I was thirteen when I got my first real ride on a horse (I'm not counting the hundreds of pony rides at the carnivals).
I had always liked horses, but I really didn't start getting into them until I was 7. I begged and asked and pleaded and cried and pouted for a horse of my own until I was 12, and the answer was always No. So being the stubborn child I was, I thought, "If I can't get a horse, I'll do the next best thing, get riding lessons!"
So for my 13th birthday, I asked for riding lessons. A girl I knew in school was taking riding lessons, and so I thought maybe I can talk to her instructor. I called her and got some information from her and I asked. And begged. And pleaded. And talked about it til I was hoarse. The answer was "we'll see."
And on the day of my birthday, I got my wish, riding lessons, boots, and a helmet. Of course the catch was that my istructor was putting paperwork through (stuff like I can't sue her for injuries I may get riding), but it wasn't going to clear for another month.
August 2006 was the LONGEST month in my entire life.
But I don't remember all the details, but I remember Smoke. Smoke was a 20 year old sorrel QH with four white socks and a big blaze. I remember my instructors daughter teaching me how to saddle a horse. And I remember the first time I sat atop a horse and rode. And thus began my passion, obsession, love, and respect for horses.
I have been riding for 5 years and don't plan on stopping until I'm dead