feel any joy when I was in the barn.

A few months later, my son decided he wanted to train a mini. As I helped him search, I came across these two…and found myself laughing for the first time in a long time. I brought them home, and although I ‘trained’ them, the truth is they rescued me. Their antics made me laugh and rekindled my child – like wonder.✨


The final photo is a single experience.
❄️Snow, a sleigh, a kind pony, and the offer to go for a drive.
A moment in time.

✨Child like wonder is available at any age.
Sometimes it comes with great anticipation, sometimes it is tinged with sadness, and other times it is but a brief moment.

I shared three of my stories, and I’d love to hear your moments of child like wonder (at any age) and photos too, if you have them.

You can share them here in the comments, or over on Facebook under this same post.

2 Comments

  1. Ky on December 22, 2023 at 8:10 pm

    I remember many moments of wonder with my national show horse mare; One of the greatest ones was watching how she interacted with people, especially first riders or little children. I have never seen a horse be so gentle. She would very carefully connect to and follow the tiniest human; i distinctly remember my 3 yr old cousin leading her, with nothing, in the roundpen.
    She gave first rides to multiple people, and yet when someone got on her that she knew was confident, had the judgement to give them a more ‘challenging’ ride.
    As a pinto, she was breath-takingly beautiful. I never tired of watching her run and play, or lost the wonder of it when she nickered at me.
    My mare passed away in June.
    I thank God that He chose me to be the girl who had the privilege of knowing and caring for her for the last 4 1/2 yrs of her life.
    I will never lose the wonder of the feeling of her nuzzling my cheek, resting her chin on my shoulder, or nudging her head into me for a hug.
    I will forever treasure the last couple days I was able to spend with her, and will be ever grateful I could be with her when she died.
    I will never forget you, sweetheart. Thank you for teaching me nearly all I know, and being my best friend.
    I love you.

    • Stacy Westfall on December 23, 2023 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for sharing.
      She sounds like an amazing horse.
      Growing up, my pony Misty was similar. My mom called it ‘testing’ us, and she only did it when you got beyond really new…just like you described!

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