• Story by Eva Dusil • Editing by Gabriel Dusil • 2014 November
• When I was nine years old we went to visit my relatives in Košice. At the end of their huge garden were military barracks. Curiosity compelled me to climb a concrete wall hiding the surprise that was waiting for me on the other side. I saw what I adored the most – horses! Soldiers that were tending the sables came over and we began to chat. On subsequent visits I spent time with them as they maintained the stables. I soon became a regular visitor. The soldiers warned me that if an officer inquired of my present I should tell them I’m the daughter of a soldier from another barracks. They didn’t want to get into trouble.
• When my mother eventually found out, she was concerned that a young girl was among strange teenage military boys. It wasn’t appropriate. So when I turned eleven she decided to enroll me in the city’s equestrian club. My mother lied about my age since I needed to be at least twelve. The horses from the military barracks had since been sold to the Košice equestrian club, because that military division shut down. So I ended up riding the same horses.
• It was the summer of 1957, and in those days very few girls were riding. It was considered a man’s sport and I was one of only three girls. Being the youngest made it even harder. I was endlessly bullied and intimidated by the boys. Even today I wonder how I had the strength to stand up to them. The regiment of riding and taking care of horses was fierce, and was managed in a military fashion. Competition was relentless, and the trainers were very strict. My parents were at least content knowing where I was spending my afternoons. Nevertheless, I still had to be home by eight o’clock, or I’d be in trouble. Those years certainly taught me discipline.
If you missed other Mamička posts, you can link to them here:
- 1 • Mamička
- 5 • Mamička & Taci • Wedding
- 19 • Mamička • Veterinarian
- 22 • Mamička • Keszthely
- 25 • Mamička • University
- 32 • Mamička & Taci
- 33 • Mamička • Horses
- 40 • Mamička • University
- 46 • Mamička • Circus
- 50 • Mamička • Inspiration
- 52 • Mamička • Farm
- 54 • Mamička • Horses
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