My fascination with horses began at a very early age. In elementary school, I studied horses so obsessively in our 1982 World Book Encyclopedia that the H volume naturally flipped open to the horse section. I was extremely book-smart about horse breeds, the history of horses, different horse sports, plus I often fantasized about horse ownership and care… And I was always barking orders to my brother, who was a terrific illustrator: “Draw this Morgan and that Welsh,” “I also like this Arabian…”
When I went to county fairs and carnivals, invariably, my parents would get coerced into waiting in ridiculously long lines just to purchase a couple raffle tickets for my chance to win an old horse or pony. Weeks following these events, I would continue brainstorming/debating names for the horse I was certain I would acquire. I thought about where we would construct the stall on our 1/2-acre subdivision backyard. I imagined brushing him, braiding his mane and tail, cleaning out the rocks from his shoes, feeding him carrots, riding around the neighborhood, frolicking in the backyard. I had the entire collection of Stephen Cosgrove’s Morgan books… and I read them over and over again to learn about a gal’s unbreakable friendship with her horse (or unicorn). Surely, I would have similar mystical adventures with my horse.
But the hard (and surprising) truth was that I never won any of the raffles (wtf???), and over time, the worries and dramas of adolescence and adulthood steadily pushed out my vivid and ambitious childhood dreams. For a long while, I’d completely forgotten about horses: they seemed a fantasy attainable only to farmers or aristocratic white people.
Decades later, when we moved to California in 2006, my horse dreams started to re-emerge, in part triggered by the vast open spaces of the SF Bay Area and also through occasional glimpses into the state’s long ranching history. Oddly, the television also seemed to re-run Legends of the Fall 24/7. Slowly but surely, all of these signs beckoned my deep-seated, buried horse fantasies to the forefront.
In 2008, I started a brief series of western riding lessons. Then in 2011, I grew more diligent about riding, and I have been doing so ever since. The other day, a friend asked me what about riding actually appeals to me. On one hand, riding is an unexpected but welcome rediscovery of a lost childhood dream. I love connection with animals, and I also enjoy learning a technical/athletic skill that allows for measurable goals. There is also something enticing about the simpler, rougher, and tougher side of rustic living. Getting a little bit down and dirty and not fussing is empowering in a strange way. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still love my luxuries (hot tub, high thread-count sheets, heated mattress topper, frilly clothes and shoes, etc.) but maybe I also value toggling between the two: I’m complex that way. ;)
When I thought about starting this new blog, my first name choice was actually “Asian Cowgirl.” Unfortunately, not only was that domain taken, but Urban Dictionary revealed some disturbing details about the term. I’m not about raunch. ever.
So I considered how I am drawn to words/phrases/thoughts, especially those that are active rather than passive. I liked “saddle up” and “giddy up.” “Giddy go” then evolved as a kind of personalized spin to convey my affinity for action and getting shit done, while also playing on my last name, which is pronounced “go.”
This blog is about my life, and while I’m no one famous, I invite you to join me on this honest journey as I pursue my cowgirl dreams with a little bit of steel, sass, smarts, and a whole lot of heart. Now get your boots on, and let’s giddy go!