From ages 9 through 12, I was like many young girls - obsessed with horses. Of course I yearned for a horse of my own, a wish that wasn't within financial reality. But I did get a chance to take horseback-riding lessons with my older brother at the old Saddle City in Waimanalo in Windward Oahu.
On occasional trail rides at Koko Head Stables in East Honolulu, I didn't mind - and even thought it was exciting - when my cantering steed would steer me under low-hanging branches on the forest path. As I ducked madly, burying my head in the horse's mane, I fancied I could channel the thinking of this muscular former polo pony: He resented his reduced station in life, hosting a never-ending supply of inexpert riders on the same loop trail.
During that time period, I read everything I could find about the legendary white stallions called Lippizaners, and I was a hopelessly wannabe Lippizaner rider, dreaming of that breathtakingly tight harmony between magnificent horse and rider.
So I'll be watching tonight (Wed., May 1, 2013, 8:00 pm) as those proud stallions are front and center on PBS Hawaii, on NATURE. Viewers will hear the story of their origins in ancient times and the drama of their rescue in 1945. And yes, we'll see the highly stylized movements called "airs above the ground" for which they're famous!