Monday, March 17, 2008

The Billy Dal Gang

I know I keep telling stories of my horses from yesteryear, but those were some of the best times of my life and we definitely had some great horses when I was growing up.

This story isn't so much about the horses, as it is about what we would do as kids when we rode. Last week I mentioned there was a group of us girls who rode together. We were about 9, 10,11. There was a core group of four of us, and my dad who was the leader of the pack (made five) fondly named us "The Billy Dal Gang." You probably guessed that Dad was dal--Billy Dal. There was Billy Renee who rode an off the track older Thoroughbred (whose name escapes me), Billy Stacey (rode a gorgeous, but high maintenance grey Arab named Zelle), Billy Laura who rode a buckskin Quarter (cute horse, but again I can't remember the name--God is early Alzhemier's setting in? Maybe I need more coffee this morning). And, then there was me--Billy Shell (my nicname was Shelly or Shell--still is) and I rode my swan that I wrote a about last week--Dandy.

We would have the best time getting out on the trail. My dad is really the one who showed me what you can do with your imagination, and when you get four girls out on a trail with their horses and a crazy dad there is no limit to the imagination. We would play Cowboys (girls) and Indians for hours. Then we would play bad cow girls and the posse was after us, or we would be the posse pretending to go after the bad guys. It was a blast. My dad used to also tell us this story about the hoop snake. He had us going with this one for a long time. He'd tell us when we'd get down onto the flats that we needed to be looking up into the hills because there was the most vicious, poisonous snake ever up there called the hoop snake. His claim was that the hoop snake would stalk horse and rider from up above and when he though the timing was right to strike he'd round his body so that he held onto the back of himself and make a hoop. Once in the hoop he could roll down a hill faster than we could get away and he'd get us--horse and all. So, the game was when someone thought they saw a hoop snake heading toward us, we would haul butt as fast as we could to get away. Oh my gosh--what a rush. You can only imagine how many times us girls thought we saw that hoop snake just so we could put those horses into a full run.

Ah--those were the days. I loved that time in my life--my dad riding with us and keeping our creativity going. It was a whole 'nother world. I know we would love to hear your stories about you and your horse(s).Please share.

I hope you are enjoying Equestrian Ink and our stories. I love sharing them. It brings backs great memories and for me, and that's a fantastic way to begin a Monday morning.

Happy Trails!



Kit Ehrman said...


What fun! How I wish I had ridden when I was young. What a wondeful time--combining the excitement of riding with imagination. I bet the horses loved it, too! ~Kit

Jami Davenport said...


I am really enjoying these posts, too. I hope everyone else is! Let us know what you think.

Grey Horse Matters said...

You were a very lucky girl to not only have a horse when you were younger but a Dad who enjoyed riding out with the girls too. Loved the hoop snake story, Dad had a great imagination.

A.K. Alexander said...

I definitely felt like the luckiest kid in the world. Still do. My dad is still a major inspiration and those years of riding as a kid were seriously the best times of my life. Once horsecrazy always horse crazy. i think writers and horse people have that in common. Both are deep passions that come from within and they never die.