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What's your background?

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        12-08-2012, 08:15 AM
      #21
    Green Broke
    We had a small "Old MacDonald's" dairy farm and farmed with horses until I was four.

    My first ride was on the work mare when I was two; it was dad's sincere hope I would be scared to death way up there, and never want to look at a horse again -- not

    I rode bareback behind my maternal cousins for several years, while diligently saving pennies (literally pennies) for my own horse.

    By the time I was 12, I started helping my step-granddad break his Welsh/Morgans to ride and drive. All the while still saving pennies, nickels and dimes.

    After many months of searching my granddad finally found a suitable horse but she was at the premium price of $350 and was a grade mare.

    In 1959, $350 would be equal to $2185 in today's money. All I had managed to save in my 12 short years was $200. I was sure that gorgeous "Trigger" palomino would not be coming to my parents farm.

    Grandad negotiated the price down to $300, my mom and step-dad kicked in the other $100, and I happily handed over the $200 I had spent a lifetime to save in the hopes I really would have a horse someday.

    This is Goldie, my first horse bought in 1959 when I was 12.


    It turned out that Goldie was "with child", something the Sellers were not aware of when they sold her. They said the sire had to have been their liver chestnut Arab.

    That union produced Sonny, who stayed with me from birth until I layed him to rest with cancer when he was 29.

    I can still vividly remember that I was telling mom to hurry and take the picture because Sonny was not about standing still for very long. He was around three months in this pic, I can't remember for sure - that was 1960 lol

    I was totally respsonsible for his training but my granddad was my cushion when I needed help - looking back that was often - lol lol


    This is sonny when he was five and I was 18. He wouldn't be broke to a saddle for another five years and that was only because I couldn't get on organized rides back then, without a saddle.


    It took me until I was in my 30's to start understanding and appreciating my step-granddad's gentle horse ways. He was, without question, the "horse wings beneath my feet" and gave me the most wonderful and ethically solid foundation to build my life with horses upon.

    I have only been without horses one year of my entire life (I am now 65) and that was the year I laid Sonny and his Arab/Morgan BFF Fury to sleep. Sonny was 29, Fury was 27 and had very bad ankle arthritis from being raced on the macadam roads, in his youth, by his previous teenage owners.

    My current four horses are my last four, with the youngest being 17 and the eldest 26-1/2. I can't ride anymore but I will see this crew to their end times so I don't have to worry about any of them
    flytobecat, AlexS, EthanQ and 2 others like this.
         
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        12-08-2012, 11:14 AM
      #22
    Foal
    I've always loved horses, but the most I ever did until I was ten was go on an occasional trail at a commercial stable, but then I got my first horse aside from my grandpa's 30 something quarter horse, a 5-year-old mini mare, Spirit. She was pretty much just a pet, but I did try to ride her from time to time. She wasn't very cooperative lol. Last year, I got my first riding horse, an Arab named Bella. We competed at open shows this summer and placed at every show, but she was trained by a professional, so she made me look better than I am. I go to lessons with her every week:)
         
        12-08-2012, 11:22 AM
      #23
    Yearling
    My uncle got me into riding. I was into every other animal imagionable, and he got this bright idea to find some place I could take a trail ride and a lesson for my birthday. I was seven, and got on this nosetotail trail pony and was jogging around laughing like dervish and and loving every second. I went to bed that night, and distinctly remember waking up and telling my mom i'd be riding horses from now on and she should get on that. She chased me around and ended up tickling me shouting "you'll never ride again!" however, the next weekend, I was back on that pony. My grandmother got wind (she lived in maryland at the time) and threw a fit cause I was in a western saddle!
    My great grandad died two nights before I was born, and had trained eventing horses for forty years before he died. He had a horse named Mate who was allowed in his kitchen, and ate from a decoractive salad bowl :) She badgered my mother until she found a new pace for me to train english, and that's when I ended up at Surrey Stables as an eight yr old.

    Mrs. Liz, Mrs. Hilly, and Mrs. Leanne became my mentors in all things horses and life. I took one lesson a week, learned how to lunge, tack, groom, doctor, and very lastly ride horses. I learned about feeding, and colic and anatomy, and then I was allowed to get on the horses. It was like a family though. There were, I wanna say 12 girls, between the ages of 9 and 17, and we would have camps, and fun shows and had the option of being on the show team. I couldnt be a part of it because I didnt have a horse, but my mother was having a very hard time (for a long time she was an emotional tornado who ate you if you looked at her funny. ) adn wanted me to keep riding, so I took lessons there from 1998 to 2003, before I started begging for a horse. My family wasnt well off, but we had just bought a second location for our auto business and I was earning money on the side, and I made this whole presentation on how getting me a horse would be beneficial and encouraging and make me a better person. My step dad (who is more a real father than anything) cried, and laughed, and made a deal. All A's and Bs, and I could get a horse. But not just any horse.
    Smugly. A 14.3h, liver chestnut roan gelding with more spunk and attitude than a cheerleader at homecoming. We jumped, and trail rode, and he taught me everything. He took me to my first show, was the first horse I ran on, and got me into our show team. I remember getting off the trailer with him (the team had two, each fit eight horses facing eachother, like the horsie limmos) and all twelve of our horses got out in matching green fly sheets, embridered with our team, thier name and our name, with matching halters, matching shipping wraps the whole nine. Warm ups were the same, everybody had an ebroidered square pad and matching polo wras and polos with our name and team on them. It was short lived though. Three yrs later one of our shops was hit by a nasty storm, and we lost two race cars, and had to sell smugs. He went to a couple girls from my team whose horse coliced and the barn owners daugter who was feeding just let it happen, so he went saturday and sunday without treatment and was found dead monday. We sold him to them, and he's still fat and happy carting around little kids as a 21 yr old grump. I leased for a little while, but didnt click with anybody I rode, so I stopped riding. At seventeen, I got a job, and started hanging around some new people and ended up very dip in a pit of my own issues. That lasted about two years. Then, I met D. D is a very big part of why I am back in the saddle in the first place. He picked me up, dusted me off, gave me a home and a stable hand to hold, and rediscovered my passion. We leased a tb mare for 8 months, and took her from completly freash off the track, to a lovely hunter. He put the money down for my Anne because he was into the project of fixing souls, and she made mine shine. Or that's how he says it ;) we kept her at a small place, where I trained and rode for people who sent me their horses or for the local kids. I got my name out there a bit, and had started feeling really confident in myself and empowered and it encouraged me to work harder at being clean, and being a better person.
    Since then, D and I have drifted, but he is a very good friend. I rode a few horses for a guy who wanted a retirments project and he liked my methods, so he bought this place, and made me the manager but I still board at someplace else cause Annies happier there.

    Wow, that was long. Sorry guys :( But, heres a few photos. Me and smugly, pardon the funny face :) leo, and senior, two of the horses I trained recently, and of course, the beautiful Anne :)
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    Glynnis likes this.
         
        12-08-2012, 11:34 PM
      #24
    Foal
    I'm loving this! I'm loving everyone's stories. I think background stories are the best. So here's mine...

    My mom had a horse when she was a kid, and has always been horse crazy. As soon as I was old enough to play with Barbies, my mom was buying me Breyer horses. She wanted me to have the same passion she did, and her brainwashing worked! I came home from school one day when I was in 2nd grade (8 years old) and she said she had a surprise for me. It was the flyer for the place I was going to have my first riding lessons from.

    I took riding lessons with a middle aged couple. I didn't know it until later, but I was their first student. They bred and raised horses, and the husband made his own Mexican style saddles. The first lesson I had, I was presented with a packet of information: horse anatomy, terms for markings, horse coloring, different breeds, anatomy of the hoof, how to groom, all the basics. She said "before I put anyone on one of my horses, they're going to learn how to take care of a horse!" I learned how to halter, tie, lead, groom, bathe, tack, untack, everything! Then it was time for me to ride. He was a little paint pony named Lightning, but he did not like to go. They bought me little rounded kid spurs for my birthday that year. I won all kinds of ribbons with him at their little kid shows they put on. I had to move about a year later, because my dad was in the Army, and we moved to Hawaii.

    Shortly after moving there, my parents found a place for me to keep taking lessons. After begging them to buy me my own horse, they bought me a yearling. I know, right? I loved brushing her and watching her run in the arena, but I was never able to ride her. After a year or so, my parents shipped her to the couple who gave me my first lessons in Missouri, and after they received her, we were never able to contact them again. My dad always says that was the most expensive mistake he's ever made

    After living in Hawaii for 3 years, we moved back to Missouri. Shortly after we got here, my mom took me to a little town about 15 minutes away to continue lessons. The horse I rode was Sadie, and she was a 20 year old haflinger with some major sass. She taught me that it's important to check your cinch, because she would hold her breath, and the saddle slipped underneath her when I was cantering once. Got to practice my "emergency exit" After 3 years of lessons with her, I leased her for another 3 years. The woman who owned her taught me most of what I know, and although she's 40 years older than I am, she's a very dear friend and mentor.

    Somewhere in the 3 years of leasing Sadie, I leased her personal horse, Mr. Mudd for about a year. He was such a great horse. Unfortunately, an evil person from her past decided to smash her car windows in, and smash her horses neck with a baseball bat in the middle of the night, and he had to be put down. She doesn't KNOW he did it...but she knows.

    Mudd taught me the freedom of galloping through an open field.
    Sadie taught me a lot of stuff, like how to stay on during a buck or three, and the joy of galloping bareback. And how to ride a horse while they're swimming

    A few weeks ago, fate lead me to my first real horse. Lakota is a 9 year old quarter horse, and I'm sure many of you have seen me gushing about her all over the forum lately. She's only been mine for a short while, but she's so smart and sweet and beautiful and I already love her to pieces. We're going to start training for competitive trails soon, and I'm really excited about it.

    Since I can't figure out how to write around pictures, I'll narrate them in order. The first picture is one of my self portraits and part of the words are cut off, but it says "Sum people like to ride hoses"

    Second picture is me on a horse at a rodeo when I was 5 or 6. (I still have that same haircut when my bangs are down)

    The bay horse is Mr. Mudd

    The haflinger is Sadie

    And the last pictures are Lakota

    My 5'0" tall self can really make a 14.3hh horse look big!

    Thanks for reading! Can't wait to read more people's stories.
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        12-09-2012, 12:04 AM
      #25
    Weanling
    Before I start mine let me just say this is awesome to read everyone's story...it really makes you realize that no matter where we all came from we are all connected in some way in the universe by the love we share for these great animals.

    So, me...my dad gave me the horse bug. He owned a horse named "Handsome Sam", Sam and him showed in hunter shows. Unfortunately, he will never see me ride because he passed away on Christmas Day when I was 6...a year later at 7 I started riding. At 10 I fell in love with a rescued PMU mare named "Hope Springs Eternal Rain". Rain and I were both troubled souls. Her, afraid of everything and expecting hurt from every human and me, still hurting from losing my dad. Well they say things happen for a reason, and Rain and I found each other and became best friends. After 2 years of 'free leasing' (we practically owned her, just not technically) Rain, she trusted me completely, she followed me around like a puppy, she would jump anything for me, and I finally felt like I had put my heart back together after losing dad. Then, December 16th 2010 the vet found tumors in Rains uterus and she had to be put down immediately. I watched them inject her and she died in my arms. My world shattered, again, and I honestly didn't want to keep riding. But then I met a woman (we'll call her Sally) who changed my life and practically became my second mom, and she was an awesome trainer. With her I learned a ton, I started jumping, and I got addicted to jumping. I became her best student, and she would give me all the new horses, the tough rides. Fast forward to February 2012, I finally got my own horse. This in itself is kind of a story but its long. Long story short I didn't know I was going to end up with Xander until an hour before I brought him home. And he's my heart horse, we are kindred spirits. I understand him, like we are on the same wavelength. He's my wonder pony and he will jump the moon for me. I credit my dad for finding him for me. Fast forward to July 2012, I wanted to move barns, but I was in a tight spot. Sally had B forced financially to move to a much smaller property with not much facilities. And I felt like my riding was going nowhere. So I made the tough decision to move and I did. And I love my new barn, it rocks. But a part of my heart still hurts because Sally, who I loved dearly, has not called or texted or asked how we are, which hurts because j thought she cared about me. So now we are heading into winter, my wonder pony and I, and we are progressing everyday. But I do admit that my hearts still aches for Rain.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        12-09-2012, 12:18 AM
      #26
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustWingIt    
    Before I start mine let me just say this is awesome to read everyone's story...it really makes you realize that no matter where we all came from we are all connected in some way in the universe by the love we share for these great animals.

    So, me...my dad gave me the horse bug. He owned a horse named "Handsome Sam", Sam and him showed in hunter shows. Unfortunately, he will never see me ride because he passed away on Christmas Day when I was 6...a year later at 7 I started riding. At 10 I fell in love with a rescued PMU mare named "Hope Springs Eternal Rain". Rain and I were both troubled souls. Her, afraid of everything and expecting hurt from every human and me, still hurting from losing my dad. Well they say things happen for a reason, and Rain and I found each other and became best friends. After 2 years of 'free leasing' (we practically owned her, just not technically) Rain, she trusted me completely, she followed me around like a puppy, she would jump anything for me, and I finally felt like I had put my heart back together after losing dad. Then, December 16th 2010 the vet found tumors in Rains uterus and she had to be put down immediately. I watched them inject her and she died in my arms. My world shattered, again, and I honestly didn't want to keep riding. But then I met a woman (we'll call her Sally) who changed my life and practically became my second mom, and she was an awesome trainer. With her I learned a ton, I started jumping, and I got addicted to jumping. I became her best student, and she would give me all the new horses, the tough rides. Fast forward to February 2012, I finally got my own horse. This in itself is kind of a story but its long. Long story short I didn't know I was going to end up with Xander until an hour before I brought him home. And he's my heart horse, we are kindred spirits. I understand him, like we are on the same wavelength. He's my wonder pony and he will jump the moon for me. I credit my dad for finding him for me. Fast forward to July 2012, I wanted to move barns, but I was in a tight spot. Sally had B forced financially to move to a much smaller property with not much facilities. And I felt like my riding was going nowhere. So I made the tough decision to move and I did. And I love my new barn, it rocks. But a part of my heart still hurts because Sally, who I loved dearly, has not called or texted or asked how we are, which hurts because j thought she cared about me. So now we are heading into winter, my wonder pony and I, and we are progressing everyday. But I do admit that my hearts still aches for Rain.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    My mom passed away a little over a year ago, and whenever I'm with horses, I feel like she's with me. I definitely think she led me to Lakota, because things fell into place too perfectly. Your dad may not have seen you ride on Earth, but I bet he watches you ride all the time.
         
        12-09-2012, 12:25 AM
      #27
    Weanling
    Thank you :) I feel that way too...and I'm sorry for your loss, I know how it feels :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
    DixieKate likes this.
         
        12-09-2012, 02:38 PM
      #28
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustWingIt    
    Before I start mine let me just say this is awesome to read everyone's story...it really makes you realize that no matter where we all came from we are all connected in some way in the universe by the love we share for these great animals.

    So, me...my dad gave me the horse bug. He owned a horse named "Handsome Sam", Sam and him showed in hunter shows. Unfortunately, he will never see me ride because he passed away on Christmas Day when I was 6...a year later at 7 I started riding. At 10 I fell in love with a rescued PMU mare named "Hope Springs Eternal Rain". Rain and I were both troubled souls. Her, afraid of everything and expecting hurt from every human and me, still hurting from losing my dad. Well they say things happen for a reason, and Rain and I found each other and became best friends. After 2 years of 'free leasing' (we practically owned her, just not technically) Rain, she trusted me completely, she followed me around like a puppy, she would jump anything for me, and I finally felt like I had put my heart back together after losing dad. Then, December 16th 2010 the vet found tumors in Rains uterus and she had to be put down immediately. I watched them inject her and she died in my arms. My world shattered, again, and I honestly didn't want to keep riding. But then I met a woman (we'll call her Sally) who changed my life and practically became my second mom, and she was an awesome trainer. With her I learned a ton, I started jumping, and I got addicted to jumping. I became her best student, and she would give me all the new horses, the tough rides. Fast forward to February 2012, I finally got my own horse. This in itself is kind of a story but its long. Long story short I didn't know I was going to end up with Xander until an hour before I brought him home. And he's my heart horse, we are kindred spirits. I understand him, like we are on the same wavelength. He's my wonder pony and he will jump the moon for me. I credit my dad for finding him for me. Fast forward to July 2012, I wanted to move barns, but I was in a tight spot. Sally had B forced financially to move to a much smaller property with not much facilities. And I felt like my riding was going nowhere. So I made the tough decision to move and I did. And I love my new barn, it rocks. But a part of my heart still hurts because Sally, who I loved dearly, has not called or texted or asked how we are, which hurts because j thought she cared about me. So now we are heading into winter, my wonder pony and I, and we are progressing everyday. But I do admit that my hearts still aches for Rain.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your dad at a young age
    And sorry for the loss of your horse as well
    you should summit this story to the Chicken Soup for the Horse Lovers Soul
    Thunderspark likes this.
         
        12-09-2012, 04:44 PM
      #29
    Trained
    Well here goes
    I have liked horses ever since my sister put me on my first
    Pony at 2 years old
    I think I got the horse bug from. It was from my dad
    He loved hoses as well, in fact he worked with a Belgian named Sandy

    I rode my friends Shetland pony. I would even ride her through the house
    My friend had a saddle too but I mainly rode bareback
    When my friend got a Paint mare I rode her as well from what I remember
    Her name was Queenie

    My parents had me in lessons too. I rode a white horse named Snowflake
    He was patient with me. I learned to barrel race too

    When I went to visit relatives my cousins had ponies at first
    Darby was a Shetland cross with a Welsh pony and my other cousin had Queenie a Quarter Horse cross. I rode those horses bareback
    Later in the years my cousins had horse an Appendix Quarter Horse and my other cousins had an American Saddlebred and a Quarter Horse
    I rode all three of them. Very nice

    I rode may trail horses as well from Thoroughbreds to Arabs
    I ride Western and English

    I had the oppertunity to lease a horse for 2 months
    I learned alot from her she was an Appy mare with issues

    I am 49 and still have a love for horses and riding
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        12-09-2012, 07:17 PM
      #30
    Weanling
    Like so many others, I was born loving horses. I think it was in the genes as my mother and grandmother loved horses but I was the first one to actually get one and my mom loves riding with me and I think my grandmother would have loved it too if she was still alive but I think she is with Sonny and I when we take our weekly trail rides and I know she is loving it. I was 5 years old the first time I got a horseback ride with a friend of my mom's. It was love at first ride. Fortunately, our neighbors had horses and I was allowed to ride everyday. I started out with the squat little pony and worked my way up to the old white quarter horse who would only walk. Some days, I would just throw on a bridle and hop on bareback. Now, I don't have the balance anymore. I was sent to horse camp for a week for 2 years in my early teens and took English horseback riding my freshman year in college, and then after a 10 year hiatus, found a friend who took me riding again at her barn. It was just like riding a bike. I remembered everything I learned growing up and I decided to finally do something about it. I bought my first horse at 35 and found my heart horse at 38. Now I ride every weekend during the school year and every day during the summers and vacations. I couldn't be happier and I feel my life is finally complete.
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