I have an old and very deep love for carousel horses. Not just any, mind you -- but those masterfully carved wooden steeds, meticulously painted by hand with pigments coaxed out of exotically hued flora and fauna -- those noble beasts with the warm and realistic eyes of glass --
those... are the ones that
Faded memories tucked deep within the recesses of my mind are once again alive and animated at the very sight of one of these carousel beauties -- the silvery lilting music of the the merry-go-round dance in my ears, and the sweet smell of warm cotton candy is so real that I can taste it. Dizzying excitement rushes over me -- butterflies whirl in my stomach while my eyes search for the perfect pony -- my small hand held tightly as I'm led through the crowd ...
I clearly remember toddling through the sea of legs belonging to the regally posed equines, all the while making my way towards my chosen horse. Saddle after saddle was being filled by less particular children and time was running out -- but I always ended up with my perfect match. As soon as I was seated, and the ride began -- a portal to another world opened.
I was whisked away --
The wooden floor disappeared and was replaced with lush, green grass - life magically breathed into my carousel horse; his wooden limbs were replaced with living ones and within his chest beat the noble heart of true horse. The brass ring that I was chasing wasn't hanging on the merry-go-round - it was the wind in my hair, and for that 5 minutes in which the carousel went round and round, my horse and I were galloping free across the fields in my vivid imagination.
Girls and horses ... I was one of them. I was obsessed and I truly believed that it was soley because I wished so hard and wanted it so very badly that my dreams miraculously came true. On the morning of my 6th birthday, there it was -- I had a horse of my own. Although he wasn't as grand nor as beautiful as the regal horses of the carousel, he was a small and scruffy Shetland pony -- but he was real, and he was mine -- and to me, he was the most beautiful thing in all the world.
My world with horses lasted until I went to college, and it was the best 12 years and childhood I could have dared ever hoped for. Slumber parties in the barn, overnights and camping trips with horses - I was in heaven. I moved from ponies to horses and for my 13th birthday I traveled to Kentucky with my trainer and parents and came home with a young Thoroughbred, right off the track. We did a lot of growing up together - my horse and I - we spent endless afternoons together -- along with fierce training for both of us, we swam in lakes - meandered through fields and along country roads and sometimes we just hung out - we went on fox hunts through the gorgeous countryside - and went to show after show up and down the coast. I knew how lucky I was.
Life was good
Carousels and the horses that grace them are forever entangled with those good feelings and deep, wonderful memories of my years with my horses that came to life. I have just as much love for the steeds frozen in time on the carousel as I do for their living, breathing counterparts. So it's no wonder I have a bit of an obsession with the merry-go-round horses. These pictured in the photos above are all completely restored and just absolutely beautiful. They were originally made in the mid 1800s and are true pieces of Art. I am so very happy to see them lovingly brought back to their original glory -
These graceful beauties above are part of a carousel in France.
Different cities, different countries, different children dreaming as they ride along, chasing brass rings of their own -- it's all very different,
all very much
A wild yet trusted friend ready to take you there ...
And due to the artistry and skill of loving hands which belong to a caring soul
These majestic creatures are fully restored and each have been given a second life ...
Dream makers ... the Artist and the Art --
Going places limited only by ones' imagination.