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.