For me I guess it first started watching My Little Ponies and then horse movies. When I was 4 we moved to a huge 300 acre farm and an old man who lived down the road would drive his bay mare DeeDee by our house almost daily and I started waiting for him so I could pet DeeDee and maybe feed her a treat. That turned into a friendship with the old man and he'd give me rides down the highway and he taught me how to drive her and he gave me an old 1940s edition of Black Beauty and I read that book as a very young kid.
When I was 8 my dad found an old Quarter horse gelding named Champ who wouldn't go above a walk and I was so scared of him I only rode him once. I loved him but was too scared to ride so he was sold. Then about a year later I saw an ad in the paper for someone giving riding lessons and I begged my parents and they let me take lessons for one week because it was all they could afford. I learned the basics on an ex barrel mare named Shawma who gave me my confidence back but I didn't learn much except for how to mount, walk,trot,turn, and stop, and basic grooming.
When I was 13 I again started asking for a horse and I found an ad in the paper one day and we went and looked at her. She was a sorrel QH mare named Sugar who had been used for rented trail rides but had sat in pasture for a year. Needless to say I had no clue what I was doing and that little mare ended up being my best horse yet. She taught me so much and forgave my beginner mistakes. I didn't have anybody to learn from so I absorbed every bit of info I could like a sponge, I read as many books I could get, magazines, watched every training show on RFDTV, read my vet reference book cover to cover, took notes and quizzed myself over every bit of it. I broke my first 2 year old when I was 15 and she ended up being a nice mare that was very safe. I have since then owned 14 horses. Some were rescue cases, others I bought for riding horses, and some were trades. Each horse taught me something new and then in 2006 I went to college for Equine Science and learned a ton more.
Now my goal is to open a riding program and have a center to take in horses for training, teach lessons, etc. I've taught lessons before and have also worked with horses who have bad habits. Me and my husband want to do all we can to educate new owners and that is what our whole plan is aimed at. I'm a Psych major and want to also use horses as a treatment for people who have confidence, self-esteem, anger, etc issues and horses are very helpful in these cases. It's just a matter of being able to buy the farm to do this on LOL