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Once Up On A Horse
by Bonnie Sue Rombach


Had my decision to move overseas in 1962 been based on my desire to escape boyfriend problems or to follow a childhood dream of working with horses?  My first trip to Europe was filled with both elation and apprehension.  I was thrilled about embarking on a grand adventure and anxious about heading into the unknown alone.  I was an overweight, Midwest American girl, who had lived her life between Iowa to the West, Ontario to the North, Ohio to the South and New York to the East.  My mother's ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, had come across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, and I was now flying back over the ocean to satisfythe adventurous genes lurking in my DNA.  

I was twenty-four and had just finished my third year of teaching high school mathematics. Aunt Bet, my favourite aunt and chief of our little Allan Clan, was visiting the Allan family cousins in Scotland.  She invited me to join her before I started a working student position at the Fulmer Riding School in Buckinghamshire, England.  The only flight arrangements I could make were to Glasgow, Scotland by way of a stopover in Shannon, Ireland.

On the long flight from New York to Ireland, I had time to reflect on what had brought me to this juncture in my life.  The frustrations in my personal life were pushing me to change my path and my desire to fulfill the ambition of becoming a professional horsewoman was pulling me in a totally new direction.













(Bonnie’s memoir is an entertaining story of a girl who lost her father as a child and grew up in the mid-western United States under the guidance of strong, self confident women.  After experiencing a pony ride at four and riding lessons in a summer camp at seven, she was hooked on horses, which became a central theme throughout her life.  She had little doubt about her ability to survive, but the circumstances of her childhood, her negative physical self-image, and her first love encounters left her insecure about her femininity.  Her desire to become a professional horsewoman and her search for male love led her on a unique Odyssey travelling on her own throughout Europe in the 1960’s.)




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