I've just finished reading all the rules, and thought that writing an introduction would be a good way to meet some people and just get aquainted with the forum.
I'm Opal, as you can see, and have been riding for 11 years. 5 years ago, I got my first horse, JJ, whose a full-blooded Morgan, and my trusted partner in riding. I started out as an English huntseat equitation rider at a community barn when I was 4, riding huntseat there for 3 years before starting lessons with a private instructor, where I rode a 16.3hh Arab/QH/Percheron mix named Hotshot, who was black with four white socks and a blaze. I rode him for another 3 years before I got my first horse (who is still my horse today) when I was 10, JJ. JJ won a championship called the Citrus cup as a yearling, before he moved on to driving, and one a couple championships as a two year old in that field. When I got him, he was 5 years old and even though by that time I'd already been riding for 7 years, he was probably too much horse for me. One of the main reasons we bought him was because we got him for an amazing discount. He was originally put on the market for 10,000$, but when we first came across him, he'd already been on the market for 2 years and his owner was desperate to get rid of him so she sold him to us for 6,000$, 1,650$ of which I saved up mowing lawns and pet sitting. My trainer was confident enough in my skills that she believed I was responsible enought to handle him, and looking back now, while I believe it was probably the wrong descision at the time, I will never regret buying him. We continued to do huntseat for and a tiny bit of jumping for 2 more years before I switched to western pleasure, since he was built more for western than for english. We did that for another year/year and a half and I did some small shows, but he had (and still has, unfortunately) terrible show ettiquete like refusing to stand in the line up and throwing fits in the warm up ring, so I got discouraged from showing quickly. Since Western Pleasure wasn't working out, about two years ago we switched to the up-and-coming discipline of Western Dressage, and just last year did our first out of state A show in the discipline. There's no other horses in the ring, and no standing in the line up, so JJ has been much happier in the discipline that he was doing western pleasure. Now we're preparing to do the same A show this June, and I've continued to suppliment my riding with some english every now and then, so I feel like I'm very familiar and capable of discussing both english and western sports.
I know that was long, but thank you to anyone who read, and I hope you enjoyed my intro!