What Does Riding Mean To You???

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What Does Riding Mean To You???

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    10-29-2009, 10:37 PM
What Does Riding Mean To You???

Hey everyone,
While I was browsing through the contest forum, I realized that all of them had to do with picture submissions. I think it is about time we do an essay-type contest...so, the topic is "What Does Riding Mean To You???" The minimal entry must be it least a paragraph, and the maximum is five paragraphs. I look forward to reading (and judging) your submissions!

What Does Riding Mean To Me.
Riding is my life. Through riding, I am able to let go of all my everyday problems. I am able to feel free and be myself without caring the burden of what anyone else thinks. It is where I am able to form a deep, intimate connection while astride my horse, that is unmatchable. There is nothing like the feeling of wind throughout your hair as you gallop your horse off into the sunset. Riding means the world to me, riding is me. This is why I ride.
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    10-30-2009, 03:42 AM

What Does Riding Mean To Me?

I have learned so much from my two horses and other horses I have trained and ridden over the years. The place I feel the safest and most comfortable is on the back of one of my horses. They are always there for me no matter what. This past spring I suffered a work-related injury to my lower back that still hasn't healed. I am not able to ride anymore and am not sure if I ever will be able to. It used to be hard for me to go out and see my horses knowing that I can ride them but over the summer and into the fall, I have realized that even though I can't ride them, I can still enjoy them and hang out with them. Horses are amazing creatures when it comes to healing emotional pains. Horses will always be in my life regardless of what happens.
    10-31-2009, 11:09 AM
"What Does Riding Mean To You?"

My life revolves around horses. To me riding is one of the most enjoyable parts, but not the most important. My horse's health always comes first. Then, it's whatever I feel like doing. Since my dream job won't make that much money, I am being a Vet-Tech for income. But, my heart desiring goal, is to be a Riding Instructor. I am teaching my boyfriend, but nothing will ever replace the feeling of sitting someone on a horse's back for the first time. I trust my horses enough to do this, that is a strong bond right there. I want these new riders to feel those same feelings I felt sitting in the saddle the first time. There was a thrill, excitement, I tell you, if magic existed, that would be the closest thing.

My mom had a horrible back injury. She is 52 years old. She loves horses, she only got her dream horse 3 years ago. She was devistated! But after almost two years, the chiropractor said she could ride. Her paint loves her to death! I saddled him up in the round pen, he stood perfectly still and calm. I knew he knew my mom was hurt, and her equilibrium is off to this day and always will be. I held the lead rope (he is a four year old) while she climbed on. That was the calmest I had ever seen him. I just handed my mom the lead rope, and Warrior followed me around the pen. I was so proud of him, and I was so happy for my mom. It was then, that I knew why I loved riding, and wanted to teach it.
    11-02-2009, 05:33 PM
BEAUTIFUL posts, please, keep them coming! The deadline is November 8th.
    11-02-2009, 05:41 PM
Super Moderator
Riding is a way of life to me and I'm not sure I could write about it in a paragrah so here is a true excerpt from my life... it's about a horse I've owned for 22 years:

Tired and dusty riders milled around the riding arenas with soda cans in hand while they clapped each other on the back and talked about what wonderful rides they’d had. It was the last horse show of the season, time for the “End of the Year” trophies to be passed out and each rider had a sort of excited anticipation about them. We stood in the shade at the edge of the old schooling barn watching, I always enjoyed seeing the excited faces when names were called to receive those hard earned little statues. We always finished in a comfortable position. Never Champions, always Reserve, only points below the first place rider for the division. That was our spot, it had been for the last ten years, it might have been because we never really tried to win. With us, it was just two friends having a really great time.
This year our names were called first, I glanced around in a confused state. Had we really earned the high point trophy? I hadn’t even kept track of the points this year. Turning toward my horse I bit back a grin. He stood so proud. His chestnut colored coat shone bright red in the afternoon sun. He held his magnificent head high, ears pricked forward and nostrils flaring. I tugged at the leather lead line and he walked amicably beside me, well defined muscles rippling with each step.
“Way to go Farm pony!” Came a friendly cry from my fellow riders followed by hysterical laughter from those who new us so well. I cradled the small trophy in my hand and patted my bulky quarter horse. Off to the side, a teenaged rider, on an underdeveloped young horse looked on smiling enviously as she hugged the Reserve award. Seeing that rider and her horse took me back to another time.
It was the first time I’d brought my newly purchased three year old gelding to the riding school. My instructor and I had gone rounds over my buying a barely trained young horse, especially without her approval. This horse was special. I knew he was the perfect animal for me. The first show of the season I pulled my parents minivan to a stop at the front entrance of the old barn. Behind the van was an old brown and beige farm trailer, I had to chain the back doors shut because the hinges were loose and they threatened to fly open at any given time.
A small crowd quickly formed around the barn entrance waiting to see this grand animal that I had so proudly described to them during our Thursday night lesson. He shoved the side compartment open with his nose the instant I turned the latch and out popped his dusty head. I quickly grabbed his ragged heart covered red halter and shoved him back enough to untie his lead rope. He began backing towards the door, he obviously knew the routine because I had to push his rump forward enough to unhook the inner safety cable before pulling the wobbly door open. With a clatter of clumsy hooves my new gelding was off the trailer and sounding an arrival call while he pawed the air above my head with a teetering rear. After a few minutes of prancing and tossing his head he finally calmed enough for me to untie the bailing twine that held his ragged oversized blanket in place.
Pulling the frayed cloth aside I stood back proudly as if I’d just unveiled a great statue. Here was my pride and joy, standing so proudly. The crowd, I could tell was in awe, not one person made a sound, that is, until the young rider from gosh knows where walked by with his high dollar Appaloosa-looking pony; the one named Spike. He stopped for a moment taking in the sight, gauging his competition I was sure.
“You are NOT really going to show that farm pony here are you?” He asked with obvious disgust. I felt the smile fade from my face and couldn’t help but allow my shoulders to sag as I looked around at the faces of my fellow riding mates. They hadn’t been awestruck at all, in fact, they’d been in shock. I could see it now, one girl even had tears in her eyes. I looked back at my grand purchase again, this time with scrutiny.
He had a hole in his face, right about at the cheek bone that was draining a yellowish puss and that side was severely swollen, but I knew as soon as I got the infection cleared he was going to have a wonderful head. His eyes were a little on the dull side but they were so full of wisdom for such a young horse, I was sure I could see his thoughts. His coat was shaggy and he had starvation hairs across his tummy, his ribs showed terribly, but some people like a little rib on a horse, that’s what the previous owner had said, although three of my fingers could fit in the dip between each one. His mane was so badly tangled with briars and knots that I was going to have to roach it, but that was all right, these were all things that could be fixed with time. He had chipped hooves that were badly in need of care and his tail was either chewed or rubbed off, but I could tell he was going to be the perfect show horse. He had what it would take and I was sure of it. I looked around at my friends and then glanced at the boy, who would later be labeled “Snot Boy”.
“He’s a pretty color.” My friend Amy, who never took less then a second and the occasional third place ribbon with her sweet floppy eared quarter horse mare offered.
“I like him.” Kelly, another classmate chimed in. “In a year, I’ll bet he’s a totally different horse.”
“I know he will be.” I ensured them, smiling so proudly……
    11-02-2009, 06:21 PM
Which of your horses is that? That was such a beautiful, remarkable story. Keep up the good work guys!
    11-02-2009, 06:26 PM
Super Moderator
That was Pistol. He was 3 when I got him, he's 25 now, will be 26 in March. It's where I got my log in ...Farmpony... and then he was born in 1984...
    11-02-2009, 06:29 PM
I want to meet this pony.
    11-02-2009, 09:47 PM
Riding to me (:

-- I set my alarm for 5 , thowing of my silky sheets ; I just want to go back to sleep . I know I have work to get done , I get my mom up and we drive out to reverie . Horses are what I live for ; the dire passion I have for riding . Its the comfort to all my pain , my horses canter , the wind in my hair , no minute of mine is wasted in the saddle . I trust my horse , she's the keeper to all my secrets ; and my sanity (:
    11-03-2009, 01:07 PM
Horse riding what does it mean to me? Well to tell you the truth the actual riding doesn't mean as much to me as I once thought it did. I will explain what I mean by a story of my own experience.

When I was three as a christmas present from my Dad my sister and I got a pony called Patch. He was an uncontrollable and unpredictable little pony but we loved him all the same. Dad broke him in and when I was about five Dad tried to teach me how to ride on this crazy little thing. It really didn't work out at all. So that put me off riding for a while.

When I was eight I started getting some riding lessons and I was getting really good at it. It didn't take me long before I was progressing onto cantering and jumping. I soon moved onto a different riding school as the other one wasn't working out at all. I got on really well with my new friends and all the ponies and horses that I was learning to ride on. I was soon jumping in small competitions at the riding school on the school ponies and was even winning some of them but something felt wrong there was always something....... missing and I didn't know what it was.

Then one day out of nowhere my Dad asked if I wanted to try riding Patch in my lesson one Saturday. I was a little bit nervous at first but kept telling myself that I would be fine and that Patch was better trained now then he used to be. My Dad put me up on Patch and once I was walking around the arena I knew what had been missing the whole time I was riding the school ponies. I was missing that feeling of finally being able to ride my own pony and now I had it. To be able to sail over the jumps on a pony that only belonged to me.

So to answer your question it's not the riding that means that much to me but that feeling of riding your own horse is what means something to me and it is something magical, something I can't explain, something I love, something I dream, something I live, and something I strive to be better at,not for me or for anyone watching me but for my horses, and their safety, their happiness, and their enjoyment. That is what riding means to me.

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