This is how it starts.

That’s what I thought last night when a past colleague told me about her young daughter leasing a horse for the first time. The girl is horse love struck, having graduated from summer pony camp to weekly lessons to leasing her own horse. The next step for this family, obviously, is ownership.

(As we talked, I could almost hear the Colbie Caillat song “Brighter than the Sun” in the background. This is how it starts, lightning strikes the heart É brighter than the sun. Isn’t that kind of how it felt when you got your first horse?)

“I don’t know anything about horses!” mom Andie said, looking a little panicked. “Farriers are so expensive; do we really have to replace her shoes so often? I mean, they still look shiny to me.”

The setting of our conversation didn’t take place at a barn, a horse show, or a feed store. Instead, we were at a cocktail hour hosted by the local chamber of commerce. I used to go to these things all the time when I worked in marketing, which was just three short months ago. Yesterday, I went to see old business contacts and friends and support my husband’s new business venture. I mean, why turn down an evening of appetizers and wine at a beautiful private resort, right?

At this event, though, instead of pulling out my business card to network with local business leaders, I handed Andie my The Horse business card as part lifeline and part invitation into the horse world. “