WHO I AM — BY AMY KATHLEEN WAREING MILLER
My name is Amy Kathleen and I would like to tell you a little bit about myself.
I was born in Blackfoot, Idaho, and I lived on a farm with lots of horses, dogs, and cats. I was told that my parents used to own chickens, sheep, and pigs, but that was obviously before I came along. I am the sixth out of seven children. I grew up with the gift of having empathy for animals. I lived on a farm with lots of fun places to explore for a tomboy such as myself. I loved to climb trees, catch frogs and maybe an occasional snake, find and help injured birds, except I would not pick up a salamander that we sometimes found in our doorway, No, that was my older sister Nancy’s job.
I loved to work with my horse after I was old enough to be trusted around the big equine friends without my parents worrying about whether I would get hurt around them. There’s a long story about why they would worry. But I lived in a country heaven that every kid would love to be growing up in themselves.
We lived by county garbage dumpsters not quite a mile away from our home on a frontage road along Interstate 15. You would be surprised how many people would dump off their animals at the dumpsters and leave them there. The animals would either wander to our house or we would find them around or inside the dumpsters.
There were lots of individuals who had no empathy for animals. My Dad is a big time animal lover himself. That is where my gift came from. He told me that as animal loving individuals we suffer just like them, because it is not possible to help them all and we feel the pain. But my empathy is not just for animals but also for people who are hurting or who are not treated well. I feel for them as well.
When I was a teenager I loved to ride horses. My younger sister, Karen, and I would ride in 4H with our horses. We started out learning western riding but then we turned more towards riding English and did some jumping. Karen was a little better at jumping than I was. I think it had to do with her bravery and the determination of her and her horse. Her horse was a cute little Arabian/quarter horse cross and she was a real cutie. She was a dapple grey and loved Karen. She was basically a one-person horse and that was Karen. She would do well for Dad too but no one else could ride her and have an enjoyable ride. No sirree, she was strictly Karen’s horse. They did everything together. I remember watching them in a jumping competition, and Shadow, her horse, was cute watching her jump the jumps. It was a little effort for her to jump because she was a smaller horse.
Karen and I had lots of fun with the horses while we were teenagers. We also would go to 4H horse camp, that was a blast. It would last for about a week and we would stay in the cabins while our horses would be tied beside our horse trailers. During the day, we would go to various classes on our horses. There was one year when Karen and I were old enough to go on a trail ride further up into the mountains and spend the night away from the cabins. That was extremely challenging and enjoyable. I will never forget that trip. At the end of the week, we had a dance as a social event. I wish there were more horse camps like that here in Utah but, alas, there is no such thing here. I will just have to cherish the one that I had as a kid.
Karen and I also would show our horses at the end of the year in the fair as the finale of 4H. I remember working my gelding, Twister, so much for halter that I won second place with him in that. I also did very well with him in bareback riding. But one thing that is very important to remember is not to put show sheen on the back of the horse where you will be riding bareback. My nephew a couple of years later used my gelding for bareback competition and when the horse began to lope, my nephew slid right off the horse’s rump because it was so slick from the show sheen. We won’t forget that lesson.
There was one year where my dad built a whole jumping course in the timber behind our home. It was a blast to go through. I never went though the whole course, but Karen and her horse did. We also hosted a horse show in the timber. There was a nice turnout. Not too large, not too small, just enough to have a nice show. I think my Dad really enjoyed doing that. There are lots of wonderful memories with the horses. But there is a lot more that I will share over time.
My dream growing up was to be a veterinarian, but since we didn’t live close to a college that had those courses and due to the fact I was not the greatest student, I didn’t get to fulfill that dream. Instead, Dad suggested that I become a music teacher, where I could teach private music students and still stay home as a mom. I went to school to study music, voice major and violin minor, and I became a private music teacher.
I didn’t complete my degree because this dude named John Miller came along and swept me off my feet and married me on my spring break in 1990. After I had my first baby the following year, I dropped out of college to be a full-time mom. I have taught music as a private teacher ever since.
There you have it, my introduction. I’ll have more thoughts and memories to share, so please do stay tuned!
- Enjoying a “Breezy” ride (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- Getting serious about the phrase “cowboy up” (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- Equinophobia (allaboutcounseling.com)
- for the equestrian (burnettsboards.com)