Shelly and her Mare

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Shelly rode a beige mare, maybe a Palomino, but I forgot which breed, regardless she was a smart horse. Shelly and her horse lived in Burbank and came to visit. A horse trailer brought the mare over to stay with Sony in his corral.  That mare taught Sony how to get out of his corral. There were two wood posts that slid into two metal u supports , which secured the entrance to Sony’s corral. Shelly’s mare pushed under the two posts with her nose and sent the two horses free one summer day. After that, I had to secure the entrance with a nylon rope. Otherwise, Sony was found roaming the hillside on his own. He even charged up Canoga Ave once. He found his way home again. One thing I could always count on was; hay and oats were always on a horse’s mind.  Lucky for us the hills were open and wild, and not as many cars traveled the roads back then. We lived in the outback.

She was Sicilian, smart and manipulative and came from a broken home. Shelly was not a fool. Ruff and Shelly had a lot in common. They read a lot of books together and kept up with the news. Shelly told me once,

“If you read the back pages of any newspaper, Holly, you can find homicides, strange stories and unusual articles in any paper!”

Ruff, Shelly and I rode miles together. We knew all the trails that lead to Mulholland Hwy. Sometimes we explored new places like Warner Center; when it was still farmland.  The fields of horses and farm animals, were one of my favorite places to visit.. Riding on asphalt through the small city of Woodland Hills to get to Warner farms was a challenge. Letting the horses take dumps in unusual places was nasty. Yet, trotting away laughing together are some of my best memories. We were the Three Musketeers.

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Next to the pumpkin gardens, on Warner farms, we chased wild rabbits. Sometimes we visited the stables on Canoga Ave, near the 101 freeway. It was the early 1970s. We were allowed to look through all the old equipment that was still housed in big red barns.  I was enchanted by the large leathers that were used for Horse Drawn Buggies, but every type of thing that was used to groom a horse was there. Some of the items were over 50 years old or older. A few times we were invited to let our horses roam free in the large fenced glen. Then, we drank cool drinks and ate our home made lunches.

Often, after riding a few hours, the three of us would go back to my home on Arcos Drive and make our crazy salads. Anything and everything went into those delicious salads. Tuna, tomatoes, olives, eggs, ham and lettuce. We then made up a vinegar based dressing mixed with Good Food mayonnaise. We turned up the stereo while eating. The house loudly sang Elton John songs on that wild hill in the San Fernando Valley.

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