Updated: Dec 10, 2022
By Debra Holbrook
From the first pony encounter to my young and growing obsession with horses, my activities progressively included reading, drawing, and writing about them. The early hands-on experience I had were a few “plastic” horses. My herd never grew into a large one but let me play with the idea of caring for one. I made shelters, corrals, bridles, and blankets for them.
My first acquisition was black. My family shopped at the Big Y shopping center, an early mall in Eugene, OR. My eyes beheld a bit of color. The same mold made them all but every solid color of a horse was in it. Black was my choice though he had a star on his forehead I named him FURY after the smart wild/tame horse of the black and white TV series. Maybe our television was just in black and white. Sadly, not too long after that, the shopping center burned to the ground. I mourned the loss of the horses left in the bin.
My dream was to have horses in my life, for the rest of my life. A recurring dream I remember was one of being befriended by, of course, a wild black stallion. Each night’s progression was getting a closer relationship, to the point of trust so I could ride him and keep him. But the captive world was not for him. He looked to his faraway life. I turned him loose and the dream ended.
It was no doubt my personal fictionalized version of the Fury story, but the wildlife was best and it was the most humane. I believe still that domesticating something wild never erases their instincts and that they can never be truly dominated. That is why horses turned out can easily revert to being wild.
The favorite Christmas gift I remember getting as a child was a set of three horses. I wasn’t a doll girl, though I had some, most gifts were practical and because we got by in life, clothes, socks, and underwear didn’t make a lasting impression for life.
One year my extended family did a name-drawing thing and my Grandmother got mine. A Breyer family set of white horses went under our tree when we went home from our family gathering. This particular set was the same premise as my Fury. The same body molds but in a variety of colors. That company grew as years went by, is still in business, and features even famous horses in statues. I did collect a few more into my teen years but they never meant what my first four did, the herd that carried me till the real thing.
Eventually, I gave them away to a younger horse-crazy girl, all but Fury. He is packed away for my future generations to enjoy when I pass on.
Today I have a new herd, with a wild behaving mare and her foal similar to a Carter mustang as well as the Palomino version of the Stallion and foal I once had in white. There is also another girl in my sights to give them all to. But for a while, I have a few smaller-scale Breyers I display at Christmas.
California Carter wild Mustang, Ash is flanked by Patriot & Sombrio.
The Carter Reservoir Mustangs Inc. is a nonprofit to help keep the Carter Reservoir Mustangs running and free. Please sign the petition on behalf of this heritage herd. https://www.carterreservoirmustangs.org/petition Learn more about the Carters with their ancient bloodlines and check out the new 2023 calendar so you can see the Carters every month or make it a special Christmas gift for someone you know that loves horses. https://www.carterreservoirmustangs.org/shop