When I was younger, I took a year of riding lessons. To put it simply, I did not enjoy the structure of the lessons and the push to show. It was not my cup of tea and I always preferred simply working with horses and being able to relax and do what I wanted, when I wanted. I quit riding after a year because it just wasn't enjoyable to me.
When I was 14, I started working in a barn as a groom for Standardbred racehorses. What a dream job! I got to do a little bit of everything - groom, feed, harness, cool, bathe, start babies... it was great! I worked there for a few years until I realized that the pay sucked and I needed more than $40 a day to live on. Throughout the time I spent at the barn, I realized that I really enjoyed working with horses and I had a certain knack when it came to starting the babies. I don't know if it's my voice or my small stature, but I found 9 out of 10 babies would come right up to me and stand calmly no matter what I did, as long as I was talking. I never rushed them and many times, I had babies haltered within hours and walking calmly through different obstacles within a few days.
I never did lose my love for horses and I've always missed the companionship. I'm finally in a place in my life where I can comfortably own and care for a horse, and I'm really excited about it. I found a halter-broke 8 year old Quarter Horse mare that I'm interested in and I have this idea that we could work together and do something great. I'm not a bad or nervous rider (just rusty), but I have worked with horses before, with great success from the ground.
My goals for horse ownership: A barefoot, trail riding companion. I don't want to show, but I want the opportunity to if the desire ever strikes. That's why I'm not looking at semi-retired horses. I want a horse that I can grow with and if I want to show one day, I can be confident that the horse could comfortably enter walk-trot-canter shows. Nothing too extreme. Most of all though, I want a horse that I can love on. Groom, play with, hop on bareback and go for a quick ride. I don't have great expectations, nor am I looking for a perfect horse. I just want a sound, quiet, kind animal that I can learn with, while I teach it what I know.