This horse is from Persia, or at least that is what I remember of the story. Truth is I honestly don’t know. I know it is ancient, older than me and perhaps older that this country. I suspect it was a child’s toy. A wealthy child most likely as it is well finished in brass. I was given the horse by a gentleman who spent his career traveling for the World Bank. He was in Jakarta just a year before I relocated there.
We didn’t know each other at that point in our lives. Later, he and my mother fell in love and spent a year in Uganda. He was working and she volunteered at an orphanage school. He gave me this horse from his collection of treasured garnered from years of traversing the globe.
This horse is a museum store replica. What it represents in history is far less important to me then the history of how it came into my possession. The year my brother Duncan died, my sister Zanne gave this horse to him for Christmas. He died Christmas Eve, before ever opening the present. When I cleaned out his apartment, I brought the little statue home with me. I should have given it back to Zanne but I couldn’t let it go.
This bronze is not the original. It’s not even a real bronze. But I love it for the time in my life it represents. We were just getting the farm up and running and had begun fox hunting as a family. The girls were young and the barn was our lives from sun up to sun down, 7 days a week. The ponies were shaggy and taciturn, but when we all polished up for a hunt and dressed in our finest attire of Melton Wool jackets, this stature always came to mind.
This little guy is a real bronze, signed by the artist. He was a house-warming gift from my doppelgänger when we bought the farm. His spirit and grace captured our youth and naïvety of life.
One Christmas, Hanni gave me this trio. She saved her allowance and it was the first real Christmas gift she had ever bought on her own with her own cash. They are solid and reassuring in their primitiveness. I admire their simplicity and am reminded of the sharpness of life.
The two orange Swedish carved horses are from my childhood. I have cherished them for over fifty years; before Breyer horses and real horses, these were my first.
The Black Mare was a gift from Gunilla, my Swedish friend from Jakarta-days. One year when she headed home for a month of holiday, she asked if there was anything she could bring me. I described the small wooden horses and said I would like them to have a mother. It took many years for them to be united but eventually I came home from Indonesia and dug out my boxes of belongings. I set them on a shelf and tied two threads of my life together forever.