I have ridden off and on since I was a toddler, but only on other people's horses/ponies, and not regularly. I've never taken formal "riding lessons", but feel that I'm a decent rider (at least Western) having learned just on my own.
I've never had a horse, or any close friends or relatives who did either. My parents refused to let me have a horse when I was growing up. I say 'refused', because although we were far from rich, I believe we had enough money to have a horse or pony if they had just been more open-minded about it. We had two cars, and owned our own nice home in the country, with a large enough pasture/yard (it was at least an acre- perhaps more) but I wasn't allowed to have ANY pets. We had cats, but you know, they weren't specifically mine. I wanted something of my own!
We even had a neighbor down the street who kept his two holstein steers in our pasture to eat down the grass. And people all around us, and kids I went to school with (but none I knew well) had horses, but not me.
After growing up and moving to the city, I still had a chance to ride every once in a while at a place that rented horses for trail rides. But a family emergency in 2006 forced me to move far away (though I went back there on vacation last month and went riding again! First time since.) and I now live in a place that has NO opportunities to ride or be around horses unless you own one. Pretty much the only time I am even near a horse now is once a year at the fair, which is pitiful.
The area I'm living now is not really a horsey community. Lots of people around here keep horses, but there just isn't much of a 'equestrian presence', if that makes sense. There aren't even any real tack shops, just what you can find at the feed and farm stores.
Before moving I used to attend horse shows regularly. Here there just aren't many, and what they do have isn't all that great. I cannot have a horse of my own, at least not in the forseeable future. Not only because I don't have a big enough income, but also because I'd have to board it and most boarding stables here are in locations I can't get to, since I have no car. The same thing for other equine facilities, like rescue farms and such. I know of at least one, but I can't get there. And I work full-time and just don't have much free time for that sort of thing either.
It's frustrating, because for years I felt that I was meant to have a horse, or at least to work with them in some way. Now I have almost zero contact with them, and no change in sight.
How would any of you deal with a situation like this?