Ok so I have been obsessed with horses since I can remember but my parents could never pay for lessons when I was little. I was heartbroken that all my friends could ride except me. Everytime we passed a farm my nose would be pressed up against the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of a horse. I admired their elegance and perfection from afar, dreaming of one day owning one. My mom didnt like the idea of me riding. She siad it was a was a waste of time and that it wouldnt get me anywhere in life. I ignored every word.
Then, on a girl scout trip, we drove out to a small dude ranch in New York when I was about ten. I rode a horse named Sprout. I remember swinging my leg over the old dapples back and trail riding for hours. That was one of the best weekends of my life.
However we had to head back home. I cried in my bed that night. I remember thinking that I would probably never do anything like that again.
It was my 12th birthday and my dad agreed to take me and my sister up to a stable to trail ride for an hour. I was back in the saddle and happier than ever. From that point I knew I had to do something in order to be around horses for good.
I started researching online for barns that needed stable help. I came across a barn that helped special needs children learn to ride horses. I was determined to volunteer there however the age requirment was 14.
I waited in anticipation for 2 years until my 14th birthday when my mom drove me up to the barn. They started training me to be a volunteer there. I learned basic horse knowledge and met many friends there. I was so happy and grateful to have found a place where I could be around horses. My first year there I won Volunteer of the Year Award for having 200+ hours.
Although I was happy I felt like something was missing. I wanted to ride. I longed to be on the back of a horse but money was still tight so I knew riding was out of the question. When I was fifteen I found a good paying job and started saving up money for lessons.
By the end of that summer I found a stable twenty minutes away from my house and called the barn manager. I explained that I would like to ride and by the next week I went to my very first lesson.
I liked the barn there. I liked to ride but when show season came around everything changed. My instructor started making me jump my fourth week of riding and forced me to enter shows I wasnt ready for. I became a timid rider and fell off countless times. The other riders there were very welathy and owned up to two horses. We never became friends and I felt ashamed to ride infront of them. After a year and a half I stopped riding there. I left that barn with lots of bruises and a broken heart. Riding didnt seem fun anymore but I knew that I needed to get back on a horse.
2 months later I found another barn and started lessons again. My first horse I rode there was a 17.2 hand warmblood. My new instructor said I would love him and I did. His smooth canter glided across the arena and I finally knew what it felt like to ride again. I soon stopped holding onto mane and loosened up. My lessons were so much fun now and my instructor made me a more confident rider.
After all the dissapointments and let downs I finally had my dream. My mom is warming up to the idea of me riding and actually likes going to the barn. I am so grateful for my life right now.
Currently I am riding at that barn and leasing Troy, the 17.2 warmblood. I pay for the cost of leasing myself but I feel more satisfied by doing it. I still volunteer 3 days a week at the special needs barn and am currently Head Coordinator, trianing new volunteers.
I still pinch myself now and then, making sure i'm not dreaming.